Leadership Studies, Ed.D.

Admission Requirements

The decision to admit an applicant to doctoral work constitutes a significant institutional and faculty commitment in the form of advising, teaching, chairing or serving on student committees, collaboratively conducting and presenting research, evaluating assessments, and guiding the successful completion of the dissertation. The applicant should note the decision to admit students to the doctoral program is a collective judgment of the program faculty and represents their determination of the likelihood that the candidate will succeed in all major phases of the degree program. These judgments take into account the applicant’s professional experiences, communication and thinking skills, and other relevant capabilities and dispositions, both individually and relative to the characteristics of the entire, active applicant pool. Admission to the program is selective and competitive, thus, an applicant is not automatically admitted on the basis of meeting only the minimum criteria. A variety of performance measures may be considered during the admission application review, via a formal and objective evaluation process including, but not limited to, undergraduate and graduate grade point averages and scores on the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).  The Fall 2024 admission cycle (applications for a Fall 2024 start) is the final admission cycle for which results from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) may be considered. 

Application and Admission Dates 

The “Marshall University Graduate Application for Admission” must be completed and submitted with the appropriate application fee. The application may be completed via the Marshall University Application for Graduate Admission and the applicant should indicate on the application that they desire to be accepted into the online doctor of education (EDD) program in Leadership Studies. The Leadership Studies Doctoral Program reviews application files once completed, with all required credentials submitted.  

The Ed.D. program utilizes a selective and competitive admission process, for fall semester admission only. The priority deadline for full consideration is April 15, prior to the fall term for which the applicant is seeking admission.  Applications from well-qualified candidates, received after April 15, may be considered for admission if capacity remains in the program. The program may also choose to offer a waitlist option, at its sole discretion, for select admission terms, depending on applicant qualifications and available space in the program. 

All application materials, including official transcripts and test scores must be on file in the MU Graduate Admissions Office and the Leadership Studies Ed.D. Office before admission requests will be considered. The following items are required for all students applying for admission to the LS Ed.D. program.

Items Submitted to MU Graduate Admissions Office 

Application: The “Marshall University Graduate Application for Admission” must be completed and submitted with the appropriate application fee. The application may be completed online at Graduate Admissions Application. The applicant indicates on the application that s/he desires to be accepted into the online doctor of education (Ed.D.) program and specifies the major of Leadership Studies (major code GEJ0). The program major should be selected based upon past experience, career aspirations, and personal aptitudes of the applicant.

Transcripts: The applicant must request that official transcripts of all completed undergraduate and graduate degree programs be sent by the degree-granting institution(s) to the MU Graduate Admissions Office. A minimum graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is required in order to be considered for admission. A master’s degree from an accepted, accredited institution is required for admission.

Admission Test Score: The applicant must request an official record of test scores, sent directly from the required testing agency to the MU Graduate Admissions Office. Copies from applicants are not acceptable. Applicants must reach at least the 50th percentile or higher on a single test administration in order to be considered for admission and scores may be no more than five years old. At the sole discretion of the program, a waiver may be considered for graduate admission exams on a very limited basis, when an applicant holds an earned doctoral degree from an accepted, accredited institution and has exhibited outstanding academic and professional achievement. Students who have completed other graduate admissions exams (e.g., LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, etc.) with a score at or above the 50th percentile within the last five years may contact the LS Doctoral Program Coordinator to discuss admission test requirements.

Items Submitted to the Leadership Studies Ed.D. Office

The following items are to be submitted to the Leadership Studies Ed.D. Office. Hard copies may be sent to 100 Angus E. Peyton Drive, South Charleston, WV 25303-1600. Electronic copies may be sent to the LS Ed.D. administrative staff. 

Goals Statement: The applicant must provide a goal statement, written in essay format, (500- 750 words) which must address the following topics: professional experiences that provide a basis for considering the applicant’s admission to the program; role of the EdD in the applicant’s professional growth plan; personal strengths that will contribute to the applicant’s success in the Ed.D. program; and additional information the applicant deems relevant to the admissions process and decision.

The applicant’s ability to synthesize ideas to the level required for work in this advanced degree program and the appropriateness  of the applicant’s goals as they relate to the objectives of the Ed.D. program will be assessed. The goals statement may be mailed or sent electronically as a Microsoft Word document to the address listed above.
Resume: The applicant must provide a current professional CV or resume, including educational and work experience and current address, phone number(s), and email address. These documents may also be submitted through one of the addresses above.    

