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Ph.D. in Leadership

The Ph.D. track in leadership is generally seen as more theory and research intensive than a practitioner’s degree such as an Ed.D.; students pursuing the Ph.D. in leadership must complete the curriculum established for the Ed.D. in educational leadership plus six additional hours distributed as follows: one graduate course in which leadership theories and concepts in a non-academic environment is a central theme and one course in which non-academic statistics or research methods is the focus. The Ph.D. in leadership, therefore, requires a minimum of 66 hours beyond the master’s degree. Although a Ph.D. student may pursue applied research as a dissertation topic, it is expected that an approved dissertation will be built upon a more thorough theoretical foundation than a similar project that culminates in an Ed.D. dissertation.

Admission

Admission into the Ph.D. 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 admission criteria for regular admission may be admitted into the Ed.D. track on a conditional or provisional basis but not the Ph.D. track.

To be considered for admission into the Ed.D./Ph.D. 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 a letter of recommendation from a supervisor or professor.
  • 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 75 (50th percentile) on the program’s Foundational Skills Test.
  • 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.

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