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Admissions Requirements


The Doctoral Admissions Coach communicates with you and answers your questions about completing the application. The Admissions Coach ensures that the necessary documentation is complete and forwards it to the Doctoral Admissions Committee for review. The committee is composed of the Admissions Coach, Dean of Graduate Studies, Doctoral Director, and doctoral faculty.

Admissions Requirements

  1. Prior Education and Professional Practice: MA/MS in the discipline, or closely-related discipline, plus 3-5 years work experience in the field, or closely-related field. The degree must have been conferred by a regionally accredited institution. If you hold other doctoral degrees and relevant experience (JD, MD, DO, DC, DDS, DVM, etc.), you may be admitted into a doctoral program at the discretion of the Doctoral Admissions Committee.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume: This biographical statement document includes work history, professional accomplishments, service to the profession, and, as appropriate, teaching and research experience.
  3. Grade Point Average (GPA): A master’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent) is required.
  4. Three Letters of Recommendation: Individuals chosen to write a letter of recommendation should have a current or recent (within the past 3-5 years) professional association with, and knowledge of, your background and potential to complete doctoral work. The letters should attest to your professional accomplishments, leadership in the discipline or practice, communication strengths (writing and verbal), service activities, and/or personal strengths necessary for successful completion of the doctoral program.
  5. Official Transcripts: All official transcripts verifying the award of a master’s degree must be sent to APUS from the issuing institution and arrive in sealed envelopes or by official electronic copy. No faxed or unsealed transcripts sent by you will be accepted, even for preliminary review purposes. Once received, all admission and transfer credit documents are a permanent part of your student record and the property of APUS. They cannot be returned to you.
  6. Professional Goal Essay: This 750-1,200 word essay discusses the following: Describe a significant Problem of Practice relevant to your current professional context. Why is this problem significant? Discuss the potential underlying causes and the ways in which this problem aligns with your research interests or professional practice. Please include your rationale for earning a doctorate in this specific program and your long-term academic and/or professional goals.
  7. A Sample of Professional Writing: An original writing sample of at least 1,000 words, such as a report, white paper, project plan, brief, or publication.
  8. Admissions Interview: Final candidates are interviewed by the Doctoral Director, Dean of Graduate Studies, and at least one faculty member.
  9. English Proficiency: If you are from a country whose native language is not English (regardless of current residence), you must provide proof of English proficiency in one of the following ways:
    1. Transcripts from a conferred bachelor’s degree or higher in residence at a regionally accredited college/university in the United States.
    2. Transcripts from at least 12 semester hours of graduate coursework with a GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0) in residence at a regionally-accredited institution in the United States.
    3.  Standardized Test Scores. Please see this link for more information 
  10. Nonrefundable Application Fee of $100 (You may request a fee waiver due to financial hardship through the Admissions Coach).
  11. Applications will only be evaluated once the application package is complete.

Categories of Admission

  1. Admission to Doctoral Program: This category is used if you satisfy all requirements. There is no provisional admission status due to Federal Student Aid requirements.
  2. There is no Post-Baccalaureate entry. You must have already earned a master’s degree in the discipline or a closely related discipline, and have 3-5 years of experience in the field or a closely related field.
  3. If you do not meet the required grade point average of 3.0 in your master’s degree course work, you may choose to take a graduate certificate, microcredential, or learning track from APUS in your prospective field of study prior to admission into APUS doctoral programs. The resulting GPA must be 3.0 or higher.
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