Ed.D. in Leadership

  • Total Credit Hours: 55
  • Degree Format: Hybrid, Online


The Leadership Program (Ed.D.) seeks to develop doctoral candidates who are effective, ethical, and diverse leaders seeking to maximize achievement in schools and other organizations. Skill applications serve as the connection between knowledge and inquiry skills developed in the core curriculum and research courses and the increasingly complex world of restructured practice and school or organizational improvement. Students work with their advisors to select a cognate area that fits with their professional and academic goals. Cognate areas include: Organizational Leadership, Curriculum Leadership, Technology Leadership, and Higher Education Leadership. Students working in the P-12 setting who wish to add-on a professional Leadership certificate may do so in consultation with their advisor.

Program of Study

Program Coordinator

Dr. Gerald Siegrist
Email: siegrist@valdosta.edu
Phone: 229-333-5633

Admission Deadlines

Fall Semester: March 15 
Admits in Fall Semester only.

Admissions Requirements



Online Graduate Application

  • Application Fee $35 (credit or debit card and e-checks accepted)
  • Apply Online

One Official Transcript from each institution where you have previously enrolled (undergraduate and graduate).

(Transcripts of coursework completed in-residence at VSU will be obtained by the Graduate School

  • Must hold a master’s degree from a regionally- accredited institution.
  • Minimum graduate GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 Scale. GPA will be calculated on all attempted graduate coursework.

Graduate Record Exam


Miller Analogies Test

  • GRE and MAT scores are only one of the factors considered in admissions decisions. These test scores are not the sole criteria for admission.
  • Recommended minimum scores for GRE: 
    Verbal score of 425/148; Quantitative score of 425/140, and Analytical score of 3.5 (old scoring system - 425)
  • Recommended minimum scores for MAT: 
    New scoring system - 390. Old scoring system - 36.

Doctor of Education Biographical Career Goal Statement (writing sample)


  • The Doctor of Education Biographical Career Goal Statement will serve as a writing sample.

Three Recommendations

(General Recommendation Form Required)

  • Recommendations from colleagues in your current or previous professional setting.
  • One recommendation must be from a current or recent supervisor. 
  • Must have 3 years minimum acceptable school or related agency experience.

VSU Medical Form

  • The form must be completed and signed by the student/applicant.
  • This form must be received prior to enrollment, NOT prior to admission.
  • Applicants who are currently enrolled, and those who attended VSU in the past, are not required to resubmit the Medical Form

Verification of Lawful Presence

(For applicants who believe they qualify for in-state tuition or a residency waiver.)

  • This is not required for individuals who do not qualify for in-state tuition or a residency waiver.
  • This must be received prior to enrollment (if applicable), NOT prior to admission.
  • Citizenship documentation is needed for any applicant who wishes to be considered for in-state tuition.
  • Complete list of accepted documents and information on residency.

Unless otherwise indicated above, all required documents must be received on or before the admission deadline for your file to be reviewed. It is the applicant's responsibility to allow adequate time for document delivery and to en-sure receipt of documents. Please allow at least 7-10 days for delivery by mail.

Important Program Information

Completed applications are reviewed by a doctoral admissions committee comprised of leadership doctoral faculty.  Admissions decisions are based on a composite of qualitative and quantitative factors including the academic writing sample, recommendations, professional activities/achievements, prior grades, and test scores.  Many factors influence admissions decisions including qualifications of other applicants and space available in the program. 

Petition for Admission by Exception

  • Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements stated above may submit a request for admission by exception to the Graduate School.
  • The petition should be in the form of a letter.  It should state any extenuating circumstances the applicant wishes to have considered and must state why the applicant believes that he or she will be successful if admitted to the program. The letter should be addressed to the Departmental Doctoral Admissions Committee.  The letter should be submitted as part of the application packet. 

Doctoral candidates considered for admission by the Doctoral Admissions Committee may be required to appear for an interview before final decisions are rendered.