Interview and Assessment

Upon review of the completed application materials, applicants who are selected to participate in an initial, electronic interview and writing assessment will be notified.  Formal and established criteria will be utilized by program faculty to objectively review each applicant and determine admissibility. Being invited to interview does not guarantee admission to the program. Interviews and assessments provide the faculty with the opportunity to closely examine applicants’ qualifications and goals beyond the printed materials submitted in the application process.  Interviews and assessments will be conducted electronically, and applicants will be notified as soon as possible regarding the faculty’s decision regarding their applications for admission. 

Applicants who are denied admission to the program and wish to be reconsidered may submit a written request to the LS Doctoral Program Coordinator.  Records of applicants who are not admitted will be maintained on file by the LS Ed.D. Office for a period of one year.

An applicant must have earned at least a master’s degree from an accredited institution in Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, or a related field. The LS doctoral program may admit applicants conditionally for one term, at the program’s discretion, when the applicant is currently enrolled in a required degree program that will be completed prior to the beginning of enrollment in the LS doctoral program and has met all other admission criteria. Final, official degree transcripts must be received by MU Admissions before the student may enroll for the subsequent term. Details of all admission requirements and other pertinent information can be found at www.marshall.edu/lsedd.

Program Requirements

To remain in good standing, and in addition to Marshall University's standards for good standing at the graduate level, students admitted to the LS Ed.D. program must adhere to all policies and procedures outlined in the Leadership Studies Ed.D. Handbook, including the expectations listed below: 

  • Maintain continuous enrollment in the program from admission and first term of enrollment through graduation, with satisfactory progress toward the degree and dissertation (i.e., completion of coursework two out of three contiguous terms from admission to the program through admission to candidacy; after admission to candidacy, the student must be enrolled every term (i.e., spring, summer and fall). 
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.5 in the doctoral program.  Courses with a grade of “C” or below will not count toward the doctoral degree.
  • Activate and utilize their official MU email address for program communication. Student contact information must remain updated with the University Registrar’s Office, the LS Ed.D. program office, and the student’s advisor. 
  • Identify an external committee member no later than the end of the first two courses in the research block. 
  • A “Doctoral Plan of Study” form must be signed by the student, the LS Program Director and the LS Doctoral Program Coordinator no later than one term following admission to the program.
  • Satisfactory progress toward completion of the six-course, three-block research core, with demonstrable progress toward completion of the dissertation. Students who receive a grade of No Credit (NC) in either LS 764 or LS 765 will be required to repeat the course. Students who receive two consecutive grades of No Credit (NC) in either LS 764, LS 765, or LS 797 will be dismissed from the program.
  • Completion of all degree requirements within 2 years of approval of prospectus and admission to candidacy

Dismissal from the Program: If the student fails to meet any or all expectations set forth by  Marshall University or the program (including continuous enrollment, maintaining a minimum 3.5 GPA, progress toward completion of the dissertation or degree within the specified time periods, and/or execution of a completed and signed Plan of Study form), the student may be subject to dismissal from the program. Any student who has earned less than a 3.5 GPA, either overall or in their current major, will be placed on academic probation by the Dean of the College of Education and Professional Development. If the student fails to address their academic deficiencies, per university policy and as agreed upon by the LS Program Coordinator and the Dean of COEPD, they will be dismissed from the program. Courses with a grade of “C” or below will not count toward the doctoral degree. 

  • The student will be notified by registered mail of dismissal from the program and given the opportunity of due process as defined by the Marshall University Graduate Catalog in writing. 
  • If the appeal is granted, the student must submit in writing a plan to complete the program in a reasonable time.
  • If the appeal is denied, the student will be dismissed from the program and prevented from registering for future courses in the program. 

Plan of Study

Content Courses
LS 707Ethical Theory3
LS 709Leadership in a Global Crisis3
LS 710Principles of Leadership3
LS 724Organizational Analysis3
LS 735Policy Studies3
LS 756Current Issues in Leadership3
Research Courses
EDF 676Statistical Methods3
EDF 703Research Design3
EDF 625Qualitative Research Educ3
EDF 711Survey Research in Education3
LS 764Adv Research I3
LS 765Adv Res II in Lead Studies3
LS 797Dissertation Research9