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How to Apply?

Application Checklist

To enroll in the doctoral program, an applicant must have:

  • An appropriate masters-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.
  • We require GRE scores only from Ph.D. applicants. Doctoral applicants are expected to have already earned the Virginia school administration and supervision endorsement or equivalent licensure and to already have some experience in P-12 administration.
  • TOEFL/ IELTS  (For all non-U.S. citizens or non-U.S. permanent residents). Learn more about testing requirements.


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 (Ph.D.), at least one of which from your current superintendent, designee, or agency leader. You may send out electronic reference forms from the online application.

Graduate School Testing Requirements

Official GRE is required for Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (Ph.D.). Please have the testing agency send official scores to Virginia Tech Graduate School, code 5859.

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 P-12 Administration

Proof of some experience in P-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 Counselor Education 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, though check to see if you qualify for a waiver or reduced fee.

Application Fee Waivers

Veterans and other applicants are eligible for waivers of the application fee. This form includes eligibility requirements.


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

Domestic Application
*Fall:  August 1
International Application
*Fall: April 1
*Deadline for early decision admission with full funding consideration for Fall: February 1

Additional Notes

  • You will be notified by the Graduate School about the action taken on your application for admission.
  • To apply to the Virginia Tech Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (Ph.D. in Educational Leadership) program, select "Education, Educational Leadership " as your major. You will be able to select the " Educational Leadership Program Area" later in the online form. Choose the degree option “Ph.D.



Include a scanned copy of your college transcripts with your online application, then arrange for an official copy to be sent to us after you receive an offer of admission.

The official transcripts showing degree conferral should be sent directly from your institution(s) to Graduate Admissions and School of Education:

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

and To,
Office of Academic Programs 
School of Education
402 Wallace Hall (0565)
295 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

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

There is a 25% discount for in-state K-12 teachers; use this application form in order to receive the reduced costs.

As with on-campus students, we refer you to the VT Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for further 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.

Learn about School of Education funding opportunities.

The Graduate School sends an official offer of admission to applicants upon the recommendation of the department faculty. Admitted applicants who are offered graduate assistantships at Virginia Tech are not required to make a decision to commit to the assistantship offer until April 15. See the assistantships page for more details.

Program Inquiries

Jodie Brinkmann
Program Leader
VT Richmond Center
2810 Parham Road, Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23294
(804) 662-7288

Application Questions

Wanda McAlexander
Program Support Technician
2004 VT CRC(0302)
1750 Kraft Drive, Rm 2100
Blacksburg, VA 24061

NCR Campus Inquiries

Susan Li
Graduate Academic Program Assistant
Northern Virginia Center
7054 Haycock Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22043