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Last Revision: January 30, 2024

Admissions Requirements

Doctoral Admissions

Admission to APUS doctoral programs is selective. Students are expected to have earned a master’s degree (minimum 3.0 GPA) and have work experience in a discipline related to the doctoral program for which they are applying. The Doctoral Admissions Coach communicates with prospective students and answers questions about completing the application. The Admissions Coach compiles the necessary documentation and forwards it to the Doctoral Admissions Committee for review. The committee is composed of the Dean for Graduate Studies, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Doctoral Program Director, and doctoral faculty.

Admissions Requirements

The programs’ public web pages provide the definitive list of admissions requirements. The list below provides an outline for reference.

  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.
  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 Doctoral Reference Forms: Students will be prompted to enter the contact information for at least three academic or professional reference providers.
  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. Unofficial Transcript: Applicants must provide an unofficial or official copy of other graduate-level work as well as an undergraduate transcript, showing a conferred BA/BS degree.
  7. Doctoral Admissions Essay: Please follow the writing prompt provided to you.
  8. Admissions Interview: Final candidates are interviewed by the Doctoral Admissions Committee.
  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 for students who satisfy all requirements. There is no conditional acceptance status due to Federal Student Aid requirements.
  2. There is no Post-Baccalaureate entry. Students must have already earned a master’s degree in the discipline or closely related discipline, and 5 years of experience in the field, or closely related field.
  3. Prospective students who do not meet the required grade point average of 3.0 in their master’s degree course work may choose to take a graduate certificate, micro credential, or learning track from APUS in their prospective field of study prior to admission into APUS doctoral programs. The resulting GPA must be 3.0 or higher.

Doctoral Admission Deferral

After acceptance into a specific cohort, students may choose to defer admission by one or two cohorts, not to exceed one year from date of acceptance with a guaranteed place in a cohort during that year. Students who do not enter the program within one year from date of acceptance may subsequently request to be re-considered for admission. To do so, students should update their application materials and must submit the nonrefundable admissions fee. Such requests will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee.