Admission Requirements

Admissions criteria for the ELPhD program are listed below. Please note that the STEM Education has additional admissions requirements (listed at the end of the criteria list).

  • ELPhD Admissions Criteria

    Grade Point Average (GPA)

    • Consideration for admission to the program is based on the applicant's GPA in the last graduate degree or the last sixty hours of undergraduate work if no graduate degree has been completed.
    • An average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or above from a recognized baccalaureate, graduate, or professional degree from a regionally accredited (e.g. SACS) college or university, or an international equivalent based on a four-year curriculum is required for admission.

    Graduate Records Exam (GRE)

    • A combined score of 1,000 or above on the verbal and quantitative sections (with no less than 400 on either section) and a 4.0 on the writing component of the GRE is required for admission.
    • Under the new scoring method, if applicants do not score ABOVE 144 Quantitative and 153 Verbal, their scores must be ABOVE one range and WITHIN the other range: 140-144 Quantitative and 146-153 Verbal.
    • A minimum of 4.0 is required on Analytical Writing. International students are required to submit TOEFL scores.
    • A minimum of 550 on the paper test or 213 on the computer version is required.
      Applicants who have been awarded a degree from a university in one of the following countries are exempt from the TOEFL requirement: Australia, Belize, the British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Scotland, the United States, and Wales

    Scholarly Writing

    • Students must demonstrate the ability to do scholarly writing by submitting a reference-based paper, thesis, or other written document in which information from various sources has been synthesized. The applicant must be the sole author.

    Statement of Intent

    • One to two pages should clearly outline the prospective student's (a) intended enrollment (fall admission only), (b) intended concentration, (c) autobiographical statement, (d) education and professional goals, (e) area of interest for future research, and (f) how your interest fits with faculty in your chosen area of study.

    Three Letters of Recommendation

    • At least one letter should be from a professor who is able to comment on your qualifications for graduate study. Consideration will be made based upon the content of the letters.

    A Professional Vitae

    Interviews with Ph.D. Doctoral Program Faculty

    A prospective student who scores within 50 points of the combined score of 1000 (with no less that 400 on either section) may be considered.

    • A majority vote by the admissions committee followed by approval from the concentration leader will determine the prospective student's admission status.
    • These are the minimum standards to be considered for admission.
    • Fulfilling the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

    NOTE: The STEM Education concentration requires the following additional admission requirements:

    • Three years of STEM teaching/outreach (P-16)
    • A Masters Degree and one of the following:
      1) minimum of 18 hsemester hours of graduate credit in a STEM discipline
      2) Teacher Licensure in a STEM discipline (Grades 7-12)
      3) Teacher Licensure (K-6/8) with Highly Qualified Status in a STEM discipline based on 24 semester hours in math/science or a passing score on the PRAXIS II middle grades math or science test.

  • Application Process

    College of Graduate Studies Application & Forms

    Submit Application to:

    College of Graduate Studies
    Tennessee Tech University
    Campus Box 5036
    Cookeville, TN 38505

    P: 931-372-3233
    Visit College of Graduate Studies

    1) complete the Graduate School Application for Admission;

    2) return the completed application form with application fee to the Tennessee Tech Graduate School;

    3) request that the registrar of all college and universities attended send one official transcript to the Graduate School;

    4) request that the Educational Testing Service (ETS) submit to the Graduate School an official copy of verbal, quantitative, and writing scores from the General Portion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE);

    5) submit a scholarly writing sample (described in Admissions Criteria);

    6) submit a statement of intent (described in the Admissions Criteria);

    7) submit three letters of recommendation (described in the Admissions Criteria) required for the application file to the College of Education;

    8) submit a professional vitae.

  • Processing of Application

    Once application materials reach the Director of the Ph.D. program, the file will be reviewed to see if the criteria for admission have been met.

    The file will then be sent to the appropriate concentration for further deliberation.

    Once reviewed by the admissions committee and the concentration leader, it will be returned to the Director's office and a recommendation forwarded to Graduate Studies.

    If students are recommended to Graduate Studies for admission, they will be notified in writing by the Director of the Ph.D. program and will be provided directions on how to begin the program.

    The College of Graduate Studies will notify each applicant of the final, official decision.

  • Transfer Credit & ELPhD Program

    While coursework taken prior to admission to the Ph.D. program may, in certain instances, be used toward the degree, there are specific regulations governing how the coursework can be used and what part of the program must be taken at Tennessee Tech University after being admitted into the Ph.D. program.

    • There may be cases in which a student's doctoral committee feels that a waiver of part of a requirement (e.g., part of the 15 semester hours in research) for the Ph.D. is warranted, given that a similar course has been taken. 
    • The committee may recommend a waiver, thus possibly reducing the number of hours required in this area if the waiver is approved. 
    • The leader of the concentration determines course substitutions in their specific area.
    • Remember, all requirements for the degree, including the dissertation and transfer credit, must be completed within a period of no more than eight (8) consecutive years (Please refer to "Academic Requirements" on page 14, item 3 of the Graduate Guidelines).

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