Educational Leadership Department

Frequently Asked Questions

The application process is comprised of two major steps: 

Step 1a: Applicants must first apply to the university online through the CSU system application website, Cal State Apply. Be sure to complete all application sections marked REQUIRED. Your application WILL NOT be moved forward through the administrative process if you fail to do this. If you do not qualify for the fee waiver, a processing fee of $70 dollars will be accrued. You must select Summer 2022 as the Admission Term on both the Cal State Apply home page and the Program Selection page.

Step 1b: Submit official transcripts from all universities previously attended to the Cal Poly Pomona Admissions Office electronically. You may have your institution of record send your transcripts to Please make sure that you have completed the online application before sending your transcripts. Unofficial copies of your transcripts will also need to be uploaded into your Cal State Apply application. Please upload your unofficial Master’s transcript into the field marked REQUIRED. Upload your unofficial Bachelor’s transcript into the additional field. Please read carefully and pay attention to which fields are marked REQUIRED.

Step 2: The second part of the process requires that pertinent supporting documents be sent via email in PDF format to and cc This is a comprehensive process that includes  completion of a doctoral program supplemental application, a formal written statement in response to a series of questions, and an admission interview. 

To be eligible for admission into the doctoral program, you must meet both university AND doctoral program admissions requirements. Meeting university admissions requirements will only establish eligibility for consideration as an applicant, but will not guarantee your acceptance into the doctoral program. If you emerge as a finalist, based on the initial university and program screening process, you will be invited for an interview. After the interview window, the program admissions committee will convey formal admission decisions.

  • Prior Education: You must already have earned a baccalaureate degree and a master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in upper division (junior/senior year) and graduate study.
  • GRE:  In light of the COVID-19 emergency, the GRE has been waived as an entrance requirement for the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • Recommendation Letters:  Cal State Apply will prompt you to enter contact information for three professional references that can provide letters of recommendation attesting to your leadership ability and scholarship potential. It is recommended that you contact your references and request a letter of recommendation prior to submitting their contact information.
  • Ed.D. Program Application:  The Ed.D. Program application requires responses to several writing prompts as well as the submission of a current vita.   See the application for complete details of the writing prompts.

In light of the COVID-19 emergency, the GRE has been waived as an entrance requirement for the 2022-2023 academic year.

We have instituted a year round application process that includes an early admission deadline of Feb 1. Throughout the year, applications will be paper screened and selected applicants invited for an interview. Successful applicants will be offered an "Early Admissions Option" to secure a place in the program. A new cohort will begin in Summer Semester of each year.

Once the Cal State Apply application has been submitted, there will be an automated letter of acknowledgement from the university that will be sent to you electronically. Keep it for your records as it will provide you with an Application Confirmation Number should you need to refer to it while going through the university admissions process. A second letter will then follow that will include your nine-digit identification number, or Bronco ID number, which you must use in all future communications with the university. You will also receive instructions on claiming/activating your Cal Poly Pomona account or BroncoDirect. BroncoDirect is the front door that you will use to access your application status, to do list, admission status, the course catalog, and financial aid information.

  • Candidates must meet all requirements listed on page 1.
  • Applications to the doctoral program will be reviewed and assessed by the program admissions committee.
  • Those candidates recommended by the program admissions committee will be invited for a personal interview.
  • After the interview process has been completed, candidates will be notified whether they have been admitted to the doctoral program.

Admissions has a student-specific "to do list" that applicants can view on the web through BroncoDirect to follow their progress. You are strongly encouraged to monitor your progress in order to help facilitate completion of your file. If you encounter special difficulties, you may contact the Doctoral Studies Office for assistance: (909) 869-3060 or Please do not call regarding your status as an applicant, however, since you will be notified as soon as decisions are made.

We anticipate notifying candidates who meet both university and doctoral program eligibility requirements on an ongoing basis after successful paper screening and an interview. Following the personal interview session, candidates will be notified by email and formal letter if they have been accepted into the doctoral program.

Although subject to change by the CSU Trustees, current program costs approximate $21,100 per year including books and local fees. The cost $6,734.21 per semester. Doctoral students are eligible for Stafford Loans and a host of other loan-type aid that can range up to $20,000 per year. Every student case is different. Students may begin the optional process by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The process takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. The funds are awarded to eligible applicants on a first-come-first-served basis and the priority application timeframe is January 1 to March 2. It takes 6 to 8 weeks to receive the award notification from Financial Aid. All inquiries regarding financial aid should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. All students are encouraged to apply for aid that might be available.

Please note that for summer admission, you will need to complete TWO FAFSA applications. One for the 2021-2022 academic year, which will cover summer, and one for the 2022-2023 academic year. The deadline to complete the FAFSA application is June 30th, but you are encouraged to complete it as soon as possible.

A new cohort of accepted candidates will start each summer. This is a rigorous, cohort-based, year-round program that is offered in a fixed sequence of courses that includes the dissertation culminating experience. The entire program, including the final dissertation, is designed for completion in three years.

*During the COVID-19 emergency, call classes will be held in an online format. Online classes will adhere to the schedule described below.

The program is designed for working professionals. Classes will be held approximately every other weekend on Saturday only. Some classes contain online components. Courses will be held on the Cal Poly Pomona campus.


In addition to the doctoral studies website and Doctoral Brochure, further information is also available from the Doctoral Studies Office at (909) 869-3060 and the program director, Betty Alford