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Danforth Educational Leadership Program - University Of Washington

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Danforth Educational Leadership Program

Principal and Program Administrator Certification With M.Ed. Option

Committed to Excellence and Equity in Educational Leadership

The Danforth Educational Leadership Program at the University of Washington prepares experienced educators to take on prominent leadership roles in P–12 school systems. Our innovative competency-based program, which combines proven classroom instruction and cutting-edge research with intensive field-based learning experiences, will prepare you to be a strong educational leader and increase your capacity to cultivate leadership in others.


Expand Your Educational Vision

The Danforth program offers a transformational education experience. You’ll join a diverse cohort of your peers and learn from top scholars and veteran educators as you explore what it means to be an equity-driven leader in the field.

Learn About the Academic Experience

Earn Your Certification in One Year

Danforth features a rigorous, one-year program structure. Upon successful completion of the program, you’ll be qualified to apply for the state of Washington's Residency Principal Certificate, Residency Program Administrator Certificate or both. Students can also opt to earn a UW Master of Education simultaneously by taking additional classes during the year.

Explore Courses & Curriculum

Apply What You Learn

Danforth weaves a required, field-based internship into the year-long program, so you can take what you learned in class and put it into practice the next day. Gain valuable on-the-job experience and work closely with a mentor principal or district administrator for guidance and support.

Discover the Internship

Elevate Your Career

The Danforth program and the UW College of Education are well known and highly respected in the field, giving you an edge in your career development. You’ll also make valuable connections with fellow students, program alumni and faculty members.

Read About Careers & Alumni


“Any program can teach you how to lead. Danforth requires you to grapple with the real challenges of social justice leadership — building relationships, striving for transformative change, dealing with moral dilemmas, keeping students at the core of everything we do. It is not an exaggeration to say that the lessons I learned during that transformative, intensive year in Danforth inform my leadership every single day.”

Dedy Fauntleroy

Principal, Northgate Elementary School (Seattle)

Read student stories