Becoming a Principal

Interested in School Leadership?

In order to gain access to view and apply for principal positions in New York City Schools, all candidates must be in the Principal Candidate Pool (PCP).

You do not need to be in the Principal Candidate Pool in order to apply for AP positions.

For more information: Openings for Assistant Principals

NOTE: If you left the system and were a principal in NYCDOE before 2008, you are required to be in the pool to apply for current principal vacancies.

What is the Principal Candidate Pool?

The Principal Candidate Pool (PCP) is the selective screening process for all aspiring principals for New York City Schools as outlined in the Chancellor’s C-30 Regulation. Chancellor’s Regulation C-30 governs the selection, assignment, and appointment of all principals. Learn more: Chancellor's Regulation C-30

The PCP process ensures consistent, standards-based criteria for hiring decisions citywide by:

  • Aligning the screening process to clear, high standards consistent with the expectations for which principals will be held accountable. Learn more: Education Law 3012c
  • Offering a unique opportunity to engage every perspective school leader in high-quality professional development about the NYCDOE’s expectations of principals
  • Providing hiring managers with multi-dimensional information to help enhance strategic placement and hiring decisions for principal vacancies

PCP Series

The PCP conducts approximately fifteen (15) screening series each year. A series includes six (6) hours of professional development activities, followed by three (3) online performance assessments. Candidates are required to complete all components in the PCP process.

Eligibility Requirements

  • New York State Administrative License
    • School Administrator and Supervisor (SAS) - historical license
    • School District Administrator (SDA) - historical license
    • School Building Leader (SBL)
      • Seven (7) or more years of pedagogical experience as outlined in Chancellor’s Regulation C-30

NOTE: The SDL certification does not meet the requirements for PCP or school building leader positions.

Learn more: NYSED School Leader Certification

Principal Candidate Pool Application and Registration

Eligible candidates must complete and submit the School Leader Candidate Profile in the Teacher Support Network (TSN).

NOTE: Candidates must submit the application and receive a confirmation email from to be eligible to register for a series.

Online application: Apply for PCP

Series Registration

Eligible applicants receive an email invitation to register for a series. The invitation includes dates, time, and expectations of a series. Invitation is based on the queue of applicants and the capacity of upcoming series. After successful registration for a series, candidates receive a confirmation email with next steps from

Series Participation

Candidates are expected to attend all PD sessions and submit all online performance assessments within the given timeframe for successful completion of the PCP process.

Next Steps

After candidates complete the Principal Candidate Pool process, they receive a Candidate Profile Report and are assigned to the pool. At that time, candidates are able to view and apply for principal vacancy postings.

To learn more about applying to school-specific principal positions: Openings for Principals

For all communication regarding the Principal Candidate Pool, contact:

Preparation Programs and Supports for Aspiring Principals

To learn more about what NYCDOE and the Office of Leadership have to offer for aspiring school leaders:

Visit: Office of Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (LEAD)


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