Doctoral Degree Application Requirements

Application Deadlines

Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership

Fall: July 1*
Spring: December 1*
Summer: April 1*

Doctor of Strategic Leadership


  • Session A: July 1*
  • Session B: September 1*


  • Session C: December 1*
  • Session D: February 1*


  • Session E: April 1*
  • Session F: May 1*

Applicants must submit all materials, as stated below, by the deadline to be considered for the appropriate term. However, the Doctoral programs operate on a rolling admissions basis, which means students may apply to these programs at any time. Due to the popularity and competitiveness of these programs, we encourage all applicants to apply early (prior to the deadline) for their chosen starting semester (Fall, Spring or Summer) in order to receive an admission decision, and ultimately secure a seat* in the program. Seats can fill up prior to their respective admissions deadlines. To determine if space is available, please contact the Admissions Office at or 757.352.4400.

*Your seat will not be secured until you have been offered admission (accepted), have paid the enrollment deposit, and have registered for courses for the respective semester.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants to Regent University's doctoral degree programs must have earned a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution, as evaluated by a credential evaluating agency.

All application materials must be received by the deadline for the semester to which you are applying. Once you have fulfilled your application requirements, you may be contacted for an admissions interview, which is by invitation only.

Doctoral Degree Criteria for Admission

When applying to the Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership or the Doctor of Strategic Leadership programs, the admissions committee, comprised of several faculty members, will use a rubric to independently evaluate and score each of the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement in bachelor's and master's programs
  • Writing quality
  • Alignment of personal goals to Ph.D. or DSL outcomes
  • Number of years in leadership positions
  • Leadership development and impact
  • Number of leadership positions held

Doctoral Application Process

1. Complete Your Online Application

Submit your application using our Regent University Online Application.

Note: If you are unable to complete our application due to a disability, please contact our Admissions Office and an admissions representative will provide reasonable accommodations to assist you in completing the application.

2. Pay Your $50 Application Fee

Option 1: Pay the $50 application fee online during the application process, via our Miscellaneous Payments Form, or by check or money order mailed to Regent University, Enrollment Support Services, 1000 Regent University Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23464.

Option 2: Attend a Graduate School of Business & Leadership on-campus or online information session to learn how to streamline your application process, discover financial aid resources, and waive your $50 application fee. RSVP Today!

3. Submit Your Unofficial College Transcripts

Regent University's Office of the Registrar is requesting your official transcripts from your degree-granting institution(s) on your behalf. However, we are able to examine your unofficial transcript in order to provide you an admissions decision. Please submit your unofficial transcript to our Admissions Office by email to using the subject line: SBL Doctoral Application Pieces.

4. Send Your Professional Resume

Provide an updated copy of your professional resume or curriculum vitae that includes:

  • Employment history with details of leadership responsibilities, skill sets and results – the committee looks at both quantity and quality of responsibilities
  • School, community and church leadership positions – the committee looks at both quantity and quality of positions
  • Service activities in which you have been involved
  • Academic and non-academic honors and distinctions you have received

Your resume should be emailed directly to the Admissions Office at using the subject line: SBL Doctoral Application Pieces.

5. Submit a Writing Sample

Once your online application is complete you can submit the required writing sample through the ETS Criterion Service. This will be an online, 40-minute timed essay prompt with a pre-determined topic. Applicants will receive immediate feedback on the essay from the ETS Criterion Service and the scores will be retrieved by the School of Business & Leadership Admissions Office. Click here for detailed instructions.

Online Writing Sample

Writing samples for our doctoral-level applicants are collected and evaluated using the ETS Criterion Service. Your writing sample will be scored on basic composition structure, proper grammar and style so please plan to submit your essay accordingly. You will receive immediate feedback on the essay from the ETS Criterion Service.

Please submit your writing sample using the directions below.

  1. Start at the following webpage:
  2. Click "Create User Account."
    • Be sure to use the same spelling of your name as you provided on your admissions application
  3. Fill in your account information.
    • Access Code for Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership: EQ5V – 6Y2T
    • Access Code for Doctor of Strategic Leadership (DSL): HG4E – Q5KU
  4. Click "Submit."
  5. Click "OK."
  6. Fill in your new User name and Password under "Returning User."
  7. Choose the "Assignments" tab.
  8. You will see one assignment, named "Admissions Writing Sample." Click on "Start Response" and you will be provided with the writing prompt on the next screen.
  9. Click "OK" to enter the essay screen. The timer will begin once this screen is opened.
  10. Read the instructions for submitting your essay. Please keep in mind that you have 40 minutes to read the instructions and complete your writing sample. You will receive a warning when there are 10 minutes remaining on the timer.

***The font used by ETS is different than that used by word. Some functions, such as the Tab, are disabled. If a function is disabled just continue with your essay. Do not try to compensate for the disabled function or your essay will be marked with errors by ETS (i.e.: do not press the space bar 5 times for a Tab, just don't Tab).***

Your writing sample will be reviewed by the admissions committee to ensure that your writing acumen is at a level to meet the demands of graduate school academic writing. Most incoming students will be required to take Regent's ENGL 500 Writing Course, but those applicants who excel on the writing sample may be exempt from having to take ENGL 500.

6. Submit a Leadership Essay

Leadership specific writing samples play an important role in helping the Admissions Committee evaluate a doctoral applicant's research, writing and analytical and problem-solving skills. Your essay should be on "The Most Pressing Leadership Issue of Today" and emailed directly to the Admissions Office at using the subject line: SBL Doctoral Application Pieces. Be sure to adhere to our writing sample guidelines.


Writing samples play an important role in helping the Admissions Committee evaluate a doctoral applicant's research, writing, analytical and problem-solving skills.

Please provide a separate essay to address the topic: "The most pressing leadership issue of today."

The body (excludes a title page or a reference page) of this writing sample should not exceed one page in length (single spaced, 12-point type).

The Admissions Committee will evaluate the essay based on the following criteria:

  1. Thesis Development and Critical Thinking. The thesis expresses the main idea of the paper in one sentence and informs the reader of the paper's focus. Critical thinking is the act of examining, analyzing and evaluating information followed by the drawing of accurate conclusions. Thesis development and critical thinking include the following four key elements: (a) thesis, (b) argument, (c) research and (d) analysis.
  2. Organization. The structure or outline of the essay assists with the development of the argument and includes fluid transitions to achieve coherence between paragraphs.
  3. Paragraph Development. The structure of each paragraph within the outline is vital to the overall stability of the essay and includes the use of transitions and language within each paragraph.
  4. Mechanics. Clarity through spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization is vital in any written document.
  5. Style (APA, MLA or other acceptable style). At the doctoral level, it is important to adhere to a particular writing style as required by the specific academic or professional publication in which one desires to be published. Therefore, the applicant should compose the essay in APA, MLA or other acceptable style. In addition, the applicant should identify the style being used in the writing sample. It is important that the writing sample exhibit the style's guidelines in the areas of: (a) in-text citations, (b) reference list, (c) title, (d) headings, (e) sub-headings, (f) numbers, (g) serial content, (h) quotes, (i) punctuation, etc. While these styles typically require double spacing, we request that, in the case of this writing sample, applicants use single spacing so the essay does not exceed one page.

Your essay should be emailed directly to the Admissions Office at using the subject line: SBL Doctoral Application Pieces.

Note: All items submitted as part of the application process become the property of Regent University and cannot be returned.

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