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Executive PhD in Leadership Admission Requirements

University of the Cumberlands has established qualitative and quantitative requirements for admission of students whose education preparation evidences the potential for a high-level performance. All admission materials must be received in the Department of International Graduate Services. Normally for full admission, applicants must meet the requirements identified below.

To be considered for admission into the executive PhD in Leadership Degree Program, prospective candidates must:

  • A completed Graduate Application and application fee
  • Official Transcripts from all attended Universities. If you have not completed master’s level coursework at a U.S. regionally accredited institution, in the United States, transcripts must be submitted to one of the approved transcript evaluation services listed below who will provide University of the Cumberlands an official record of academic equivalents. Approved Evaluation Services; World Education Services (WES), American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRO), Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), Student Athletes are encouraged to use PLAYNAIA InCRED. If student has completed coursework in a U.S. institution official transcripts directly to International Graduate Services. If you have completed master’s level coursework at a U.S. regionally accredited institution, we can accept a copy of your unevaluated undergraduate international transcript. If a student has only attended an ESL program in the US, evaluated transcripts showing equivalent of bachelor's level coursework at a U.S. regionally accredited institution. We cannot accept official transcripts directly from students.
  • Any international course work complete must have official transcript evaluations completed and submitted to the University by the evaluation firm. Evaluations MUST include GPA for admission. Approved Evaluation Firms are:
    • World Education Services (WES)
    • Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)
    • International Education Research Foundation (IERF) EvalDirect
    • Educational Perspectives (EP)
  • Must hold a master’s degree from an accredited college.
  • Have a 3.5 GPA (on a 4-point scale) on all graduate work as verified by official transcripts.
  • GRE or Miller Analogies Test (earned within the past 5 years) - GRE with a score of at least 300 (800 previous scale) on combined verbal and quantitative or score of at least 400 on Miller Analogies Test.
    • At the discretion of the Program Director, GRE or MAT test requirements may be waived for applicants with significant leadership experiences in professional settings (i.e., five or more years of experience supervising adult workers and managing budgets). In lieu of GRE or MAT test scores, professional applicants seeking a test score waiver must submit three letters of support from referees familiar with the applicant’s capacity for advanced research in an area involving organizational leadership. Students receiving a waiver on the GRE or MAT requirement must satisfy score standards on the Foundational Skills Test.
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation Link for recommendation letters will be provided after your application has been received and processed.
  • Provide a writing sample describing the student’s research interests. In evaluating the applicant’s essay, scrutiny is placed on grammar, voice, and topic; please note that prospective research topics must fit within the range of expertise and interests that program faculty could reasonably supervise. Prompt provided after your application has been received and processed.
  • Resume
  • Students applying for residency and an F-1 VISA must provide a copy of their current Passport.
  • TOEFL or IELTS Score (for non-native speakers of English only). This requirement is waived for students who have completed bachelor’s or master’s level coursework in the U.S. at at regionally accredited institution. Minimum scores are:
    • Paper-based TOEFL (PBT) 550
    • Internet-based TOEFL (IBT): 79
    • IELTS: 6
  • After the above documents have been received and all admissions criteria has been met, you will be contacted by the Admissions Committee to complete a Foundations Exam and Interview with the Department of Leadership Studies.

Upon Admissions to the Executive, F1 Visa, PhD in Leadership Degree Program a non-refundable $500 deposit is required for course registration.

All admissions materials must be submitted on your application portal at, except your official transcripts or evaluations, which must be sent directly from your previous institution to either:

Department of International Graduate Services
6150 College Station Drive
Williamsburg, KY 40769