Feb 26, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission to Graduate School - Ed.D. Program

Dr. Angela Spaulding, dean
Killgore Research Center, Room 102
WTAMU Box 60215
806-651-2730 • Fax 806-651-2733
Dr. Rex Pjesky, associate dean - rpjesky@wtamu.edu
Dr. De’Arno De’Armond, associate dean - ddearmond@wtamu.edu
The mission of the Graduate School of West Texas A&M University is to provide support for the recruitment, admission, matriculation, and graduation of graduate students as it relates to the University’s mission of creating a diverse and inclusive student-centered community of learners engaged in academically rigorous educational experiences.

Admission to Ed.D.

One cohort will be admitted annually each spring semester. The number of candidates in a cohort will be limited through a competitive selection process. Deadline for application is 5:00 p.m. on September 1.

Applicants for the Ed.D. degree must hold a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from accredited institutions with at least one degree in education or closely related discipline. Candidates seeking the Texas superintendent certificate must hold a principal certificate or provide evidence of current enrollment in a principal preparation program.

Phase One:

  • WTAMU Graduate School application and application fee is required. Please note that the Texas Common Application is not required.
  • An introductory video, not to exceed five (5) minutes in length, introducing yourself to the screening committee.
  • A letter of intent (500 words) introducing yourself, identifying a challenging problem you faced as a working professional and how you addressed that problem, sharing your career goals, and addressing how the doctoral degree will assist you in achieving both professional and private goals.
  • A writing artifact (limited to five pages) identifying three most pressing problems of practice faced by rural educational leaders today, rank ordering and explaining levels of importance of the three and offering solutions for the one identified as most pressing.
  • Curriculum vitae/resume addressing your education and professional experience.
  • Official transcripts from all higher education institutions you have attended providing evidence of a master’s degree in education or related field.
  • A minimum of 3.25 overall GPA in all attempted graduate courses. (Candidates must maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain in the program with no grade less than a “B.”)
  • Three letters of recommendation including at least one from a supervisor who can attest to your leadership abilities.

All documents should be submitted to the Graduate School.

Phase Two:

  • Applicant completion of the Birkman Signature Suite Behavioral Assessment administered through the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at West Texas A&M University.


  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.
  • Students must be fully admitted to the program before being eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Decisions about eligibility for a doctoral scholarship or research assistantship are not made until an applicant is accepted in the program.
  • Meeting minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission in the degree program.
  • Admission into the program does not guarantee a doctoral scholarship or research assistantship.
  • Admitted applicants who do not enroll  in courses for the spring semester following acceptance into the program must reapply to the University and must receive permission from the program for readmission.
  • Students should consult with the Coordinator of Graduate School and Research for additional information about the degree program.

Notice to international applicants:

Due to visa regulations regarding online programs, international students in non-immigrant F1 visa status cannot meet visa requirements while residing in the U.S. Applicants in other visa categories not required to maintain visa status through full time enrollment are encouraged to apply.

Other requirements:

Unique to the program are the experiential immersion experiences, which provide practical work application around problems of practice as well as opportunities for innovative design. Immersion experiences are planned annually at the WTAMU Canyon or Amarillo Campus.

Program Overview:

An overview of the program, including degree requirements, can be found on the web at https://wtamu.edu/edd.

Immersion Experiences:

The on-campus immersion experiences will require candidates to meet as a cohort annually on the WTAMU campus or at the Amarillo Center for a weekend seminar, conference, guest speaker, or special learning engagement. Time on campus will allow for collaborative interactions between and among faculty, candidates, and their cohorts. There may also be an opportunity for an immersion experience in a rural international setting.


The program residency requirement for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership will be met when candidates complete 48 semester credit hours of doctoral course work at West Texas A&M University.

Up to twelve (12) semester credit hours of transfer and/or competency-based credit may be accepted by the program. Transfer coursework is not guaranteed. The program director will review, evaluate, and approve or disapprove any coursework candidates submit for consideration of transfer. To be considered for transfer, the course grade must be an “A” or a “B”. Candidates may enter the doctoral program with some experience in a leadership position. Competency-based credit supported by evidence of expertise may be granted to candidates in recognition of career-acquired experiences.

Qualifying Exam:

The comprehensive qualifying exam for the Ed.D. will be an extensive literature review centered on a problem of practice. The qualifying exam will be assessed by the candidate’s chair and scholarly delivery committee. Upon approval of the qualifying exam and the candidate’s research topic of choice, candidates will be permitted to enroll in scholarly delivery courses.

