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Applicants must hold a Master’s degree or its equivalent and have two years of professional experience. Admission is based on a review of a total profile with careful attention to the fit between the needs of the student and the program’s offerings. We admit students on a rolling basis throughout the year, and students may enter the program during the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. (Note: The official Gonzaga Admissions information can be found here.)

The following is a menu of what is included on this page:
Criteria & Requirements
Application Materials
Provisional Acceptance
Transfer Credits
International Students
Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies
Semester Away (Quick-Admit)

Applications are reviewed by the doctoral faculty throughout the year and students are usually notified of decisions within 45 days of the submission of a completed application. Application due dates are as follows:

Fall Term - July 16
Spring Term - November 16
Summer Term - March 16

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Criteria & Requirements
Factors considered in admission include:

  • Character; motivation; commitment to social justice; ability to work independently and in teams;
  • Writing ability;
  • Test scores: general verbal, quantitative, and analytical skills demonstrated by a score of 50 percentile or better on either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT);
  • Applicant has completed a master’s degree (or its equivalent) with a minimum 3.5 GPA;
  • Application form, in DPLS Admissions packet, submitted to the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies;
  • Official transcript for the highest degree applicant has completed;
  • Three letters of recommendation, in DPLS Admissions packet;
  • A personal statement of not more than 500 words detailing the applicant's interest in obtaining the certificate; and
  • A 360-degree interview with the Chair and/or other faculty of the Doctoral Program. This interview can be in-person, over the phone, or over the Internet. During this interview, applicants will be counseled on factors they need to carefully consider before embarking on a Ph.D., issues they need to consider in deciding whether the Gonzaga program is their best choice, the relationship between their career goals and the Doctoral Program, and their possibilities for acceptance.
  • If applicant is an international student, please click here for a few more criteria.

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Application Materials
Each applicant must submit the following items in order to be considered for matriculation into DPLS:

  1. A 500-word (or less) narrative describing your motivations and purpose behind applying to our program. What do you hope to learn, achieve, or affect in your doctoral studies at Gonzaga?
  2. A short sample of other writing you have done.
  3. A current CV or resume.
  4. Two official transcripts from each college or university you have attended.
  5. Three letters of recommendation (in DPLS Admissions Packet).
  6. A completed application form (in DPLS Admissions Packet).
  7. Official MAT or GRE scores.
  8. $50 non-refundable fee. (Please make a check out to “Gonzaga University.”)
  9. If applicant is an international student, please complete and include a Financial Declaration form, additional financial documentation, and copy of passport picture page. More info here.

Provisional Acceptance
If a careful review of a student’s application package suggests there is a strong possibility of success in the program despite weaknesses in one or more areas, the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies may grant provisional admission to the program. A letter offering provisional admission will state the conditions that must be satisfied before the admission status will be changed to regular admission.

Students who are admitted provisionally will not be allowed to enroll in courses beyond one semester unless their admission status is changed to regular admission. A student admitted provisionally is not eligible for financial assistance. Enrollment in specific courses for provisionally admitted students may require the consent of their advisor.

The decision to convert a provisional admission to a regular admission is made by the Department. The student initiates this process with a letter to the Program Director that responds to the reason for the provisional admission. In some cases the provisionally admitted students may be required to attach to this letter a paper from a course that demonstrates writing ability along with the comments of the faculty member.

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Transfer Credits
Although it is presumed that all work for the doctorate will be completed at Gonzaga University, the Graduate School may accept up to 12 credit hours from another college or university for coursework in which a grade of “B” or higher was awarded. The acceptance of transfer credits requires the recommendation of the Doctoral Program chairperson. No course for which a grade less than “B” has been awarded may be accepted in transfer, and transfer credits are not entered onto a student's transcript until the student is advanced to doctoral candidacy.

The limitations on transfer credit for the Doctoral Program are as follows:

  1. Work to be transferred must clearly be doctoral-level coursework as defined by the granting institution;
  2. Coursework must have been completed while the individual was accepted in a doctoral program accredited by a regional accrediting agency;
  3. Coursework must have been completed within five years prior to the date of acceptance into the Doctoral Program at Gonzaga University;
  4. Courses may not be transferred for the four core courses (DPLS 700, 701, 703, & 720), or Proposal Seminar (DPLS 730);
  5. Transfer of all required courses will require faculty approval;
  6. Transfer credits will be applied to the elective 18 credits (which include Individually Directed Study credits);
  7. Coursework to be transferred must fit the mission of the Doctoral Program.

After an initial conference with a student or potential student who wishes to transfer credit, the program chairperson will send a letter (with a copy placed in the student's file) informing him or her as to what credits will be accepted and what stipulations, if any, have been made. The student must be sure to complete a Transfer of Credit form, as well, which you can obtain from the Student Services Coordinator (509-313-3485).

