Ph.D. Admission Requirements

Pre-application requirements and procedures

Applicants seeking admission to the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (EPS) Ph.D. program must take certain pre-application steps prior to formal consideration for admission. The following sections describe the steps in the pre-application process. The applicant shall present and undertake the following:


A Master's degree (minimum) from an accredited graduate school.  The degree should be in a field related to the goals of the EPS program.

Grade Point Average

Undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher or graduate grade point average of 3.75 or higher on a 4 point scale.


Applicants with demonstrated experience in formal research and/or publication will be given preference.

Foundational Coursework

Pre-applicants should have completed a master's degree with a basic academic foundation in a field related to EPS and should be seeking research or policy making positions in educationally oriented institutions.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of 30 graduate semester hours earned prior to admission as a doctoral applicant may be accepted for transfer, but not necessarily in lieu of specific course requirements. Credit earned beyond the 30 semester hours. Only grades of "B" or better (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) are acceptable for transfer.

Application procedures

On satisfactory completion of the pre-application procedures, the applicant may proceed with the formal application. All students should complete an online application through the Office of Graduate Admissions. Official transcripts of all college level work, both undergraduate and graduate, are to be mailed or sent electronically (by the institution where the work was completed) directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions.


One professional and two academic references are required from persons who have knowledge of the applicant's academic and/or professional career potential.  Two of the three recommendations should be from college or university professors familiar with the work of the applicant as a student.

EPS faculty interview

After the pre-admission and admission requirements have been satisfied and received by the Department, the applicant may be invited to an interview conducted by the EPS faculty admissions committee.

Post-admission procedures

Assignment to an Advisor

If admitted the applicant is assigned to a faculty advisor. The applicant may request a specific advisor, advising loads permitting.

Plan of Work

Student and advisor develop the Ph.D. Plan of Work, which lists all required courses, and dissertation credits. The Plan of Work, bearing the signed recommendation of the major advisor and the cognate advisor, is filed with the Education Graduate Office, Room 489.  After initial approval the Plan will be submitted to the Graduate School. The plan must be submitted in the semester in which the student is completing the first 18 semester hours of coursework under advisement.  The minimum number of credit hours for the degree is 100 hours, which may include credits from the student's previous graduate coursework.

Residency Requirement

  • A) At least 30 semester hours beyond the Master's Degree, exclusive of dissertation credit, must be taken in residence at WSU;
  • B) At least 6 semester hours of regular coursework must be completed in each of two consecutive semesters anytime AFTER admission to the doctoral program;
  • C) At least 30 semester hours, exclusive of dissertation credit, must be taken in coursework open only to graduate students ("700" course level or above).

Doctoral Committee

The student's doctoral committee shall consist of a minimum of four graduate faculty members: a) the major advisor (Chairperson of the Committee); b) the cognate advisor; c) two members of the Graduate faculty from inside or outside the College of Education.  If all four members of the Advisory Committee are from within the College of Education at least one of the members of the Committee must be from outside the division in which the major area of concentration resides.