College of Graduate Studies

Doctorate Degrees - Ph.D. & D.N.P.

College of Education

Exceptional Learning

  • Admission Requirements

    Exceptional Learning Ph.D. Admission Requirements

    1. GPA:
      Consideration for admission to the program is based on the applicant's grade point average (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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. A Professional Vitae
    7. Interviews with Ph.D. Doctoral Program Faculty
    8. 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.
      1. A majority vote by the admissions committee followed by approval from the concentration leader will determine the prospective student's admission status.
      2. These are the minimum standards to be considered for admission.
      3. Fulfilling the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

    *Please note the STEM Education concentration requires the following additional admission requirements:

    1. Three years of STEM teaching/outreach (P-16)

    2. Masters Degree and one of the following:

    a. minimum of 18 semester hours of graduate credit in a STEM discipline

    b. Teacher Licensure in a STEM discipline (Grades 7-12)

    c. Teacher Licensure (K-6/8) with Highly Qualified Satus 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

Counseling and Superivison

  • Admission Requirements

    Counseling and Supervision Admissions Requirements

    The Ph.D. in Counseling and Supervision is a terminal degree.  The department offers admission to applicants who appear to have the highest potential for success and the appropriate disposition for counseling and supervision in the Ph.D. program.

    The recommended admission requirements are:

    • Scores on the General Record Exam (GRE) of 146 on verbal reasoning, 140 on quantitative reasoning, and a 4.0 on analytical writing.
    • A 3.5 grade point average (GPA) from an accredited Master's level program in counseling or closely related program.
    • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate and graduate institution, as well as transcripts from any additional institutions of higher education attended.
    • Three acceptable letters of recommendation for graduate study from either former faculty members or other persons with adequate knowledge of the applicant's professional qualities and/or potential for success in a Ph.D. program (faculty review committee reserves the right to determine suitability of the letters).
    • An English proficiency equivalent of Level 9 in FLS (applicable to those applicants from countries in which the official language is other than English).
    • Successful interview with the faculty review commitee with a focus on dis-positional congruence, personal intent, and professional aspirations.

     

College of Engineering

Engineering

  • Admission Requirements

    Engineering Ph.D. Admission Requirements
     
    A graduate program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Engineering is offered by the College of Engineering. When applying for admission, a student must state on the application the major area of study for which admission is requested.

    The basic admission standards for the Ph.D. program are:
    The basic admission standards for the Ph.D. program are the same as for the MS programs, except that, additionally, an applicant is expected to have completed an MS degree in an academic area appropriate to the proposed area of study and to have earned an MS GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.

    Though the general requirement for admission to the Ph.D. program is a master's degree in an appropriate discipline, students with a bachelor's degree may be admitted to the Ph.D. program directly on exceptional basis, provided the applicant has a record of excellent academic performance in an appropriate engineering program undergraduate program. The applicant's test scores, personal recommendations, and relevant work experience must indicate a high potential for success in doctoral studies and research. In addition, factors such as appropriateness of the applicant's research objectives to the research interests of the program faculty, availability of faculty to supervise the applicant's research, and prior research accomplishments of the applicant will also influence the admission decision.

    Fulfilling the minimum requirement does not guarantee admission; an applicant who does not meet the above minimum, but appears to have reasonable potential for success as a Ph.D. student, may be admitted to provisional standing. His/her status may be changed to full standing after satisfying requirements specified by the Associate Dean of Engineering for Graduate Studies and Research, in consultation with the appropriate departmental chairperson, at the time of admission.

    If admitted in provisional standing at either the MS or Ph.D. level, the student must remove all deficiencies and apply for reclassification to full standing prior to the completion of 15 graduate hours.

    Sometimes a master's-level student takes more graduate-level courses than are required for the degree because the student is expecting to continue on to the Ph.D. program and hopes to use the extra courses to satisfy the Ph.D. coursework requirement. When this is the case, the student can request when registering for the course(s) that the course(s) be "banked" for the Ph.D. program. If the student lacks no more than 12 semester hours on the master's degree, he/she may accumulate a maximum of nine (9) semester hours which may be applied toward the Ph.D. When this is the case, the student's advisory committee must initiate approval via memo with consensus of the departmental chairperson, dean of the college, and the Director of Graduate Studies. Banked courses then show up on the student's transcript as courses taken for the Ph.D. rather than being shown as a part of his/her M.S. program. Banking course does not guarantee admission to the Ph.D. program, or, if admitted, that the student's Ph.D. advisory committee will approve the course as part of the student's Ph.D. program of study.

    Degree Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree in Engineering
    The Ph.D. is a research degree. The minimum requirements for a Ph.D. degree in Engineering are the same for all departments.  Each department may include additional stricter degree requirements for students pursuing specialization in that department. 

