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To inquire about this program:

Dr. Julia Kirk | 865.531.4131 | [email protected]

Domestic Applicants

Domestic applicants seeking admission to the doctoral program must meet the following criteria and submit the required documentation as stipulated. Admission packages for membership in the fall cohort group must be submitted in completed form prior to May 1 st of the year in which the candidate seeks admission. The admissions process consists of two stages with the first being a paper-based document review and the second, a performance-based assessment that includes a writing sample and interview.

Stage One: Documents Required for Application Package

  1. Application Forms - University online form and Program-specific form
  2. Application fee of $50 (USD), non-refundable
  3. Examination Data Official score reports from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) depicting performance in the areas of quantitative reasoning, and verbal and analytic writing are required. These data must be fewer than five (5) years old as of the date of application. Applicants must obtain a minimum combined verbal and quantitative score of 285 and a minimum analytical writing score of 3.5. For those applicants who have not completed the Graduate Record Examination, a provisional admission[1] may be granted for a period of time during which the applicant prepares and registers for the examination. *The EdD program and administration acknowledge that GRE testing sites have been closed due to COVID-19. In lieu of GRE scores, we will accept a Professional Document whether it's from a workplace activity, a graduate program, or a publication that highlights your writing abilities. We ask that this document represent your work alone and is not a group project. Please forward to Stephanie Johnson ([email protected]) at your earliest convenience.
  4. Official Transcripts[2] for all graduate-level coursework
  5. Three (3) recommendations from persons knowledgeable of the applicant's professional experience and skills (A link can be sent to recommenders via your online application)
  6. Resume or Curriculum Vitae depicting professional history (Please email directly to Stephanie Johnson)

The Admissions Committee will review all documents and rate the applicants based on their ability to complete requirements within the doctoral program successfully. In some cases, a conditional status may be granted with additional preparation required in order for an applicant to obtain full graduate status. In the event this review leads the Committee to make an affirmative decision, the applicant will advance to Stage Two of the application process. All decisions made by the Admissions Committee are final.

Stage Two: Performance-Based Assessment Components

Those applicants recommended for additional consideration will be invited to complete the following assessments at the Cedar Bluff Campus in Knoxville, TN:

  1. Writing Sample. In a proctored setting, applicants will have a specified period of time in which to respond in writing to a select number of essay questions.
  2. Structured Interview. Applicants will participate in personal interviews with members of the doctoral program faculty.


The Admissions Committee will review all available data and forward a final recommendation for, or denial of, admission to the applicant. The decision of the Admissions Committee is final. Upon notice of acceptance, applicants will work with an assigned faculty member to complete a program of study appropriate to the degree program and concentration(s) she or he has selected. Sample program of studies plans are posted and available for review on the School of Education website ( Admitted applicants will be required to attend a program orientation before beginning their work in the program. Failure to do so may result in a deferred enrollment or re-assessment of the admittance decision.


Admission Statuses


Applicants may also be admitted to the doctoral program on a conditional basis. An assignment of this status indicates that, although all mandatory admissions paperwork has been duly submitted, one or more criteria required for program admission have not yet been met. Conditional status is often accorded as a result of GRE scores that do not meet the program's required level of performance.

Candidates who enter with a conditional status will submit a collection of assignments from the first two terms of coursework which will be subject to review by two doctoral faculty members. This review will occur at the end of the second term of coursework

Given that this review indicates, in the opinion of the faculty, the candidate has the required knowledge and skills to successfully complete the program, his or her admission will be changed to reflect full graduate status.

Full Graduate Status

Candidates who have successfully met all program requirements, upon admission, are accorded full graduate status.

****TOEFL scores are non-negotiable - applicants failing to perform at the stipulated level shall not be considered for admission to the program

****The GRE scores may be waived in lieu of an acceptable TOEFL or IELTS score