VCU Bulletins

Education, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Admission requirements

The Ph.D. in Education program is designed for scholars and practitioners who wish to pursue advanced study in education. Preference is given to applicants who occupy positions of organizational leadership and have responsibility (or demonstrate potential) for planning, administering, conducting and evaluating educational programs, and to applicants who show potential for contributing to scholarship in the field of education.

Admissions requirements

Admission is highly competitive and is based on multiple indicators. Preference is given to qualified applicants who demonstrate serious purpose, scholastic excellence, superior preparation and appropriate experience for the program.

The admission requirements fall into the following three categories:

Academic criteria

Applicants are expected to have at least a 3.5 GPA on all graduate work (or undergraduate work if in the educational psychology track). In addition, applicants should have a composite score of at least 1000 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE with a minimum of 50th percentile on the verbal test.

External criteria


The applicant must submit a single statement in which he or she describes: (1) his or her work experience; (2) personal career goals and how they have emerged from his or her work experience; (3) the manner in which the doctoral program will enhance his or her career goals; and (4) what he or she might contribute to the program.

In addition, applicants who meet the first-tier admission requirements must also complete a controlled writing assessment. Details of this assessment are provided in the application packet (see below).

Admissions process

Admissions decisions occur in a two-tiered process. In the first tier, applicants are evaluated for academic potential based on the three academic criteria listed above. Applicants who meet the academic criteria will have their full applications forwarded to the track faculty for further review in the second tier of the process. At this level, an applicant’s personal statements, resume and letters of reference are evaluated. In addition, applicants may be invited for a personal interview and a controlled writing assessment. After the interview and writing assessment are completed and evalutated, each applicant is notified by mail of the admission decision.

Application packet

Applicants for admission to the program must complete an admission packet, which includes the VCU Application for Graduate Study as well as supplementary essay materials. Admission packets are available from:

Virginia Commonwealth University
Graduate School
1001 Grove Avenue
P.O. Box 843051
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3051
(804) 828-6916

Virginia Commonwealth University
School of Education
Office of Doctoral Studies
P.O. Box 842020
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2020
(804) 827-2657

The applicant is encouraged to check, in advance of the deadline date, the status of his or her application packet to ensure that all components are in the packet by the deadline. Inquiries should be made to the Office of Doctoral Studies in the School of Education. Incomplete packets will not be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.

Delayed admission

Anyone admitted for a particular year may request a delay of one year for entrance to the program. Normally this request will be granted. Individuals requiring a further delay will be required to reapply for admission. The request for delayed admission must be transmitted in writing to the director of the Office of Doctoral Studies and must state the reasons for the request and the date that the individual plans to begin the program.


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Last update: 7/15/2008

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