    Students Admitted with a Master's Degree

    1. A minimum of 48 credits of course work and doctoral research and dissertation as follows:
      1. A minimum of 18 semester credits of course work beyond the master’s degree, including 6 semester credits of 7000-level course work acceptable to the student's advisory committee. Additional six semester credits of either graduate level course work or research experience as per the policy of the student's major department. No 5000-level courses are to be used to meet the minimum requirements of course work.
      2. The equivalent of 24 semester credits of doctoral research and dissertation built upon the student’s course of study and making a significant contribution to the state of knowledge or to the art of the engineering profession is required; not more than 9 credits may be earned in a particular semester.
    2. Residence of four (4) semesters beyond the master’s degree, with at least two semesters in continuous residence, is required. All requirements, including the dissertation, must be completed within a period of eight consecutive years.
    3. Maintenance of a minimum quality point average of 3.0 and adherence to the general regulations of the Graduate School are expected.

    All students in the program must follow a plan of study and research developed in conjunction with an advisory committee, satisfactorily complete a comprehensive examination, achieve candidacy, and satisfactorily defend the dissertation.

    Students Admitted Directly from the Bachelor's Degree
    A student admitted with a bachelor's degree on exceptional basis, must successfully complete a qualifying examination based mostly on undergraduate materials before the end of the second semester of enrollment. This examination will be aimed at determining the student's mastery of the basic concepts in the discipline and the potential for successfully conducting research at the doctoral level. Based on the student's performance on the qualifying examination, the student may be (i) permitted to continue in the Doctoral Program, or (ii) advised to transfer to a MS Degree program in an appropriate discipline in the College, or (iii) recommended for termination from the graduate program of the College.

    If permitted to continue in the doctoral program, the student, as described elsewhere in the catalog, will select a research advisor, form an advisory committee, and submit a program of study satisfying the following requirements.

    The program of study should have a minimum total of 72 semester credit hours of academic work, consisting of course work and dissertation work, beyond baccalaureate work, subject to the following:

    • The program of study should include a minimum of 42 semester credits of appropriate graduate level course work consisting of a minimum of 6 semester credits at the 7000-level and a maximum of 9 semester credits at the 5000-level, acceptable to the student's advisory committee.
    • It should also include an additional 6 semester credits of either graduate level course work or research experience as per the policy of the student's major department.
    • A minimum of 24 semester credit hours of doctoral research and dissertation, built upon the student's course of study and making significant contribution to the state of knowledge and the art of the engineering profession, is required; no more than nine credit hours may be earned in a particular semester.

    The other requirements, such as residency, grade point average, comprehensive exam, and dissertation are the same as those for students admitted with a master's degree, as described in the catalog.

College of Interdisciplinary Studies

Environmental Sciences Biology

  • Admission Requirements

    Environmental Sciences - Biology Ph.D. Admission Requirements

    • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in a biological science;
    • Grade Point Average of 3.5 or above for the highest degree earned;
    • GRE scores of at least 300 (Quantitative + Verbal) and 3.5 (Analytical Writing) for students entering any concentration within the Environmental Sciences Ph.D. degree program.
    • International applicants must satisfactorily complete the English Language Requirement on one of the following: TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic, FLS, ELS, TOEIC, CEFR, SLEP.
    • In addition, a graduate faculty member must have agreed to direct the student’s doctoral program and financial support must have been identified for a stipend and for research needs. Please click here for the form: Graduate Advisor Acceptance Form (PDF)

    Applicants who do not fully meet the above requirements may be admitted in Provisional Standing on the basis of a favorable recommendation to the College of Graduate Studies by the appropriate departmental chairperson and the Director of the Environmental Sciences doctoral program.

Environmental Sciences Chemistry

  • Admission Requirements

    Environmental Sciences - Chemistry Ph.D. Admission Requirements

    • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in science, mathematics, engineering, or environmental science;
    • Grade Point Average of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale;
    • GRE scores of at least 300 (Quantitative + Verbal) and 3.5 (Analytical Writing) for students entering any concentration within the Environmental Sciences Ph.D. degree program.
    • International applicants must satisfactorily complete the English Language Requirement on one of the following: TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic, FLS, ELS, TOEIC, CEFR, SLEP.

    Applicants who do not fully meet the above requirements may be admitted in Provisional Standing on the basis of a favorable recommendation to the College of Graduate Studies by the appropriate departmental chairperson and the Director of the Environmental Sciences doctoral program.

Environmental Sciences Agriculture

  • Admission Requirements

    Environmental Sciences Agriculture, Geosciences, & Integrated Research Admissions Requirements

    Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Admissions Requirements for Agriculture, Geosciences, and Integrated Research Concentrations must have the following (other requirements will be updated as they are determined):

    • GRE scores of at least 300 (Quantitative + Verbal) and 3.5 (Analytical Writing) for students entering any concentration within the Environmental Sciences Ph.D. degree program. 
    • International applicants must satisfactorily complete the English Language Requirement on one of the following: TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic, FLS, ELS, TOEIC, CEFR, SLEP.

    Applicants who do not fully meet the above requirements may be admitted in Provisional Standing on the basis of a favorable recommendation to the College of Graduate Studies by the appropriate departmental chairperson and the Director of the Environmental Sciences doctoral program.

