Doctoral FAQs

Admissions and Applications

1. What items should I submit as an applicant for the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership?
Along with an application, prospective students in the proposed program will be required to:

  • Submit a portfolio that demonstrates potential for success in the program, including prior teaching and leadership experience. The information should be organized into distinct sections and professionally presented.
  • Provide scores from the Graduate Record Examination (verbal and quantitative), preferably in the higher percentile.
  • Submit transcripts showing a completed master’s degree from an accredited institution in an area appropriate to the proposed discipline of study.
  • Have a 3.2 GPA on all completed graduate work.
  • Demonstrate strong communication skills through an oral interview and a writing sample.
  • Provide evidence of high motivation for advanced graduate work in a letter of intent/purpose.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation normally from faculty sufficiently acquainted with the applicant’s ability and scholarship for successful doctoral studies. At least one reference should be completed by a k-12 or university educator.
  • International students whose first language is not English must obtain a score of 600 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

2. When is the deadline for applying to the program?
In order to be considered for admission, both the graduate and departmental applications must be submitted by the deadline provided by the program which is typically mid-way during the spring semester. For the exact date, please visit Application Process. When your file is complete and has been evaluated, all applicants meeting the selection requirements will be contacted for a visit with the faculty to participate in an interview as well as submit a writing sample and a portfolio. This interview process typically occurs towards the end of the spring semester.

3. Where should I submit application materials?
Please mail all application materials to The Graduate School at the following address:
The Office of Graduate Studies
Prairie View A&M University
P.O. Box 519, MS 2800
Prairie View, TX 77446

4. How long after I have submitted my application and fees will I know if I am invited for an interview?
After the deadline has passed for submission of application materials and after these materials have been processed by the Office of Graduate Studies, you will be notified on the status of your application. This process will occur as soon as possible after the department processes your information (typically around the end of the spring semester). Applicants to the doctoral program are evaluated using an Application Assessment Matrix. Candidates, accepted to the program, are admitted for the fall of each year.

5. Who should I ask to provide a reference?
References should be from individuals who can help establish your potential both academically and professionally. At least one reference should be completed by a k-12 or university educator.

6. What if I am currently a student and will be graduating the semester of the application deadline?
You should submit an official transcript with grades through the preceding term, as well as a listing of the courses in which you are currently enrolled. You should submit the final transcript as soon as possible before the interview phase.

7. How long is my statement of purpose and what should I discuss?
The statement of purpose i.e. statement of intent should be ~500 – 1,000 words, typed and double-spaced. It must be an original document conceptualized solely by you. Your statement should address your objectives for pursuing the doctoral degree, background information, an overview of your accomplishments, your beliefs about education, and how you can become an educational leader who impacts the educational system and global context of schooling and learning.

8. Can I be admitted at the beginning of any semester during the year?
Currently, selected applicants are admitted for the fall semester of each year. The courses follow a cohort schedule and typically follow a rotation cycle.

9. Does my masters’ degree have to be in an education related major to get in the Ph.D. program?
Candidates are welcome to apply who have degrees in a variety of fields. The certification process (within the Master of Education program) requires specific courses from degrees for certification.

10. What is the interview process for applicants? Who is selected for an interview?
The admissions committee will select the candidates meeting the selection criteria for interviews. If selected, you will be invited for individual interviews and completion of a writing sample.

11. Does my resume or vita need to be of a particular length or format?
No. You have the discretion to determine the length and format of your resume or vita. The format should follow a professional style for the organization and content.

12. What score on the Graduate Record Exam do you require and what are the time limits on acceptance of scores?
GRE scores are assessed using a points system on an Application Assessment Matrix. You can receive more points for higher scores; however the GRE score only comprises 10% of the evaluation criteria. If accepted, the GRE scores must be within 10 years old at the time of enrollment in classes in the program.

13. What else is included on the Application Assessment Matrix?
Points are awarded for thoroughly and accurately completed applications, purpose statement, GRE scores, GPA, professional experience, and vitae. A minimum of 84.5 points is required to be invited for an interview.


1. Can transfer classes be accepted?
Candidates are required to submit the Transfer Credit Form and a copy of the respective university’s catalog description in order to apply for transfer credit to be accepted. The form can be obtained from an academic advisor. Under current graduate school policy, only six (6) credit hours may be transferred into the doctoral from an accredited university.

2. Do I have to take the maximum amount of credit offered per semester?
Part time degree candidates may be admitted to the program but must complete the degree within seven years. Candidates are advised to follow the schedule along the cohort format courses are only offered once a year (excluding EDUL 8003:Dissertation).

3. What GPA is required to remain in the program?
Candidates must have a 3.20GPA or higher at the time of graduation. Candidates who receive a grade below a C will be dismissed from the program.

