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Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: March 1*

*Note: Applications will be due March 1, with coursework beginning in the Fall semester of that same year.

  • A master’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Relevant organizational or educational leadership experience.
    • We recommend candidates have a minimum of 3 years of full-time professional experience prior to the start of the cohort for which they are applying.
    • Also, we define leadership experience broadly so please be sure to share any and all such experiences in your application (e.g., building administrator, team leader, program director, chairing a committee, creating a new program/initiative).
  • Evidence of consistency between candidate’s goals and the mission and goals of the EdD program and the ELPA department.
  • Evidence of strong communication skills (verbal, written).
  • Potential for success in a doctoral program.
  • GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) in graduate studies (master’s degree) from an accredited institution.
  • For non-native English speakers, minimum scores accepted by the MU Graduate School for TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Cambridge C1 Advanced exams, or Duolingo English Test.

Minimum Language Requirements

Click here to view the minimum English language proficiency test scores

Required Application Materials

For the Graduate School

  • Completed Graduate School online application
  • Unofficial Transcripts- As part of the application submission process, all applicants are required to upload unofficial copies of all post-secondary transcripts to the online application. Official transcripts are only required if accepted by the academic program.
  • Official Results of English Proficiency Exams (International applicants only)

For the Educational Leadership Program

  • Unofficial transcripts (see the Graduate School’s discussion of the Application Process for more information; you will be asked to submit official transcripts if admitted)
  • Résumé or CV (be sure to account for all relevant organizational and educational leadership experiences)
  • Personal statement that addresses your reasons for seeking entrance into the educational leadership EdD program and identifies your professional goals. In other words, why do you want to do this program and how will this degree help move you toward your personal or professional goals in the future?
  • Short video answer: Please video and upload your answers to the questions below.
    • Describe your leadership philosophy. In other words, what principles, values and beliefs do you use to lead in your current organization?
    • Tell us about your primary leadership experiences, and how these have influenced your definition of leadership over time.
  • Essay response: For the educational leadership doctor of education program, please upload an essay addressing the following:
    • In your work as an educational leader, you are likely faced with issues that need further attention or investigation. These issues may be ideal topics for your dissertation in practice*. For this essay, begin by describing an idea for a dissertation in practice* that you would be interested in studying (limit to one paragraph). Then, in 500 words or less, respond to the following questions:
      • How is your dissertation in practice* idea responsive to creating more equitable and inclusive educational spaces and support systems for all stakeholders?
      • How might the results of your study be beneficial to you as a leader and to your organization (or current context)?

*A dissertation in practice refers to a specialized form of academic research and scholarly work that is typically associated with professional doctoral programs, such as a doctor of education (Ed.D.). Unlike traditional dissertations that primarily contribute to theoretical knowledge, a dissertation in practice emphasizes applying scholarly research to address real-world challenges and issues within a specific professional field or context.

  • Three recommendations from individuals who can comment on your potential for success in a doctoral program.
    • At least two letters should be from faculty who have taught or advised you. (If this is not possible, there will be a place on the application form for you to explain.)
    • At least one letter should address your leadership experience/potential.