Requirements for Admission

  • Students must hold a master's degree in education or a related field from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Students applying for the K-12 Administration specialization must provide verification of six years of satisfactory school experience, of which at least three must be in a supervisory or administrative capacity.


  • Complete online application
  • Current resume or curriculum vita
  • Copies of certifications or licenses, if applicable
  • Two references
  • Official college transcripts
  • Scholarly or professional project, product, or paper with an abstract attesting to how this submission reflects the applicant's potential for leadership and scholarship at the doctoral level

International applicants must verify they have completed the following requirements.

Submit application materials to:

Graduate Admissions
Wilkes University
84 W. South Street
Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 18766

Program Review

After all application materials are received, a review and evaluation of the documents will take place.


Applicants meeting the admissions criteria after a review of the application documents will be invited for an interview with a faculty committee.

Extemporaneous Writing

At the time of the interview, applicants will complete an extemporaneous writing sample as part of the admissions process.

Conditional Acceptance

Applicants will again be reviewed and evaluated, and those meeting the program’s admissions criteria will receive notification of conditional acceptance into the program. The fall semester and year of the conditional acceptance begins the 7-year time-frame to complete the degree, which includes dissertation and its successful defense.

Qualifying Examination

After successful completion of 12 credits (9 core leadership credits and 3 credits in educational research) and before the completion of 24 credits in the program, students must take and pass the Doctoral Qualifying Examination (DQE) to be fully accepted into the program.

Transfer Credits

Students may be permitted to transfer a maximum of 15 credits taken post-master’s toward the doctoral degree pending a review of transcripts from accredited institutions. These credits need to be taken within six years prior to the date of your admission to Wilkes. Formal transfer credit reviews occur after the application and interview process and an offer of conditional admittance to the program is made to the student.

Credits being considered for transfer must be posted on a graduate transcript after the date of the award of the master’s degree from an accredited institution. Transfer credits must match existing credits contained in the scope of the doctoral program at Wilkes. Course descriptions will be reviewed to determine compatibility with existing Wilkes courses. Students may be required to submit course syllabi in cases in which the course descriptions are inconclusive.

Wilkes retains the right to decline transfer credit for courses that are integral to doctoral program goals and to the attainment of learning outcomes and student success on benchmark assessments which occur throughout the program.

Transfer Students

Students from other doctoral degree programs, students holding professional practice doctoral degrees, and Pennsylvania educators who hold a K-12 Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility obtained through post-master's or doctoral level graduate coursework may be admitted on a continuous basis pending acceptance to the program.

Academic Integrity Policy (.pdf)

All students must review the Academic Integrity Policy and complete the appropriate acknowledgment form for doctoral students.

Contact Us

Anthony Roma
Associate Director, Graduate Admissions
(570) 574-4886