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Doctorate in Educational Leadership College of Education

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Apply for the Ed.D. program

Thank you for your interest in the CSUS Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program! Please read all instructions carefully and thoroughly before completing the Fall 2024 application process. Applicants must submit ALL application documents by the due date to be considered for admission. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

The GRE requirement is suspended. If applicants send in GRE scores, the scores cannot be taken into consideration when making admissions decisions.

Application Deadlines

FALL 2024

Begin accepting applications: Sunday October 1, 2023
Admission Deadline: Thursday February 1, 2024 at 5 pm Pacific Standard Time

Video | EdD Info Session

Program Description

The Doctoral Program in Transformational Leadership is an award-winning Ed.D. program that represents a dynamic collaborative effort between the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program in the College of Education and the Department of Public Policy and Administration in Social Science and Interdisciplinary Studies. This program connects theory to practice for the purposes of impacting educational systems.

Our Cohort-based program is designed for working professionals, and classes are offered on Friday nights and Saturdays. Groups of students are admitted each year and take courses together. This creates several distinct advantages of group membership during graduate study which are intentionally fostered in the program:

  • Cohorts offer support to candidates and provide opportunities for members to learn from one another.
  • Cohorts establish professional ties that often last beyond the doctoral program itself; such networks are valuable in terms of continued professional support and growth.
  • Fostering and monitoring candidates’ progress is enhanced in cohorts. The group carries with it the expectation that all but the occasional candidate will complete the program successfully, including such standard benchmarks as the qualifying examination, advancement to candidacy, and completion of the dissertation.

Minimum Admission Requirements

The Ed.D. Program admits candidates who meet the academic requirements for the Ed.D. degree program and who possess personal qualities and professional experiences that suggest a strong potential for success as doctoral candidates and as educational leaders in preK-12, community colleges, and higher education.

Applicants must have:

  • An earned baccalaureate degree and master's degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution of higher education with a grade point average in upper division and graduate study of 3.0 or above;
  • Sufficient preparation and experience pertinent to educational leadership and a commitment to educational equity and racial justice;
  • Demonstrated educational leadership potential and skills including successful experience in school, postsecondary, community, and/or policy leadership;
  • Advanced writing and criticality to analyze literature and formulate a research agenda;
  • Demonstrated academic excellence, problem-solving ability, and an interest in assessing and bringing about improvements within current educational policies and practices.

Meeting these minimum requirements qualifies an individual for admissions consideration but does not guarantee admission to the Program. Admissions will be granted on a competitive basis.

Required Application Materials

A complete application includes:

  • Statement of Purpose:

Describe your reasons for pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership. How do you aim to utilize the knowledge and skills you gain in this program towards becoming a systems-leader in education?

  • Your statement should be your own original work and may not be written, in part or in whole, by a third party. It should be in electronic format, 12-point font, double-spaced, and no more than 3-pages. International applicants must write their statement in English; the use of translators is not permitted.
  • Essays:

Please address and label each prompt separately, utilizing headings (Prompt A, Prompt B, Prompt C).

  1. Short Essay prompt (500 words)
    What preparation and experiences make you highly qualified to benefit from Sacramento State’s Doctorate in Educational Leadership? Why is our EDD program “the right fit”?
  2. Short Essay prompt (500 words)
    Describe a strategy that could improve the U.S. PK-20 education system. Be as specific or as wide-reaching as you wish in your response.
  3. Essay prompt (1,000 – 1,500 words)

To help us better understand your decision to become a system-level leader, please discuss the following:

Your background:

  • What key experiences have contributed to your commitment to educational equity?
  • What do you view as your most significant professional accomplishment(s) and your most significant professional failure(s) to date? How did they inform your development?

Your plans:

  • What issues would you like to tackle in your career as a system-level leader in education, and why?
  • As you envision the impacts you aim to make with your doctorate, what community/ies are you committed to serving and why?

Important Note: Your writing in all cases should be your own original work and may not be written, in part or in whole, by a third party. The admissions committee will carefully consider both the content and the writing in its assessment of your candidacy for graduate study at Sacramento State University.

  • Writing Sample: Please upload a writing sample that is at least 10 pages double-spaced and that does not exceed 20 pages. We prefer to see a recent writing sample from your Master’s Program. If this is not available, please provide a memo or other solo-authored document from work.
  • Resume or CV: detailing education and professional experience
  • Statement of Support: A brief statement of support for your doctoral studies from your employer. This statement can come from one of your references, however it is a separate requirement. If this is not available, an indication of your plan for meeting the program demands and your professional responsibilities. In particular, explain how you will balance the demands of the program with your professional and personal life?

  • Transcripts: Applicants upload one set of unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended at time of application. Official transcripts will be required if a student is offered admission to the EDD Program. Additional details, including official transcript requirements for any foreign colleges or universities attended, are elaborated below.

  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation attesting to the leadership ability and scholarship of the candidate

Reminder: An earned baccalaureate degree and master's degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution of higher education with a grade point average in upper division and graduate study of 3.0 or above is required.

After an initial review of completed application, viable candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Application Instructions

To apply, please carefully follow these instructions from I to IV :

I. Complete the University Graduate Application (Cal State Apply)

Create an account at Cal State Apply online. This step must be completed before proceeding with other steps.

There is a $70.00 non-refundable application fee that must be paid at the time the application is submitted. (Application information for International Students). In the process of completing the university application, you will need to select the program name of "Doctorate in Education" and specify whether your focus will be PK-12 or Community College.

II. Upload Application Materials using Quadrant IV in Cal State Apply

Using Quadrant IV in Cal State Apply, upload your Supplemental Application Materials and request your Letters of Recommendation.

Use the CalState Apply portal to request the letter from your three recommenders.

III: Submit Official Transcripts

Applicants must submit unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended in the U.S., including unofficial transcripts from ALL community colleges attended and colleges where credit was earned as a high school student. Follow the instructions provided by the Office of Graduate Studies: How to Apply.

Foreign Degrees:Applicants with degrees from outside of the United States will submit official transcripts at time of application. Visit the OGS website or call OGS at (916) 278-6470 for more information.

Applicants must submit official transcripts if admitted to the EDD Program.

Non-Sac State students:

  • One (1) set of official transcripts (sealed) from ALL community colleges, colleges, and universities attended.
  • For electronic transcripts submissions systems that allow you to enter an e-mail address, please use
  • Physical transcripts for those institutions that do not send official transcripts electronically can be addressed to:

    Office of Graduate Studies
    California State University, Sacramento
    Riverfront Center, Room 215, MS 6112
    6000 J Street
    Sacramento, CA 95819

Sac State students:

  • If you graduated/are graduating from Sacramento State, you do not need to submit any additional transcripts to OGS unless you attended another college after graduation.

For additional instructions, visit the Office of Graduate Studies: How to Apply.

An “application received” confirmation email will come from the Office of Graduate Studies. It will note your Sac State ID number and instructions to set up your SacLink Account at

Please make sure that your email provider is set up to accept email from

Contact Us


Contact the doctorate office:

Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program
California State University, Sacramento
College of Education
6000 J Street - Eureka Hall 318
Sacramento, CA 95819-6079