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Admissions Criteria

Admission for doctoral study in the Higher Education Administration program is an integrated decision process involving a holistic evaluation of the following criteria as evidence for successful advanced graduate study:

  • Leadership promise: As reflected in three formal recommendations and in leadership achievement demonstrated by professional activity (speeches, publications, special reports, etc.)
  • Intellectual aptitude: As reflected in scores on the GRE verbal (minimum 50th percentile), quantitative (minimum 50th percentile), and written (minimum 4.5), and in previous graduate GPA (minimum 3.5). A student with a GRE score lower than 50 percent in verbal or quantitative may be considered if the other score is higher than 50 percent.
  • Professional goals and aspirations compatible with the program: As reflected in personal interview with the program faculty
  • Communication skills: As reflected in a writing sample

One-Step Application Process

It is a one-step process to apply to the UT Office of Graduate and International Admissions and the Higher Education Administration program. To be considered for admission, please visit UT Graduate Admissions.

To apply to the program you will need:

  •  A $60 non-refundable application fee for admission, or a $30 non-refundable application fee for readmission.
  • An earned undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher; graduate GPA of 3.5 or higher.
    GRE Scores of at least 296 (combined verbal and quantitative) and at least a 4 on the writing portion. The application will request “unofficial” numbers, but you will be required to provide an “original” copy to our department.
  • The institution code for submitting the ETS (Educational Testing Service) GRE scores to the ELPS department is 1843. The department/major field code is 3502.
  • A personal statement outlining your goals, showing your compatibility with the HEAM program; and provide evidence of commitment to the profession.
  • Three names with appropriate e-mails for references/raters who are able to speak to your strengths and weaknesses as a student and potential leader.

You will also be required to have the following items available in electronic format (MS Word or PDF) in order to complete the application:

  • A letter of introduction (Please limit your responses to 250 words per question.)
    • What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
    • Why are you interested in a career in higher education administration?
    • How do you think the Higher Education Administration program and degree can assist you in reaching your goals?
    • What else should we know about you to consider your fit with the program?
  • A current résumé
  • A copy of your transcripts from each previous college or university attended (unofficial copies will do)
  • A writing sample (This may be a copy of a thesis written for a graduate degree, a published article, a legal brief, a research report or course paper, or another form of writing that you feel represents your professional writing skills and style.)

If and when you are admitted to the program, you will then be required to have official copies of your transcripts sent to the UT graduate admissions office at the address below:

The University of Tennessee Graduate School Admissions Office:
111 Student Services Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-0211

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