Admission Requirements

The admissions process for the Ed.D. Program reflects and enacts the principles and values of the program regarding engagement, reflection, the exercise of agency, working for change, and a commitment to professional development and learning. We highly recommend that anyone interested in the program attend an information session, which covers the philosophical framework of the program values and expectations. It also provides potential applicants with the opportunity to participate in a dialogue with current students and program faculty.

Ideal candidates have experience in an educational role and demonstrated leadership or leadership potential. Furthermore, they are likely to be successful in a challenging doctoral program and welcome the opportunity to interact with university faculty, peers, and colleagues in a search for effective answers to troubling problems in education.

To be eligible for the educational doctorate program, students must hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution and have a previous GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.  The admission requirements for EdD in Educational Leadership, as well as the additional admissions requirements for the concentrations pursued alongside the degree are as follows:

Admission Requirements for EdD Degree only

  • Personal statement (approximately 3 pages)
    • Discusses why an applicant is interested in further study and articulates an issue or problem of interest or concern.
  • Writing sample
    • Preferably a course paper from an applicant's master's program. Alternatively, applicants can write a short (3-5 page) academic response to readings provided (upon request) by the doctoral program.
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • At least two of the letters should be from faculty in the applicant's master's program.
  • Transcripts (undergraduate and graduate)
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • College of Education graduate application and $40 application fee

Some applicants will be invited to interview with two or three Ed.D. Program faculty members — a conversation that will provide an opportunity for candidates to become familiar with the program and the faculty, as well as an opportunity for faculty members to get to know prospective candidates. Applicants living outside the Chicago area will engage in an appropriate, reciprocal substitute for this dialogue.

Students will be selected from the pool of qualified applicants by the Ed.D. Admissions Committee.    

Additional Admission Requirements for Superintendent Endorsement

To be considered for admissions into the Superintendent Endorsement program, doctoral students must have a master’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better and provide evidence of the following items to the Office of Graduate Admission:

  • Completed application
  • Valid Illinois teaching license with at least two years of teaching experience
  • Two years of full-time administrative experience on a valid administrative license with the general administrative endorsement
  • Proof of passing the Basic Skills/TAP and Superintendent content- area tests.

Additional Admission Requirements for Teacher Leader Endorsement

To be eligible for this program, students must have a master’s degree and two years of full-time teaching experience. To apply, please submit the following items to The Office of Graduate Admission:

  • Completed application
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors or supervisors
  • Statement of purpose indicating professional development goals and related experience (approximately 750 words)
  • A copy of a valid Illinois teaching license
  • Proof of passing the Basic Skills Test or TAP exam

Additional Admission Requirements for Principal Licensure

To be eligible for the Principal Licensure program, students must hold a master’s degree from an accredited institution and must also possess at least two years of full-time successful teaching experience.  To apply, please submit the following items to The Office of Graduate Admission:

  • A completed application
  • A copy of valid Illinois teaching license
  • Proof of passing Basic Skills Test or TAP Exam
  • One letter from district office recommending entrance into the principal preparation program
  • Four letters of recommendation (two from supervisors and two from colleagues)
  • Statement of purpose indicating why you want to be a principal

Upon initial review the process will include a required interview. Candidates will be expected to complete an on-site writing sample during the interview and submit a teaching portfolio.

Degree Prerequisites

Doctoral candidates must have completed graduate level course work in school administration, school law, and school finance.