Becoming a Principal

Interested in School Leadership?

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).

To apply for AP positions, you do not need to be in the Principal Candidate Pool. For more information about Openings for Assistant Principals, visit the Assistant Principals page.

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 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. View Chancellor's Regulation C-30 to learn more.

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 3012-d
  • Offering a unique opportunity to engage every prospective school leader in high-quality professional activities and tasks 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 four (4) hours of synchronous online professional activity sessions over two (2) days, followed by three (3) online performance tasks. Candidates are required to complete all components in the PCP process to be assigned to the pool.

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 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 on the NYSED School Leader Certification page.

Principal Candidate Pool Application and Registration

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

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

Apply for PCP online on the School Leader Profile/PCP Application page.

Series Registration

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

Next Steps

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

To learn more about applying to school-specific principal positions visit the Openings for Principals page.

For all communication regarding the Principal Candidate Pool, contact: 

Learn more about the Division of School Leadership and opportunities for aspiring leaders with the Office of Leadership

Visit: Leadership Pathways NYCDOE