How to Apply

In alignment with the Jesuit tradition of caring for the whole person, admission is based on a total review of an applicant, with careful attention to the fit between the needs of the student and the offerings of the program.

Application Deadlines

Based on desired start term

  • Spring 2021: November 7, 2020
  • Summer 2021: November 7, 2020
  • Fall 2021: April 2, 2021
  • Spring 2022: July 2, 2021
  • Summer 2022: November 7, 2021

Eligibility & Criteria

  • Master's Degree from a regionally accredited U.S. school or institution (or the equivalent)
  • Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills
  • An openness to learn from and about diverse individuals, perspectives, and theories
  • Alignment with Gonzaga University's mission and Jesuit values

Application Requirements

Online Application and Application Fee 

Official Transcripts

We will need official transcripts from every school or institution an applicant lists on their applicationAt a minimum, applicants should include the schools or institutions where they completed their bachelor’s and master’s degrees on their applications. 

Transcripts are only considered official if they are sent directly from your school(s) or institution(s) to Gonzaga. Transcripts can be sent electronically to or they can be mailed to the following address: 

Gonzaga University 
Attn: Graduate Admissions Operations 
AD Box 102 
502 E. Boone Ave 
Spokane, WA 99258-0102 

Letters of Recommendation

To consider an application complete, three letters of recommendation are required. Applicants facilitate requests for letters through the online application. References will receive an email inviting them to complete the recommendation on an applicant’s behalf. References will be asked to complete a short evaluation in addition to attaching a formal letter of recommendation. 

Applicants should pick professional references from among supervisors, instructors, and colleagues who have worked with the applicant in the last five years. When possible, it is encouraged applicants include one academic letter of recommendation from a previous professor, advisor, or research colleague. 

References should be able to identify which program the applicant is applying to and evaluate an applicant’s leadership, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, judgment, professional practice, and the applicant’s ability to receive feedback.

Curriculum Vitae

Applicants must submit curriculum vitae that includes comprehensive information about the applicant’s formal education, professional experience, academic achievements and honors, scholarly activity, and relevant non-professional experience. 

Statement of Purpose

Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose to complete their application. The statement of purpose is key in allowing the faculty to evaluate a prospective student for admission as it provides them the ability to understand who you are, what drives you, and what your goals are. Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose answering the following two questions: 

  • What are your motivations and purpose for applying to the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies? 
  • What do you hope to learn, achieve, or affect in your doctoral studies at Gonzaga? 

The faculty recognize the pursuit of this degree provides a transformative personal experience. However, strong statements of purpose find a way to bounce past that, clearly articulating the applicant’s commitment to social justice or their commitment to improving their community, their organization and/ or the world around them. These statements should be around 500 words (or no longer than 2 pages). 

Writing Sample

Applicants must provide one writing sample demonstrating showing their ability to write an academic, citation-based format. Work from an applicant’s graduate program, current work, or published scholarly articles are acceptable. An applicant can submit up to two writing samples. 

Applicants should submit 3-5 pages of their writing sample to consider this component of their application complete.

International Applicants

Gonzaga encourages and welcomes applications from international students. In addition to the application requirements listed above, international students must also provide the following:

Proof of English Language Proficiency

Non-native English speaking students must present evidence of their ability to perform in doctoral studies at Gonzaga by providing one of the following:

  • Official TOEFL exam results with a minimum iBt score of 88 or higher
  • Official IETLS exam results with a minimum overall band score of 6.5 or higher
  • Transcripts showing the applicant earned their bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited university in the U.S. within the last two years. 

In lieu of the TOEFL, Gonzaga will accept satisfactory completion of the Gonzaga University’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program with a grade point average of at least 3.3 and the recommendation of the ESL faculty. A separate application process is required to participate in the ESL program. Visit our English as a Second Language page to learn more.

If you do not meet the English proficiency requirements listed above, but believe your English to be equivalent to these levels for graduate studies at Gonzaga University due to work, education or language immersion experience, please contact your Admissions Specialist.

Official Transcripts 

International students must provide official transcripts in English to consider their application package complete. Transcripts must include all coursework and grades.

Once received, the transcript will be evaluated to verify the degree equivalency to regionally accredited U.S. bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Alternatively, international applicants can have transcripts evaluated by WES or ECE and have the degree evaluation sent to us.

Transcripts are only considered official if they are sent directly from your school(s) or institution(s) to Gonzaga. Official transcripts or evaluations can be sent electronically to or they can be mailed to:

Gonzaga University
Attn: Graduate Admissions Operations
AD Box 102
502 E. Boone Ave
Spokane, WA 99258-0102

Photocopies are not accepted as official documents and may not be used for evaluation purposes.

Copy of Passport Picture Page 

International applicants must provide a copy of their current passport picture page to complete their application.


Contact Your Admissions Specialist

Brittany Stone

Graduate Admissions Specialist
Call or Text (509) 313-6235