Queen's University, the constituent colleges of the University of Toronto, and McGill University in Canada have principals instead of presidents or rectors, as a result of their Scottish origins. In addition, Bishop's University, and the Royal Military College of Canada also have principals.
- The heads of Homerton College and Newnham College at Cambridge University.
- The heads of almost all of the colleges at Durham University (the exception being Hatfield College).
- The heads of all colleges at Lancaster University.
- The heads of King's, St George's, Royal Holloway, Queen Mary, the Royal Veterinary College, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama at the University of London.
- The heads of Brasenose, Green Templeton, Harris Manchester, Hertford, Jesus, Lady Margaret Hall, Linacre, Mansfield, St Anne's, St Edmund Hall, St Hilda's, St Hugh's and Somerville at Oxford University.
- The heads of Constantine College, Derwent College, Langwith College, Vanbraugh College, and Wentworth College at the University of York.
In Scotland the principal is appointed by the University Court or governing body of the university and will be chairman or president of the body of academics. In the case of the ancient universities of Scotland the principal is president of the Academic Senate. The principal also holds the title of vice-chancellor, but their powers with regard to this position extend only to the awarding of degrees, as both the vice-chancellor and chancellor are titular posts.
This section needs to be updated.(July 2014)
In 1999, there were about 133,000 principals and assistant principals in the United States. In the early decades of public education,[clarification needed] the full title was "principal teacher", which accounts for the present-day title having an adjectival form, essentially being a shortened version of the original full title. Yet the terms head(master/mistress) and head of school are still used in older schools, such as in Louisiana and some southern small towns. School principals in the United States are sometimes required to have school administrator licensing, and often, a master's degree in educational administration.
- Office of the Principal Archived 2005-09-14 at the Wayback Machine, Queen's University, Canada.
- The Principal and the Vice-Chancellor Archived 2017-03-09 at the Wayback Machine, McGill University, Canada.
- "Principal Michael Goldbloom, C.M. - Bishop's University". Archived from the original on 2015-08-07. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
- A New Principal for Swindon College Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine, Swindon College, UK.
- Janet Murray, The college principal Archived 2017-05-10 at the Wayback Machine. The Guardian, 3 June 2008.
- "Senate membership" (PDF). Lancaster University. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
- Colleges and Halls A–Z Archived 2010-03-23 at the Wayback Machine, University of Oxford, UK.
- Digest of Education Statistics 2001
- "Online Schools Offering Education Administration Degrees". Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- Kate Rousmaniere, The Principal's Office: A Social History of the American School Principal (State University of New York Press; 2013) 197 pages