Application Process

Application Process

1. Complete the online application.  (* = Required fields)

Spring application deadline: November 30
Summer application deadline: April 30
Fall application deadline: July 30

Notification of admission is sent after a review of the application and supporting materials. Please contact with your questions about application process and getting started in the program.

2. Submit official transcripts.

Transcripts for Southwestern College graduates are on file. All other students should arrange for submission of official transcripts of all prior college/university coursework. Applicants with a recognized baccalaureate degree must have a GRE score of 500 or higher or a 3.5 or higher GPG with a masters degree.

You can order transcripts from prior college/university coursework online via the National Student Clearinghouse secure site:

3. Secure three confidential letters of recommendation.

Email the link below to your three references and ask them to complete the online recommendation form for graduate programs. Ensure that at least one recommendation is from a current or former employer or professor:

4. Present a Statement of Purpose by following these guidelines.


5. Submit your current resume.


6. Provide an Academic Writing Sample.

The sample may be something from your masters' program. If you have not completed a masters' program, please provide a writing example from work or a senior thesis/project.

7. Submit a current teaching license if you are pursuing the teacher, building, or district level leadership track.


8. International Students must show evidence of their English language ability by providing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOFEL) report.

A score of 550 (paper test) or 213 (computer-based test) on the TOFEL is considered the minimum acceptable score for admission to this program. 

Applicants who hold Bachelors degree from a U.S. institution or from an institution in another English only speaking country will receive a waiver of the TOFEL. Applicants who are from native English speaking countries are not required to take the TOFEL. 

A candidate's file must be complete before an admission decision will be made. It is the responsibility for each candidate to provide all of the information requested above. Candidates will be notified by e-mail of admission to the graduate program. Once notification of acceptance has been received, the student may enroll in classes. 


Ed.D. Statement of Purpose Form (PDF)

Employer Commitment

Ed.D. Employer Commitment Form (PDF)

Ed.D. Employer Commitment Form (Word)

The following information outlines the intent and to an extent the parameters associated with the employer commitment form. 

1) Given the intensive nature of doctoral work, the intent is to notify the employer of your enrollment in the program. 

2) Some classes will have field-based projects. The form is purposeful in establishing the opportunity to request permission from the employer to conduct the field-based projects within the place of employment.

3) The form enables an information stream so the employer may request the doctoral student to conduct a project within the district or school that contributes directly to doctoral studies and field project(s).

4) The form does not stipulate release or reassigned time from the contractual arrangements between the employee and employer. 

5) The form does not obligate the employer for reassigned time or release time. 

Thus, the commitment form establishes a process of communication between the employer and the employee about his/her interest in doctoral studies to ensure that work related expectations are not hindered by doctoral studies as an unintended consequence, and that when possible the doctoral work can facilitate the needs of both the employer and the employee.


Within the program, each aspirant to the doctorate will need a mentor. The mentor must hold a masters degree or higher. 

If the applicant to the doctoral program already has obtained district level licensure, a mentor form is not required.


Doctoral students have the option of on-campus housing for the one week summer residency for each of the two online 12-week courses.

Doctoral Summer Housing Form (opens in a new window)


The doctor of education program requires original research as part of the degree. To learn more about the expectations of the dissertation associated with this degree, click below:

Dissertation Guide (PDF)

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