Environmental Sciences Geosciences

  • Admission Requirements

    Environmental Sciences Agriculture, Geosciences, & Integrated Research Admissions Requirements

    Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Admissions Requirements for Agriculture, Geosciences, and Integrated Research Concentrations must have the following (other requirements will be updated as they are determined):

    • GRE scores of at least 300 (Quantitative + Verbal) and 3.5 (Analytical Writing) for students entering any concentration within the Environmental Sciences Ph.D. degree program. 
    • International applicants must satisfactorily complete the English Language Requirement on one of the following: TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic, FLS, ELS, TOEIC, CEFR, SLEP.

    Applicants who do not fully meet the above requirements may be admitted in Provisional Standing on the basis of a favorable recommendation to the College of Graduate Studies by the appropriate departmental chairperson and the Director of the Environmental Sciences doctoral program.

Environmental Sciences Integrated Research

  • Admission Requirements

    Environmental Sciences Agriculture, Geosciences, & Integrated Research Admissions Requirements

    Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Admissions Requirements for Agriculture, Geosciences, and Integrated Research Concentrations must have the following (other requirements will be updated as they are determined):

    • GRE scores of at least 300 (Quantitative + Verbal) and 3.5 (Analytical Writing) for students entering any concentration within the Environmental Sciences Ph.D. degree program. 
    • International applicants must satisfactorily complete the English Language Requirement on one of the following: TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic, FLS, ELS, TOEIC, CEFR, SLEP.

    Applicants who do not fully meet the above requirements may be admitted in Provisional Standing on the basis of a favorable recommendation to the College of Graduate Studies by the appropriate departmental chairperson and the Director of the Environmental Sciences doctoral program.

Whitson-Hester School of Nursing

Doctorate of Nursing Practice

  • Admission Requirements

    Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) Admission Requirements
     
    Admission requirements for the joint DNP program are as follows:

    • a completed application with payment of nonrefundable application fee;
    • official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework
    • a written essay.

    There are different levels of admission depending upon prior credentials of applicants and whether or not they hold a BSN, MSN, or a BSN and a master’s in another discipline. Additional requirements for admission to the DNP program include:

    1. BSN-DNP applicants:
      • A bachelor's degree in nursing is required;
      • For international applicants, a bachelor's degree in nursing or equivalency (for BSN to DNP applicants), or a non-nursing master's degree or equivalency (for MSN to DNP applicants) from a nationally accredited nursing program or comparably recognized non-U.S. institution, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale;
    2. MSN-DNP applicants (4 options)
      • Certification in the selected nursing specialty for the concentration.
        For example: Certified FNP for FNP concentration, Certified WHNP in the WHNP concentration, etc.;
        OR
      • Master’s in Nursing in a specialty different than the intended concentrations (WHNP, PNP, ACNP, PMHNP, FNP, Executive Leadership) will require a longer program of study adapted to the previous Master’s specialty and nursing experience;
        OR
      • Non-nursing master’s with a BSN from a nationally accredited nursing program will require a longer program of study adapted to the previous Master’s specialty and nursing experience;
        OR
      • For the General (No Concentration) MSN-DNP, Master’s in Nursing with advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) certification (Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Midwife, or Nurse Anesthetist) or master’s level nursing administration/ healthcare systems leadership concentration;
      • NOTE: All four MSN options for the Executive Leadership in Nursing concentration require at least one year of experience in a nursing administration role.
    3. All applicants with a cumulative GPA less than 3.2 as reported by their BSN or MSN institution will be required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE);
    4. Licensure as a Registered Nurse in the United States and eligibility for licensure in Tennessee or equivalency for international students;
    5. All applicants are required to have at least two years of full-time work experience (or equivalent) in nursing as a registered nurse;
    6. Three letters of recommendation are required: one from the applicant’s current (most recent) supervisor, one from a faculty member who has worked directly with the applicant during previous academic study, and one from an individual selected by the applicant;
    7. All applicants will be required to complete a writing sample describing a problem the applicant has identified in clinical practice, whether as a student or a practicing RN, and what steps were taken to resolve or improve the situation; 
    8. All applicants will participate in an interview;
    9. All applicants must submit a cover letter expressing the applicant’s personal goals for doctoral study; and
    10. All applicants must submit a current resume or vita.

    The completed application form and fee, official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work, essay, documentation of nursing licensure in the United States, MSN certification(where applicable), letters of recommendation and resume or vita must be submitted to the ETSU School of Graduate Studies or the Tennessee Tech Graduate College, depending upon the applicant’s home school. International students must also forward the additionally required documentation to the appropriate home school.

    The personal interview will be scheduled by the Joint DNP Admissions Committee. Factors given consideration in the admission decision include: previous grade point average (GPA), clarity of the applicant’s selected problem as stated in the writing sample and during the interview, writing ability, professional work experience and achievements, professional honors and awards, interest in rural and underserved population groups, and quality of references/recommendations. The Joint DNP Admissions Committee may recommend admission of a promising applicant who has not met all the admission standards on a conditional basis.

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