International Applicants

International applicants must meet all admission criteria and documentation requirements as defined by the program, however, additional documentation may be required.  Please review the information below for specific information and guidelines.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Exam or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – Applicants whose first language is not English (based on country of citizenship) must submit official scores on the TOEFL exam or IELTS exam. International applicants whose first language is not English but who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution may be exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement.
  • Certificate of Finances - The Certificate of Finance is required of any applicant requiring a student visa to enter the United States to complete his or her studies. This document is considered a part of the application for admission and applications will not be reviewed without this document. Applicants who do not require an I-20 student visa to complete their studies are exempt from this requirement.
  • Evaluation of International Transcripts - Applicants who have completed coursework at an institution outside of the United States must submit a course-by-course evaluation of the coursework.  This transcript evaluation must be completed by an international education credentials evaluation service such as Josef Silny, ECE, etc.  The transcript evaluation does not replace the transcript requirement. Official transcripts are still required.

Admission Classifications

  • The Doctor of Education Leadership program ONLY admits Regular Status students. 
  • Probationary Status is not available for Doctor of Education programs at Valdosta State University.
  • Irregular Admission is not available for Doctor of Education programs at Valdosta State University

Admission Questions

For admission questions about this program, please contact the Graduate School by phone, email, or stop by our office.

Applicant Resources

Application Tips

  • Be familiar with Graduate School’s application requirements and forms 
  • Test scores should be as current as possible. We prefer no older than five years. If they are borderline, consider taking them again. We will accept your highest score(s).
  • Graduate GPA’s should be no lower than 3.5. on a 4.0 scale.
  • Your writing sample should be well structured, answer the questions, and have no grammatical errors.
  • Your resume and professional background should be complete, up to date, and contain sufficient information to judge likelihood of success in doctoral work.
  • At least one letter of reference should come from an immediate supervisor who knows your work. If possible, another should come from a previous supervisor.
  • Make sure ALL of your material is submitted to Graduate School well before the cutoff date.

Graduation Requirements

  1. A candidate must successfully complete, defend and submit a dissertation.
  2. A candidate must successfully complete a written comprehensive examination before admission to candidacy.
  3. A candidate must have a GPA of 3.25 or above on all doctoral coursework.
  4. A candidate must complete an application for graduation one semester prior to their expected graduation date.

Program Retention, Dismissal, and Readmission

  1. The academic residency requirements are satisfied upon completion of two consecutive semesters of six semester hours or more of coursework.
  2. No more than 6 semester hours of post-master’s academic work may be transferred from another institution into a Dewar College of Education doctoral program.  Transfer credit will be evaluated after admission, by the academic department.  To be eligible, credit must be no more than seven years old prior to completion of the degree.
  3. Earning grades below “B” in graduate courses will result in the following consequences: Students admitted Fall 2011 and thereafter will be dismissed from the Graduate School if they accumulate three or more academic deficiency points unless otherwise indicated by individual program policy. A grade of “C” (although it may be credited toward a degree) equals one deficiency point. A grade of “D,” “WF” or “F,” or “U” (none of which will be credited toward a degree) equals two deficiency points. Candidates admitted BEFORE Fall 2011 and receiving two grades below “C” (“D”, “F”, “WF”,“U”) will be dismissed from the program. One grade below a "C" results in a warning.
  4. If dismissed from the program a student will not be considered for readmission.
  5. Candidates failing to maintain a 3.25 GPA on all doctoral coursework may face academic sanctions as determined by the Doctoral Coordinating Committee.
  6. A comprehensive exam must be successfully completed prior to entering candidacy Candidates are permitted two attempts to complete the comprehensive exams. Candidates who fail to successfully complete the comprehensive exam after two attempts will be dismissed from the program.
  7. Doctoral candidates may take up to five years from the term in which comprehensive exams are taken and passed to complete their dissertation work. A one year emergency stop-out may be requested by the student through the Emergency Stop-Out Form. During the stop-out the student must register for a minimum of 1 hour of dissertation credit per term. If the dissertation proposal has been approved before the stop-out year then an updated and reapproved proposal is required by the end of the first semester following the stop-out. An additional extension of two years beyond the 5+1 year limit would require successful completion of a second comprehensive exam that is scheduled, taken, and graded within one term of the expiration of the 5+1 year limit. The two years will begin in the term after the second comprehensive exam is passed. The dissertation proposal must be updated to reflect current literature. The updated proposal must be approved by the dissertation committee during the first term of the two year extension. Failure to pass the second comprehensive exam will terminate the dissertation process
  • 229.333.5633
  • 229.259.5094
  • Curriculum, Leadership, and Technology Building
    Second Floor
    1310 N. Patterson St.
    Valdosta, GA 31698