Ed.D. Admissions

Online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership and Learning in Organizations

Start Dates




Application Deadlines

Program Start DatePriority Application DeadlineFinal Application Deadline
January 2025
October 11, 2024
November 8, 2024

Applicants are encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible. Those who submit their application by the priority deadline will receive an admissions decision sooner.

Application Requirements

Admission to the online Ed.D. in leadership and learning in organizations depends on several factors, including the overall quality of application materials, depth and relevance of leadership experience, and a record of academic and professional achievements.

The program is designed for mid-career professionals who have at least three years of work experience in leadership roles. Those with less experience are unlikely to be admitted to the program. Internships, student teaching, and assistantships during undergraduate or graduate study will not be counted as work experience.

Applicants interested in applying to the online Ed.D. in leadership and learning in organizations must meet the following requirements:

  • bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • A superior undergraduate scholastic record, normally above a 3.0 GPA.
  • At least 30 applicable graduate-level hours:
    • The 30 applicable graduate-level hours must be transferred to this degree program from a regionally accredited institution, and preferably from a completed master’s program. Applicants must have earned Grades of B or better in their 30 hours. Grades of P, S, or CR will transfer if approved by the department.
  • A high level of verbal and quantitative ability. Submission of GRE or GMAT scores is optional.
  • Statement of Purpose that explains your reasons for wishing to undertake doctoral study at Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development, your professional goals, and any additional information that may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your application.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Evidence of a minimum of three years of successful leadership experience.
  • Results of either the TOEFL or IELTS for applicants whose native language is not English, unless they have demonstrated competence while attending an accredited institution in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or an English medium university in South Africa.

Applicants must submit the following items with their application:


You must submit official academic records from all institutions where you earned your bachelor’s or master’s degrees. You must also submit records from any additional college- or university-level course work, even if you did not earn a degree from these institutions.

Many schools issue transcripts electronically, either through their own web services or through vendors. If this option is available, please have your transcript(s) emailed to this address: apps@peabodyonline.vanderbilt.edu. This will expedite the delivery of your transcript(s) and the completion of your application.

Your transcripts can be sent by mail to:

Vanderbilt University
Application Processing Center
Peabody Online
P.O. Box 30096 025-001
College Station, TX 77842

Please note: To be considered an official transcript, the transcript must be sent directly from your institution(s), through an electronic transcript vendor retained by that institution, or delivered in the original sealed envelope from the institution(s). If a transcript appears to have been opened, unencrypted, or downloaded by any party other than Vanderbilt University Application Processing Center, it will be marked as unofficial.

Official verification of prior degrees is required for any new student who has earned a university degree prior to enrolling at Vanderbilt. Students must submit final, official transcripts (and any necessary supporting documentation) prior to the first day of classes of their first semester at Vanderbilt. Students who have not submitted required documentation by the first day of classes are subject to having their classes canceled.

All entering students to Peabody College must have their prior degrees verified in order to register for classes for their first term. A final, official transcript should list the degree(s) awarded and the month and year of conferment.

Standardized Tests

For the Ed.D. program the GRE is optional, though strongly recommended. If you have taken the GRE and believe your scores will improve your application, you may submit the GRE with your application.

Should you choose to submit GRE scores, self-reported scores are accepted at the time of application. Students who are admitted and choose to enroll will need to submit official score reports directly from the testing agency before enrolling. Our GRE institutional code is 1871, and there is no department code. You may register for the GRE test directly at the ETS website.

An official GRE score report must be sent directly from the testing agency. The institution code for the GRE is 1871; there is no department code.

Statement of Purpose

Applicants to the online doctor of education (Ed.D.) in leadership and learning in organizations program are required to write a Statement of Purpose that explains their desire to pursue doctoral study at Peabody College.

The Statement of Purpose gives prospective students the opportunity to outline their professional goals and highlight any professional or academic experiences that have prepared them to pursue a doctor of education. This portion of the application is also used to evaluate effective verbal, writing, and analytical skills. To write an effective Statement of Purpose, applicants should provide clear and compelling reasoning for their motivations and qualifications for doctoral study.

Reference Letters

Peabody requires at least three letters of recommendation. Letters should come from current or former employers who can comment on your professional contributions and/or former instructors who can speak to your academic preparation for doctoral-level work. Personal recommendations will not be accepted. 

Letters of recommendation must be submitted directly in the online application by the references themselves, not by the applicants. Contact the admissions team at +1-855-338-4540 or admissions@peabodyonline.vanderbilt.edu to discuss any questions you may have about this process.


A professional résumé is required. Your résumé should include all relevant professional and academic experiences and accomplishments. 

TOEFL or IELTS Scores (for Non-Native English Speakers)

In addition to program-specific application requirements, applicants whose native language is not English must also submit official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores.

We accept TOEFL scores that are paper-based (550+), computer-based (213+), and internet-based (80+). IELTS scores should be a 7.0 composite with no band lower than a 6.5. An official score report sent directly from the testing agency is required. Our institution code for the TOEFL is 1871; there is no department code. There is no institution code for the IELTS.

TOEFL or IELTS scores are required from all applicants whose native languages are not English unless they have received a college degree from an institution in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or an English medium university in South Africa.

International Transcripts

International students with degrees from non-U.S. institutions who are admitted and who enroll at Vanderbilt are required to have their transcripts evaluated by an approved credentials evaluation agency and to have an official report sent by the agency to the Vanderbilt University’s Registrar’s Office. World Education Services (WES) is the preferred agency used by Peabody College. A WES evaluation is not required for the application but must be completed before the student can matriculate.

Get Started

Begin your application to the Peabody College Ed.D. today, or contact an admissions counselor with any of your questions at admissions@peabodyonline.vanderbilt.edu or +1-855-338-4540.