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Educational Leadership (Education, Ph.D.)

Degree Level: Graduate
College: Education
Major : Education
Department: Educational Foundations & Leadership
Degree Earned: Doctor of Philosophy


Admission to the Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership is competitive and meeting the minimum requirements does not ensure admission to the program. The admissions committee reviews applications and considers a number of criteria, including a goodness of fit between student and faculty.

Individuals interested in applying for the doctoral program with a concentration in educational leadership must submit the following:

  • An ODU application to the University. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for applications. Applications for Graduate Study can be completed online or submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate courses and degrees completed. To be considered for the program, applicants must have completed a Bachelor's and a master's degree from regionally accredited colleges/universities. The master's degree should be in educational leadership or a related discipline. A minimum GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) overall for the master's degree and in the major area of study is required.
  • Two original essays. The first essay should be approximately 1,500 words (including citations) discussing a current topic in educational leadership. This should be written as a research-based position paper (formerly submitted papers are acceptable). The second essay of approximately 500 words should state the candidate's qualifications, professional and career goals, and reasons for seeking the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professional sources qualified to assess the candidate's suitability for study at the doctoral level. One letter of recommendation should be from a graduate advisor or faculty member with whom the candidate has studied and one should be from a current or former supervisor at work.
  • Official GRE scores taken within the last 5 years that indicate a total score of 1000 with 450-500 minimum on both the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections and a minimum of 4.5 on the analytical writing component. While these scores are recommended, other portions of the total application package will be considered.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must also submit current scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of at least 550.

Application Dates

Fall Spring Summer Financial Assistantship
Deadlines Rolling
International April 15 October 1 February 1


Tests GRE
Recommendations 3
Essay Yes, 1 on why you are requesting admission to this program and 1 500-word essay on a current topic in Educational Leadership. Interview may be required
Transcripts From all prior institutions
Additional Instructions