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Admissions

Program Policies

Responsibility for the routine administration of the policies and procedures of the EdD/PhD resides with the EdD Program Director or the Chair of Leadership Studies under the oversight of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Admission. To be considered for admission into the EdD/PhD program, prospective candidates must:

  • hold a master’s degree from an accredited college.
  • have a 3.5 GPA (on a 4-point scale) on all graduate work as verified by official transcripts.
  • have earned within the past 5 years a combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 300 (800 previous scale) on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or a score of at least 400 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Test scores older than five years may be considered if they are above 300 (800 previous scale) on the GRE and 400 on the MAT.
  • provide three (3) letters of recommendation, including one (1) letter from a supervisor or professor. Letters must be received directly from individuals making recommendation, and can be submitted online using the link below.

    Online Recommendation Form
    Downloadable Recommendation Form

  • provide a current resume
  • provide a writing sample describing the student’s research interests. In evaluating the applicant’s essay, scrutiny is placed on grammar, voice, and topic; please note that prospective research topics must fit within the range of expertise and interests that program faculty could reasonably supervise.
  • achieve a satisfactory score of 76 (PhD) or 67 (EdD) (49th and 55th percentile, respectively) on the program’s Foundational Skills Test.
  • provide documentation of language fluency for non-native speakers of English, such as a score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The minimum acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission are:
      Paper-based TOEFL (PBT): 550
      Internet-based TOEFL (IBT): 79
      IELTS: 6
  • If all of the above criteria are met, the prospective student must be interviewed by the Director of the doctoral program or authorized representatives.

At the discretion of the Program Director, GRE or MAT test requirements may be waived for applicants with significant leadership experiences in professional settings (i.e., five or more years of experience supervising adult workers and managing budgets). In lieu of GRE or MAT test scores, professional applicants seeking a test score waiver must submit three letters of support from referees familiar with the applicant’s capacity for advanced research in an area involving organizational leadership. Students receiving a waiver on the GRE or MAT requirement must satisfy score standards on the Foundational Skills Test.

Conditional Admission. Admission into the PhD track is limited to those students who are fully admitted into or continuing in the program. An applicant who fails to meet one of the above criteria for regular admission may be admitted into the EdD track on a conditional or provisional basis. Students granted conditional admission will be required to satisfy specific conditions in order to continue enrollment in the program. These conditions include a minimum level of performance during a probationary period in which the student is allowed to earn 12 hours of program credit. Other conditions may include additional enrollment or re-enrollment in administrative courses deemed prerequisites to the program. Some students entering the program under provisional or conditional admissions status may be required to successfully participate in the program’s tutoring program while concurrently enrolled in first year classes.

Provisions for Reapplying to the Doctoral Program. A candidate whose initial application was denied admissions may reapply to the program after one full semester or 16 weeks. A person committed to being accepted into the program should work toward developing and strengthening writing, critical thinking, and computational skills. It is also essential to recognize that potential dissertation topics must be compatible with the academic interests and expertise of the program’s full-time faculty.

Based upon an assessment of all information provided by prospective candidates, admission will be granted to the limited number of places available in a given cohort.

REQUIRED FOR TN STUDENTS ONLY

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