EdD Ethical Leadership Admission Requirements

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Admission to Viterbo University’s post-master's educational doctorate degree in leadership program is selective and will consider students with a master’s degree in any discipline.  Designed to support professional and personal growth within ethical leadership and administration.   To support our aspiring Educational Leaders the program created an accelerated track for those interested in obtaining a doctorate with the Superintendent (WI 5003) licensure program. 

Candidates for admissions must satisfy the following multi-step admission requirements:


Official graduate and college transcripts

  • Candidates must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. Viterbo University requires that all schools be regionally accredited higher education institutions. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to Viterbo University, Office of Enrollment Operations, 900 Viterbo Drive, La Crosse WI 54601 or sent electronically to transcripts@viterbo.edu
  • If your graduate GPA is below a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale submit a brief explanation regarding this issue.

Essay (two pages - approximately 500 words), address the following question:

  • How do you envision a Doctorate in Leadership enhancing your long-term and short-term professional goals? What experiences will you bring to the cohort (strengths and potential challenges)? 

Two letters of recommendation (submit requests inside your application portal)

  • Letters of recommendation should come from academic faculty and supervisors from work or volunteer experiences. Please complete the recommendation request forms on the supplemental items page in your portal and an email notification will be sent to your recommenders.

Licensure Documentation (Superintendent track candidates only)

  • Candidates applying to the Ed.D. in Leadership with Superintendent must submit a copy of their active Department of Public Instruction license.  Candidates must hold a principal license but do not need working in this role to enroll in the program.  

Background Check (Superintendent track candidates only)

  • Candidates applying to the Ed.D. in Leadership with Superintendent must submit a current background check at the time of application as part of the Department of Public Instruction admission verification requirements. 

Student Financial Responsibility Agreement

  • Read, sign, and submit. The link will be available on your supplemental items list inside your application portal after the application is submitted.
  • This form will provide you will important Business Office policy information including items such as late fees, payment information, tuition deposits, refund policies, etc. 

International Applicants

In addition to meeting all of the program-specific admission requirements for the counselor education and supervision program, all international students must submit additional documentation to be considered for admission. 

Visit the Viterbo international admissions requirement and English language requirements web pages for more details on applying as an international candidate.

Transfer and Waiver of Credit

Transfer Credits upon Admission

Individual consideration will be granted in the awarding of transfer credits. Up to 15 credits may be transferred to Viterbo University. These credits must meet the equivalency requirements of the Doctoral Degree in Ethical Leadership.

In order to be considered for transfer, a grade of 'B' or better must have been earned. Transfer credits must be graduate credits taken from a regionally accredited institution of higher education completed within the last five years and equivalent to the course it is replacing in the requirements at Viterbo. Coursework older than seven years may be given credit based on an individual review.

Students who wish to transfer credits schedule a meeting with Graduate Admissions to discuss the process for transfer of credit review. Courses will be evaluated for equivalency; written notification of acceptance of transfer credits will be provided to the student by the director.

Transfer Credits after Admission

The faculty of the Viterbo University Doctorate of Education in Leadership program has carefully planned and developed a curriculum to meet the needs of the potential graduates of the chosen tracks. The content for the curriculum was designed for the curricular and graduate outcomes unique to this program and the specific role preparation.