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Admissions Requirements

University of the Cumberlands has established the following qualitative and quantitative requirements for admission into the Doctor of Philosophy in Business degree program.

A master's degree in a business-related field is preferred; however, applicants holding an undergraduate degree in a business area and a master's degree in a non-related area will be accepted. Applicants must have graduated from a regionally-accredited or a nationally accredited institution of higher education or an appropriately certified foreign institution approved and documented by director of the program. Students may be accepted into the program before completing a master's degree but must have completed the degree before beginning coursework for the Doctor of Philosophy in Business program.

All applications for admission must be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office. Interested applicants must complete the following required documentation:

  • Completed graduate application form with application fee.
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work from accredited colleges or universities.
  • A resume highlighting academic and professional achievements.
  • A 500- to 700-word essay describing professional experiences and/or goals as they relate to the pursuit of the Doctor of Philosophy in Business.
  • Two letters of recommendation assessing the applicant’s academic potential. At least one letter must be from persons associated with the applicant's professional area who can provide an evaluation of the applicant’s involvement in and potential for academic research and teaching in business.
  • A grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in work leading to the master's degree and in any subsequent graduate study. Applicants whose graduate GPA does not meet the minimum requirements may be admitted to the program conditionally if having earned a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 
  • Documentation of language fluency is required for non-native speakers of English, including a minimum score on a university pre-approved English language proficient test such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Transfer and Course Credit Policy.
A maximum of fifteen semester hours of credit may be transferred from an accredited graduate institution with the approval of the Program Director and the Registrar.

  • Transfer credits must be in courses equivalent to courses in the program.
  • Courses that have contributed to a master’s degree (such as the MBA) will not be accepted as transfer credit toward the PhD program unless these hours are in excess of the 30- or 36-hour standard for a master’s degree.
  • All coursework offered for transfer credit must have been earned within the last five years prior to admission to the program.
  • Grades for transfer credits accepted into the program do not count in the program GPA.

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