How To Apply

Application Deadline: Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 (8:59pm PST)

Fall 2020 Information Sessions 

All Information Sessions have concluded for Fall 2020. 

Missed your chance to attend live? Watch a recording below!

PLI Information Session Fall 2020

Applying to the Principal Leadership Institute

General Requirements

Graduate Application for Admissions and Fellowships

  • Scanned PDF's of official transcripts (uploaded via Graduate Application)
  • Statement of Purpose (showing evidence of leadership)
  • Personal History Statement
  • At least three Letters of Recommendation (online only)
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 in the junior and senior years and/or a successful graduate academic history
  • Satisfy the Basic Skills Requirement. Choose one of the following: 
    • Pass the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST)
    • Pass the CSET: Multiple Subjects + Writing Skills Exam
    • Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program or CSU Placement Exams
    • Achieve qualifying scores on the SAT or ACT
    • College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exams
    • Pass a basic skills exam from another state 
    • For more information about the options for fulfilling the Basic Skills Requirement, read this handout.
  • Resume/CV (required for PLI candidates)

Principal Leadership Institute Supplemental Application

Supplemental Application materials submitted via Graduate Application, unless otherwise noted below.

Graduate Application for Admissions and Fellowships

The Graduate Application is available each application cycle beginning in September.

Before you begin your Online Graduate Application:

Graduate Division | UC Berkeley » Application » Start New Application 

  • Select Program: Select "Education-Admin Services Credential/MA (December 15, 2020)"
  • Select Cycle: Select "Graduate Application 2021-2022" application cycle to apply for the Summer 2021 & Fall 2021 terms. You may experience a warning that the deadline has passed if you are applying to the PLI after December 1; you can safely ignore this. Select Graduate Application 2021.
  • Under Intended Program of Study: Select "Summer 2021" Admit Term and select"Education-Admin Services Credential/Cred MA" Program.
  • Exam RequirementsThe GRE is NOT required for this program, but we are interested in your academic potential for rigorous graduate work. In certain situations, candidates who do not meet the 3.0 GPA requirements are accepted if they are able to demonstrate potential through GRE scores.
    • Applicants who completed their undergraduate degree in a non-English speaking country fall under the English Proficiency requirement and must complete either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Exam.
  • Statement of Purpose: This is a key part of your application because it is your opportunity to give us significant insight into your reasons for wanting to be a school leader, your current and past experiences, and your philosophy of education.
  • Recommender Information: Recommenders should be persons who can attest to your leadership/academic potential, e.g.:
    • a recent academic reference or someone who has seen/supervised you in a leadership role.
    • a colleague who can attest to your ability to collaborate/work with peers.
  • Other Items: Scanned PDF of the official CBEST passing verification (or equivalent) and list the date of the exam.
  • Resume/CV: While the Graduate Application notes that this section is optional, PLI candidates are required to submit a resume.
  • Honors/Awards or Publications/Presentations: Demonstrate potential for rigorous graduate work through recently written academic papers, or other venues (optional).

Principal Leadership Institute Supplemental Application

Please download our PLI Application Checklist in addition to the Graduate School of Education Application Checklist.

The Principal Leadership Institute Supplemental Application, submitted via your Online Graduate Application, is comprised of:

  • Supplemental Application Form
  • Essay Questions
  • Teaching Video: a recent 10-20 minute video (via video sharing website) of yourself teaching in a K-12 classroom, with accompanying lesson plan (PDF format)
  • California Teaching or Services Credential: A copy of your current valid credential (see How to Print Your Document), with no outstanding requirements.† The copy of your credential should show the document number and all authorizations, not the printable certificate. Your credential should be clear or have only one or two outstanding requirements for clearing it. If it is not, please provide your timeline doing so, as it must be cleared in order to be eligible for an Administrative Services Credential. Your teaching credential must also include an English learner authorization. See PLI FAQ's » Credentials for recent changes to the requirements and a list of acceptable credentials.
  • Verification of Experience Letter: One letter for each position, including dates of employment. Letter must be on district or employing agency letterhead and signed by the superintendent, assistant superintendent, director of personnel, or director of human resources. Upload your verification of experience letter(s) to your Online Graduate Application. We will need the original, hard copy of the signed letter with a wet signature upon enrollment. You must have five years full-time classroom teaching or pupil personnel services experience (or four and-a-half years experience, plus verification of full-time employment to complete the fifth year prior to start of the PLI term in June). See PLI FAQ's »Work Experience for information and exceptions.
  • Administrative Fieldwork Placement Confirmation Form: Obtain signatures of proposed site supervisor AND district official giving approval for fieldwork placement (usually signed by your Principal and the Assistant Superintendent responsible for your school). This can be submitted later, if you have not secured a position or will be changing positions prior to the start of classes in June. Simply submit the blank form with a notation of your circumstance.
  • Statement of Commitment Form

Timeline for Fall 2020 Application Cycle

  • September 15, 2020 Online Graduate Application opens
  • December 15, 2020 (8:59 PST) Application Due: Submit completed online Graduate Application (including PLI Supplemental Application) for Admissions and Fellowships
  • December 15, 2020 (8:59 PST) Share Teaching Video and Lesson Plan with pli+apply@berkeley.edu 
  • February 8, 2021 Notification of Applicant Interviews
  • February 16 & 17, 2021 Daylong Applicant Interviews (invitees will attend one; save both dates)
  • March TBD, 2021 Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • March 12, 2021 Preliminary notification of recommendation​
  • April 2021 Notification of recommendation for acceptance by Graduate Division
  • April 2021 Complete online Statement of Intent to Register
  • May 19, May 26, & June 2, 2021 Pre-Seminars (6pm – 9pm)
  • June 14 & 15, 2021 Orientation (9:30am – 4:30pm)
  • June 16, 2021 Summer Session begins

Download the PLI Brochure

The forms and instructions on this site available for download are PDF's. You may need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader to view or print them. (The fillable PDF forms work best in Adobe; they may not function properly in Apple Preview or other non-Adobe PDF viewers.)