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College of Education: Preparing Teachers and Education Professionals

Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education


Admissions | Program Requirements | Course Descriptions | Course Schedule | Policies and Procedures                                    Doctoral Candidacy & DissertationResearch Resources | Faculty Profiles


Admission to the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership Higher Education Concentration

Graduate School Admission Applications for admission to the Graduate School are available online. All applicants for admissions pay a nondeductible, nonrefundable fee of $70. The application form and all supporting documents should be received by the Graduate School, Ragsdale Building, (252) 328-6012.

Applicants are required to provide official transcripts from each institution attended since high school, test scores from the MAT or GRE, and at least three letters of recommendation. Completed applications are forwarded to the higher education program coordinator. Applicants meeting minimal admissions requirements will be contacted between March 15 and May 15 to complete the writing sample and interview. Final notifications of admissions will begin on or about June 1. Enrollment begins each fall term, unless otherwise specified.

General Admission Requirements

  1. Academic Achievement – Applicant's must hold a master's degree and have a minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 2.7 and graduate G.P.A. of 3.0.
  2. Standardized Test- Either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is required. The GRE and the MAT are administered on the ECU campus through the Testing Center (252) 328-6811. A minimal score at or above the 30th percentile is required for program entry, although actual cut off scores may be higher due to the competitiveness of the applicant pool.
  3. Leadership – Preferred applicants should have a minimum three years' experience in a position of leadership in the higher education field. Candidates must demonstrate intent to pursue a career in higher education leadership.
  4. Curriculum vitae/ resume – Applicants should describe their academic and professional achievements.
  5. Writing Sample - All applicants to the Higher Education Leadership program will be required to provide a short writing sample completed under conditions provided by the Program Coordinator.   
  6. Letters of Recommendation - Applicants will be asked to present three letters of reference that can address their ability to perform graduate level academic work as well as their interest and experience in higher education leadership. 
  7. Statement of Intent- All applicants to the program will be required to include a Statement of Intent with application materials. This statement should highlight applicants' reasons for applying to the Higher Education Leadership program.  
  8. Interview/Review- Candidates are interviewed and reviewed by higher education faculty as part of their admission and continued progression through the program.

The EdD program requires completion of a research-based dissertation. Students are admitted initially to advanced graduate status, not to doctoral candidacy. Admission to doctoral candidacy, if awarded, will be a determined by successful completion of all course work (exclusive of dissertation credits) examinations, and an approved proposal for the dissertation research study. To be approved for graduation and receipt of the EdD degree, the student must successfully complete and defend the dissertation.

Non-degree Admission Students who wish to take resident course work for purposes other than a doctoral degree may be admitted by presenting an application supported by a transcript showing the awarding of a master's degree. Subsequent enrollment is conditional upon successful completion coursework and by program coordinator permission. The total number of hours students will be allowed on a non-degree basis is 9. Graduate courses taken under this admission may not necessarily be used to fulfill requirements for any graduate program. Students taking coursework on a non-degree basis must submit a full application to the graduate school and meet all of the above requirements in order to be considered for the formal  Ed.D. program of study. There are no prerequisite courses for graduate work in higher education leadership.

Transfer Credits Graduate credit to be applied to advanced graduate degree programs may be transferred from another institution within limits stated in the East Carolina University Graduate Catalog ( A graduate student may transfer a maximum of 12 semester hours into the EdD program. Acceptance of transferred hours is subject to approval by the faculty within the Department of Higher, Adult, and Counselor Education and the Graduate School.


Dept of Higher, Adult, & Counselor Education | 213 Ragsdale Hall | MS 121
East Carolina University | Greenville, NC 27858 USA
Phone: 252-328-6856 | Fax: 252-328-5114
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