Ed.D. and Ph.D. Admission Requirements

The Education Doctoral Programs faculty only review applications and admit students once per year for admission the following fall. The NDSU Graduate School must have your complete files, including transcripts and reference letters, no later than February 1, to be considered for Fall admission. 

The following documents are required for application:

  1. A statement of purpose. Please write a statement of at least 500 words, typed and double-spaced, that addresses your educational background, philosophy, and professional experiences and goals consistent with the goals of the Education Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs outlined on these pages. The statement should clearly indicate which degree program (Ed.D. or Ph.D.) and which option area (Adult & Community Education, Institutional Effectiveness, or Organizational Learning and Leadership) you are currently interested in pursuing and provide an explanation why each choice is an appropriate fit for your goals. 
  2. A current curriculum vita (C.V.). Your C.V. should included your academic preparation, your professional experience and background including presentations and publications, and any honors or awards you have received.
  3. Transcripts of both baccalaureate and master's (or equivalent) degrees. Students must have earned both a baccalaureate and a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution - or the equivalent - prior to admission into the doctoral programs. Transcripts must be sealed from institution as indicated in the Graduate School's application instructions.
  4. Three letters of recommendation. Please find three people who can attest to your academic strength in your undergraduate and/or master's (or equivalent) degrees and are very good or outstanding in the following proficiencies in the university's personal reference report:
    • Degree of mastery of the fundamental knowledge in your general field.
    • Knowledge of an ability to use the basic techniques in your field.
    • Ability to express yourself in speech and writing.
    • Self-reliance and independence in your major professional area.
    • Motivation toward a successfully productive career.
    • Emotional stability and maturity.
    • Possession of imagination and originality in your profession or field.
    • Growth during the total period in which the people making the recommendation have observed you while in school and/or working in your profession.


The following are the criteria that will be considered when making admission decisions:

  • Applicant's master's degree GPA must be at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent.
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.
  • If you are a non-native English-speaking student, documentation of English proficiency as demonstrated by one of the following (subject to final review by faculty/graduate school):
    • TOEFL score of 570
    • TOEFL iBT score of 88
    • IELTS score of 6.5
    • PTE Academic score of 59
  • For candidates who pass an initial screening, an interview with program faculty.


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