Scholarly Delivery:

Because the focus of WTAMU’s educational leadership program is that of a practitioner, the development of scholarly delivery is a more pragmatic alternative to the traditional dissertation process. To satisfy the requirement for scholarly delivery, candidates will pass the qualifying exam and produce two (2) original scholarly works for publication in a professional journal and will be encouraged to present research findings at a professional conference or comparable meeting.

Research topics must be pre-approved by assigned faculty advisers and participating school districts (when appropriate) to ensure that the material meets IRB requirements. Research must be related to the improvement of the educational process with possible results impacting EC-12 student achievement and progress.

Ideally, the candidate will choose and design research projects that will resolve current real-world issues in the school district in which the candidate lives or works. The format of the scholarly delivery will be flexible, allowing candidates options to choose qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methodologies. Please refer to the Scholarly Delivery Guide for more information.

Each scholarly delivery must demonstrate the rigor associated with formal research.

Program Completion:

The program is completed when the following criteria are met:

  1. Successful completion of all program course work;
  2. Passing a written comprehensive exam;
  3. Selection of scholarly delivery committee;
  4. IRB approval for research (if required); and
  5. Presentation of two (2) scholarly deliverables at the final oral defense in the third semester of the third year to the scholarly delivery committee that results in passing that defense.

Upon the completion of requirements, the candidate will present to the scholarly delivery committee a portfolio containing:

  • A two to three (2-3) page narrative explaining how the candidate met the goals and outcomes of the program;
  • Two (2) scholarly delivery articles ready for submission to a professional journal;
  • A completed conference proposal for presentation of research findings; and
  • A signature sheet that will confirm that the committee agrees that the articles are approved.

Academic Probation and Suspension:

Students must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average for all course work completed toward degree requirements. Courses with grades of “D,” “F,” “I” (incomplete), “IP” (dissertation in progress) or “X” (drop or withdrawal) cannot be used to satisfy requirements of the doctoral degree but will be used in determining a student’s academic standing.

If a student’s grade point average falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation. Length of the probationary period will be determined by the dean of Graduate School. Probationary standing may impact eligibility for waivers and thus total program cost. Students who do not raise their grade point average to at least 3.0 by the end of the probationary period will be dismissed from Graduate School and suspended from further work toward the doctoral degree at WTAMU. Students suspended from the Graduate School may request removal from suspension by seeking a written request from the appropriate dean to the graduate dean.

Transfer or Competency-Based Credit:

The Ed.D. faculty may accept up to twelve (12) credit hours of transfer and/or competency-based credit toward the Ed.D. program.

Transfer coursework is not guaranteed. The program director will review and evaluate coursework students request to transfer to determine if it is acceptable towards program degree requirements. The candidate must have made an “A” or “B” in the transfer course.

It is probable that candidates will enter the doctoral program with some experience in a leadership position. In recognition of career-acquired experiences, candidates may receive competency-based credit for specific courses based upon their expertise. To confirm evidence of learning, a candidate seeking competency-based credit will provide a portfolio that contains (1) an official work record, (2) documented professional development/training/continuing education and/or other experiences specifically related to the selected competency credit course, (3) a narrative delineating how the candidate’s career-based learning specifically correlates with learner outcomes of the selected competency-based credit course and learner outcomes of the Ed.D. The portfolio will be evaluated by a Competency-Credit Faculty Review Committee to determine if competency-based credit will be granted.

Additional Information:

Objective of Graduate Study:

The Graduate School at West Texas A&M University provides students an opportunity for advanced study and specialization in a variety of disciplines. The purpose of graduate study is to encourage academic inquiry, to stimulate intellectual creativity, and to foster the spirit of independent scholarship and research. Together, graduate students and graduate faculty comprise a community of scholars devoted to the extension of knowledge and to professional achievement.

Research and Instructional Support:

Cornette Library, Killgore Research Center and Hastings Electronic Learning Center are available to support graduate students’ educational programs. These are described in greater detail in the undergraduate catalog. Additionally, various academic departments maintain specialized research equipment laboratories or other facilities specific to their graduate programs. For more information, contact the appropriate academic department.

Tuition and Fees Refund Procedure:

Refer to the Tuition and Fees  section of this catalog.