4. I want to be qualified as an administrator. If I receive a Ph.D., will I automatically have K-12 leadership certification?
Applicants for certification must take and successfully pass the TExES # 64 (Superintendent) exam and/or #68 (Principal) exam. Please contact the College of Education Office of Certification for information about administrative certification. You may also access the information by visiting Select the Colleges and Schools tab, select College of Education and then select Office of Teacher Certification. Additionally, faculty members in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling offer practice and review sessions to assist students with exam preparation. For more information about these sessions , please visit and select the TExES link found at the selection menu to the left of the screen.

5. Do the courses have to be taken in any particular order?
Yes. Candidates should follow the approved schedule of courses. Because of the course rotation cycle, courses are typically offered once per year.

6. Do candidates in the program complete comprehensive examinations?
Yes, the comprehensive exam is offered in the last semester of students’ pre-dissertation coursework (fall and or spring) and can be held on two concurrent days or at a date recommended by the program. Currently, the exams are offered surrounding four areas of study : (a) Educational Innovation and Change, (b) Educational Leadership Theory and Practice, (c) Educational Philosophy), and (d) Educational Research and Statistical Methods. Instructors in the Educational Leadership and Counseling department, who have taught the content of the section and have expertise in the area of specialty craft the comprehensive examination. As a general practice, the evaluation of examinations includes, but is not solely limited to the following: content, integration of appropriate research and theory, accuracy of responses, and writing mechanics commensurate with the Ph.D. level. Study guides are available and by student request.  Eligible students should notify the Ph.D. Program Coordinator and complete the Comprehensive Examination Application with required supplemental materials, which include copies of: (1) degree plan, (2) GRE, and (3) transcript.

7. After enrolling in the program, how long does it take to complete the Ph.D.?
If completing the degree following the cohort cycle, candidates can typically complete the required courses (excluding dissertation hours) within a 2-2 ½year time frame. After completing the degree courses and successfully passing comprehensive examinations, candidates must successfully defend the doctoral proposal and dissertation. The minimum number of dissertation hours is 12 hours of coursework. Candidates can take additional dissertation hours, but the degree must be completed within seven years. Financial aid regulations limit the total number of hours obtained in the doctoral degree (please select the Financial Aid quick link from

Program and Course Delivery

1. When are the classes offered?
For the fall and spring semesters, the classes are offered weekly on Friday evenings (5:30-8:20 p.m.) and Saturdays (8:00-10:50 a.m. and 11:00 am. – 1:50 pm.) over 16 weeks. During the summer semester, the classes are offered weekly Friday evenings (5:00-9:30 pm.) and Saturdays (8:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. and 1:00 am. – 5:30 p.m.) over 10 weeks.

2. Are there online courses in the PVAMU Educational Leadership doctoral program?
Only five classes have been approved for online delivery and these courses are offered intermittently. Online courses will have an indication of “Z” by the section number in Panther Tracks (the student registration system found at Professors also have the discretion of offering hybrid courses (quasi online/quasi face-to-face), but the class would primarily occur in a face-to-face format.

  • EDUL 7223 Educational Governance
  • EDUL 7233 School-Community Relations
  • EDUL 7243 Educational Facilities Planning and Management
  • EDUL 7263 Critical Issues in Educational Leadership
  • EDUL 7303 Educational Budgeting and Resource Allocation

3. Is the dissertation to be quantitative and/or qualitative in nature?
The dissertation can follow both formats or can encompass both (i.e. mixed-methods). The dissertation is crafted in consultation with the major professor.

4. How can I determine the building and room location of my classes?
Please go to and select the Register for classes, view and pay fees option. Select Class Schedule. Then input the requested course name. You will be able to view the instructor and location information.

5. What areas are available to receive a concentration?
Concentrations are approved for the following areas: (a) General Administration and Superintendency, (b)Human Resource Management, and (c) Higher Education Administration. Candidates complete designated courses to satisfy the concentration area requirement and designated concentrations are offered on a rotation basis. To determine the concentrations available for the upcoming cycle, candidates will be offered the options during the concentration semesters during their matriculation in the program (typically semesters 5 or 6).

6. What types of positions can graduates with a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership obtain?
Graduates with a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership can work in school and college systems, international education agencies, higher education college governing bodies, departments of education, national policy organizations, national nonprofits or mission-based for-profits, and private foundations.

Financial Assistance

1. Can I get financial aid through PVAMU?
Financial aid is processed by the Office of Financial aid located on the third floor of the Memorial Student Center (MSC). Please select the Financial Aid option found in the Quick Links area of

2. What is the cost of attending PVAMU each year?
This information can be accessed at Select Financial aid from the Quick Links section (upper right hand area). Select Cost of Attendance and the academic year of interest. Scroll down to the Graduate Tuition area. This information will provide the up-to-date cost chart.

3. Where can I find information regarding opportunities, options, and assistance for international students? Please visit the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Information about this office can be found at Office of Multicultural Affairs.

4. Where on the PVAMU campus can I find the Ph.D. program for Educational Leadership Offices?
The office of the coordinator for the doctoral program in Educational Leadership can be found in the Delco building, Suite 232. Please contact the department at 936-261-3530 for additional information, questions, or to attend an informational session about the program. The prospective student information sessions will be held throughout the year.

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