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Students can take up to six credits in one semester as a non-matriculated student before they are formally admitted to the Program. Students must apply for regular admission before beginning their second semester in the Program. Students cannot use instructors of courses they take as non-matriculated students as references for admission to the program. Click here for the application form to apply to the DPLS program as a non-matriculated student.

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International Students

Gonzaga welcomes applications from international students. Non-native English speaking students must present evidence of English proficiency sufficient for graduate-level work. Gonzaga University requires the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and that the official scores be sent from ETS. In lieu of the TOEFL*, Gonzaga will accept satisfactory completion of Level 108 of the University’s English as a Second Language program with a grade point average of at least 3.3 and the recommendation of the ESL faculty. Applicants should submit transcripts in both their native language and a professional, certified English translation. Photocopies are not accepted as official documents and may not be used for evaluation purposes.

International students must complete a financial declaration form. In addition, please attach the required financial documentation. This document can be a bank statement or a letter from your bank certifying that you have the amount listed on your financial declaration available. It can also be a letter from a government agency sponsor. If a student has a private sponsor (such as a family member), the private sponsor must write a letter explaining that he or she will sponsor the student in his or her studies. The private sponsor must also include a bank document certifying that he or she is financially prepared to do so. Finally, students must also provide a copy of their passport’s picture page.

In order to process an I-20 form, the university requires a completed Financial Declaration form and supporting documents. The university program director collects the information and accompanying documents; when the student is accepted, the program director forwards the documentation to International Student & Scholar Services, which prepares and mails the I-20 to the student. The student must report to the International Student & Scholar Services office immediately upon arrival to receive a travel signature and to have immigration information collected.

For more information, contact Sarah Alami in the International Student & Scholar Services office:, or +1-509-313-5584.

*Gonzaga requires a 3.3 for graduate and doctoral students. Usually, students have to obtain conditional acceptance in order for this to count: first, they receive conditional acceptance, and then they register for the ESL program. They can simply contact Sarah Alami ( for details on this part of the application. Also, the recommended TOEFL score for graduate programs is 570 p-bt, 230 c-bt, or 88 i-bt (the i-bt, internet-based test, is the most common one), and the minimum IELTS score (equivalent to TOEFL) is 6.5.

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Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies

The Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies is a flexible program specifically tailored to the needs of the individual student and separate from the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies. Students formally admitted to the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies who decide not to complete the Doctoral program can petition the faculty for the Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies.

A general plan of study based on the objectives of the student is developed with the chair of the Doctoral Program before the student is admitted into the Certificate Program. Students are required to take Leadership Theory (DPLS 700) and Organizational Theory (DPLS 701), as well as additional courses relevant to their needs. General expectations include that a student will participate for two years, take classes during the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms, and enroll in a minimum of 18 credits. There is also a “summers only” option that allows students to enroll in 18 credits over a four calendar year period.

Students can start any term. Participation in the Certificate Program is limited to six students a year. This limitation is necessary because Certificate students take regular classes and Doctoral classes are limited to 15 or fewer students. Students in the Certificate Program will be considered non-degree seeking and will not be eligible for student loans or graduate assistantships.


Applicants must fulfill the following requirements for participation in this program:

Students who start the Certificate Program are eligible to change their educational objective and move into the Doctoral Program upon completing the doctoral admission process. Once the certificate is granted it cannot be revoked, therefore students interested in pursuing the Ph.D. are encouraged to make that decision prior to completing more than 12 credits in the Certificate Program. Students that complete the Certificate Program and then choose to move forward into the Doctoral Program are allowed to transfer a maximum of 12 credits into the Doctoral Program, and will take 48 additional doctoral credits to meet the 60-credit degree requirement. Students formally admitted to the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies who decide not to complete the Doctoral program can petition the faculty for the Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies and will be subject to the pertinent academic process.

Additional Considerations

Courses taken more than five years previous to enrollment will not be accepted into the Doctoral Program. Students enroll in regular doctoral classes, complete the same assignments, pay regular doctoral tuition, and receive a Gonzaga University transcript. Students must maintain good academic standing for the entire 18 credits of the Certificate Program. After completing 18 credits and based on the recommendation of the faculty of the Doctoral Program, Gonzaga University will grant students a Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies.

We welcome the opportunity of discussing the relevance of this program to each student's needs. Prospective students are encouraged to discuss their plans with the Chair of the Doctoral Program.

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Semester Away (Quick-Admit)

When students take a semester off and then try to register for classes in a subsequent semester, you need a "quick admit."  Students must contact the Student Services Coordinator (509) 313-3485 prior to the semester in which they intend to register.  Students must be quick-admitted before they will be able to register for classes. This applies to all students, including summers-only students.

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Phone: 509-313-3485
Fax: 509-313-3463
Office: Tilford Building, Room 223 (2nd floor)

Mailing Address

Gonzaga University
502 E. Boone Ave.
MSC Box 2616
Spokane, WA 99258-2616

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    All Are Welcome Here