Doctoral Degree Application Requirements

Application Deadlines

Fall: July 1* | Summer: March 15*

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 or Summer) in order to receive an admission decision, and ultimately secure a seat in their preferred cohort*. All cohorts 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 in the cohort 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. Write Your Admissions Essay

Your admissions essay should be emailed directly to the Admissions Office at using the subject line: SBL Doctoral Application Pieces. Be sure to view our doctoral essay writing guidelines.

Essay Writing Guidelines

To assist us in your evaluation, please complete these essay questions. Your response is your opportunity to articulate your goals and will be used by the Admissions Committee to determine an admissions decision.


  • Strive for clarity and specificity.
  • Response should not exceed 500 total words (about one page single spaced).

In your response, please answer the following questions:

  1. Describe your personal and professional goals and how a degree from the School of Business & Leadership will help you facilitate your objectives. Review the program descriptions below to assist you in your response.

    Doctor of Strategic Leadership (DSL)
    An applied, multidisciplinary doctoral program emphasizing organizational transformation through consulting, management and executive leadership.
    Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership (Ph.D.)
    A research-based, multidisciplinary degree for individuals called to influence the field of leadership through think tanks, scholarly research, academia and other influential positions.
  2. Why have you selected Regent University to help you achieve these objectives?
  3. Doctoral programs in the School of Business & Leadership are rigorous but rewarding. Please comment on personal attributes as well as previous experiences that are reflective of your ability to successfully complete a doctorate-level program. You are encouraged to be creative in your answer, but here are some suggestions of information you may want to consider when crafting your response:
    • Previous academic and professional experiences that document your capacity for learning.
    • Personal characteristics you will contribute to the program.
    • What makes you a good candidate for this program.

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

6. Provide "Most Pressing Leadership Issue of Today" Writing Sample

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 writing sample 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 Sample

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 writing sample 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 writing sample 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 writing sample 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 writing sample 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 writing sample 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 writing sample does not exceed one page.

Your essay should be e-mailed 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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