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Danforth Educational Leadership Program


student in classroomThe Danforth Educational Leadership Program offers Residency Principal and Residency Program Administrator certification through the area of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the UW College of Education. If you are interested in applying to the Danforth program, please review the deadlines and requirements below.

Application Dates and Deadlines

A new Danforth cohort begins each summer with the Cohort Retreat in July. The following chart lists important deadlines in the admissions process for the upcoming cohort (D35).

D35 Early Bird Application Deadline October 29, 2021
D35 Early Bird Interviews November 29, 2021 to
December 3, 2021
D35 Scholarship Application Deadline January 14, 2022
D35 Final Application Deadline January 14, 2022
D35 Final Application Interviews February 15, 2022 to
February 19, 2022
Notification of Admission Decision


D35 Orientation April 7, 2022
D35 Islandwood Summer Retreat

July 10, 2022 to July 14, 2022

D35 UW Campus Week July 25, 2022 to July 29, 2022

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Three years of successful school-based instructional experience in an educational setting (five or more years recommended)
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or its equivalent from a foreign institution
  • Master's degree from an accredited institution*
  • Evidence of academic commitment (typically a minimum 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale for the last graded 60 semester credits or 90 graded quarter credits)
  • Demonstrated English-language proficiency for applicants whose native language is not English

*A master's degree is required for state certification as a principal or program administrator. If you do not have a master's degree, you can meet this requirement by concurrently enrolling in Danforth's certification and master's programs.

Required Application Materials

  • UW Graduate School online application and fee
  • Unofficial transcripts from every college or university attended
  • Resume (use Danforth template)
  • Goal statement
  • Three professional references, who will submit a reference form as well as an official reference letter
  • Copy of your current teacher, educational staff associate (ESA) or Initial/Continuing CTE certificate

Starting with applicants for 2021 admission, GRE scores are no longer required. If you've already taken the GRE, you'll have the option to self-report your scores in the application.

Application Steps

To apply to the Danforth program, you'll submit your application materials online through the UW Graduate School website. We recommend you begin your application early in order to complete all requirements on time. For guidance on your application, see the application rubric used to review all applicants.

Step One: Prepare to Apply

Get transcripts from each college or university attended. Download unofficial transcripts or scan printed copies.

Distribute a reference form to three professional references. These forms should be completed and submitted to Danforth by your most direct supervisor — such as your program director or principal — and two other colleagues who can speak to your educational contributions. If you are not currently working in an educational setting, choose a former supervisor who knows your work well. These three individuals will also be asked to submit a separate letter of reference to Danforth.

Update your resume or curriculum vitae using the provided resume template. The template separates your leadership experiences — as a team leader, department chair, learning community facilitator, district leader or other role — from your classroom experiences, and it aids our reviewers when they examine your application materials. Be sure to include your educational degrees as well as all relevant awards, publications, presentations and other achievements.

Prepare your goal statement.  

Step Two: Apply Online

Start your online application to the UW Graduate School.

Select "Education - Seattle (MEd - Educational Leadership & Policy Studies - Danforth Educational Leadership Program)" as the program name.

Upload all required documents.

Designate the people who have agreed to fill out your professional reference forms and write letters of recommendation.

Pay the nonrefundable application fee and submit your application.

International Students

International applicants must meet all admission requirements for the program. You are considered an international applicant if you are not a U.S. citizen, immigrant or permanent resident. International applicants should contact us for more information about the process and requirements.