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Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Doctoral Program Admissions Information

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  • An appropriate master's-level degree from an accredited institution.
  • At least a 3.3 GPA on one’s most recent two years of university coursework.
  • Experience serving in a school leadership position.
  • TOEFL/ IELTS  (For all non-U.S. citizens or non-U.S. permanent residents). Learn more about testing requirements.

Applicants are evaluated based on written and oral communication skills; technological competence; letters of recommendation; and their commitment both to completing the program and to continuing their service as educational leaders.

GRE Scores are NOT required for application to this program.


Semester  Deadline
Summer   April 15
Fall   July 15
Summer  December 15


Note: Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. For inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies, contact the executive director for Equity and Access at (540) 231-8771 or Virginia Tech, North End Center, Suite 2300 (0318), 300 Turner St. NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061. 

Application Checklist


Include a scanned copy of your transcripts with your online application, then arrange for an official copy to be sent to both Graduate Admissions and School of Education after you receive an offer of admission.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required for Educational Leadership and Policy Studies doctoral programs; at least one of which must come from your current superintendent, designee, or agency leader. You may send out electronic reference form requests from the online application.

Graduate School Testing Requirements

GRE Scores are NOT required for application to the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies doctoral (Ed.D. or Ph.D.) programs.

Writing Sample

A sample of your best-written work. We prefer academic writing samples, but if you have none available, we can accept a work-related sample of writing.

Virginia School Administration and Supervision Endorsement or Equivalent Licensure

Proof of Virginia school administration and supervision endorsement or equivalent licensure

Experience in K-12 Administration

Proof of some experience in K-12 administration

Letter of Interest and Curriculum Vitae/Resume

letter of interest (1-2 pages) is required by the School of Education along with your latest Curriculum Vitae.
Please address the following questions in the letter of interest:

  • Why do you want to undertake graduate work?
  • Why do you qualify to pursue a graduate degree at Virginia Tech?
  • What do you expect to derive from your program of study?
  • If you have a concentration or area of interest in mind, briefly outline your interests in this area.
  • What do you expect to contribute as a student and subsequently as a member of the profession?
  • If you have not previously indicated in your application the names of faculty members you are interested in working with, please include that information in this statement.

Interview with members of the Educational Leadership program faculty

As a part of the application, candidates are required to have an interview with members of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program faculty. If you are shortlisted, a faculty member will contact you by telephone or email to arrange an interview. Qualified applicants will be asked to attend a candidate interview: program faculty – and occasionally practicing school leaders – will serve on the interview committee. Just prior to the interview, applicants will complete a 45-minute writing prompt based around a modern educational issue. The interview committee will evaluate applicants on the basis of their academic potential, leadership experience, favorable recommendations, and commitment to both completing the program and continuing service as educational leaders.

Evidence of English Proficiency 

The Graduate School requires that all non-U.S. citizens or non-U.S. permanent residents demonstrate English proficiency to ensure they enter the university with sufficient English skills necessary to function in a graduate program. A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test score is the most common way international applicants demonstrate English proficiency. We require a minimum TOEFL score of 90 (IBT) or an IELTS score of 6.5 for admission. Test scores should be sent to us using ETS institution code 5859. See this page if you qualify for an English language proficiency test waiver. 

Applying as an International Student

  • Prospective residential on-campus international students might be required to submit immigration documents and other additional materials with their application. Please consult with Graduate Student Immigration Services.

Additional Information/Supporting Material

Applicants are welcome to submit any additional information with application material that would be useful in the evaluation of your application.

Applying for Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships

We offer some fully funded graduate teaching assistantships for full-time enrollment in the program. A question on the application for graduate admission asks whether you want to be considered for a teaching assistantship. Check yes, as most of our students are fully funded.

Learn more about other available funding opportunities

Application Fees

Degree-seeking students must include a $75 fee with their application. If this poses a financial hardship, check with the Graduate School to see if you qualify for a waiver or reduced fee. All application fees are non-refundable.


To apply to the graduate program, students must submit the Virginia Tech Graduate School online application. 

 Send official scores to Virginia Tech Graduate School, code 5859.

In-state K-12 teachers are eligible for a 25% discount! Use this application form in order to receive the reduced costs. Otherwise, as with on-campus students, we refer you to the VT Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for information on financial assistance. Generally, distance learners may qualify for federal loans if they take 5 or more credit hours per semester.

Find out what loans are available as a graduate student and other opportunities.

School of Education Scholarships

The Graduate School sends an official offer of admission to applicants upon the recommendation of the department faculty.

After you have received your official offer of admission from the School of Education, please arrange with your institution(s) to send your official transcript(s) showing degree conferral to Graduate Admissions and to the School of Education at the addresses below:

Virginia Tech Graduate Admissions
120 Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown
Mail Code 0325p 155 Otey Street NW
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

Office of Academic Programs
School of Education
1750 Kraft Drive (0302)
Suite 2000
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

Office of Academic Programs Support

Kathy Tickle
Enrollment Services Specialist
1750 Kraft Drive (0302), #2065

For Further Information, Contact the Program Leader:

Charles Lowery, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership

Charles Lowery, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership
Charles Lowery, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Doctoral Program Leader

Dr. Charles Lowrey
Program Leader, Doctoral Program
1750 Kraft Drive
Room 2076 (0302)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-8439 |