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Ph.D. Program

Admission Requirements and Process

Admission to the doctoral program in Higher Education is determined by an admission committee composed of program faculty. An earned GPA of 3.3 (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate study is required. The School of Education requires all applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores as part of the application packet, however there is no minimum cutoff score for admission. TOEFL scores are required of all international students whose first language is not English, except those applicants who have graduated from an accredited university where English is the language of instruction. TOEFL scores are not required of US permanent residents and US naturalized citizens. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is also accepted; a 6.5 minimum score is required. International applicants should consult the Graduate School web page for more information about the TOEFL and or other application requirements. Additional admission procedures are determined by the HED Admission Committee.

Application Process

The initial application includes the following elements:

  1. The Graduate School on-line application, including the supplemental material

    *NOTE: When starting the online application please select "Leadership, Counseling, and Research" as the program of study, then "Higher Education" as the program option.

  2. Remission of the application fee to the Graduate School (either on-line payment or send a check payable to Treasurer, Virginia Tech to the Graduate School, Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown (MC0325), Virginia Tech, 155 Otey St., NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061
  3. An unofficial transcript(s) of all previous academic work
  4. Three letters of recommendation, at least one from a college professor who knows the quality of your previous academic work, and at least one from a professional reference, such as a current or former employer. References may be submitted electronically by your referees as part of your application process; electronic submission is strongly encouraged. (Referees may upload a separately written letter in pdf format; they will not be required to retype material in order to submit.) However, if your referee prefers to mail the recommendation, send it to: Higher Education Recruitment Coordinator,1750 Kraft Dr. Suite 2000 Blacksburg, VA 24060A brief (2-3 page) personal statement focused on academic and professional goals. Questions to address in the statement are included in the supplemental section of the Graduate School application
  5. GRE Scores

For full consideration, all application materials must be received by January 15. Meeting this deadline is important so that you may participate in subsequent deadlines leading up to Interview Weekend, including the writing sample and applying for GA positions.

Upon receipt of your application, program faculty will review your file and determine whether further consideration is warranted. Qualified applicants are then invited to an Interview Weekend scheduled in late February or early March. 

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. Anyone having questions concerning any of those regulations should contact the Office of Equity and Access, North End Center, 300 Turner Street NW Suite 2300 (0138), Blacksburg, VA 24061, 540-231-9331.