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Educational Leadership: Concentration in Community College/ Postsecondary Education Leadership (Ed.D.) Application Process

Department of Administration, Rehabilitation, & Postsecondary Education (ARPE)

The SDSU Educational Leadership program is designed to admit candidates who meet the academic requirements for rigorous doctoral study and who possess personal qualities and professional experiences that suggest a strong potential for success both as doctoral students and as educational leaders. Admission will be granted on a competitive basis.

Admissions cycles

Application review occurs in two cycles: December 15th – Priority Review and March 1st – Normal review. Application materials are due at 5:00 pm Pacific Time. Applications are reviewed after the December deadline and on a rolling basis thereafter until the March 1st deadline has passed.

Select candidates (particularly those with extensive community college experience) are advanced to the interviews with program faculty.

Applicants must possess:

  • An earned baccalaureate and master's degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a cumulative GPA in upper division and graduate study of 3.0 or above.
  • Demonstrated community college leadership experience. Please note that very few applicants from four-year institutions are accepted into the program.
  • Demonstrated academic excellence, problem-solving ability, and an interest in critically assessing and bringing about improvements within current educational policies and practices .

Important Dates for Fall 2022

Applications take place in 2 cycles: Priority Review and Normal Review

Item Due Date
1. Cal State Apply application
(opens October 1 each year)
  • December 15, 2021 (priority)
  • March 1, 2022 (normal)
2. Official Transcripts due
  • December 15, 2021 (priority)
  • March 1, 2022 (normal)

Steps to Apply

1. Submit the Cal State Apply application

For assistance, see Tips on Completing the Cal State Apply University Application

Go to Cal State Apply (CSU application) -- Opens Oct 1

2. Request official transcripts

Request that your official transcripts be sent to SDSU, following instructions on our Submit Official Transcripts page.

The GRE is no longer required to apply to this program.

3. Email the Program Materials

 The required documents below should be emailed directly to Sonia Salcido 

  • Resumé/ CV: Prepare a current resumé or curriculum vitae to your application, which will include your education and employment history as well as any academic honors, awards, scholarships, and publications.
  • Letters of recommendation: Contact 3 individuals who you have interacted with academically and/or professionally and would be able to write a letter of recommendation for you.
  • Statement of Purpose: Write a brief statement of purpose describing reason(s) for pursuing this degree. Include any additional information concerning your preparation that is pertinent to the objectives specified.

CCLEAD Application and Program FAQ

Program Fees

The current tuition fee schedule is available on the Student Account Services website. Please go to https://bfa.sdsu.edu/financial/student/tuition for more information. The total is under the column 'Ed Doctoral' in the Basic Tuition and Fees Schedule.

Program Structure

No. Given the cohort model of the program, part time attendance is not available.
Classes are held once a month on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday typically during the second or third week of each month. Summer semester classes are offered in a consecutive two-week session in July.
During the pandemic, the program moved temporarily online. It is expected that classes will resume in-person in the fall.

Letters of Recommendation

We offer applicants flexibility to decide based on what is most convenient for them. The letters can be emailed directly by the recommender or the applicant can submit them with other application items by the set deadline.  

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose can be anywhere from one page to three pages. Write a brief statement of purpose describing reason(s) for pursuing this degree. Include any additional information concerning your preparation that is pertinent to the objectives specified. 
No. Your statement of purpose is not required with your Cal Apply application. We ask that all supplemental applications items be emailed. 


Applicants are required to submit transcripts for all the institutions attended (community college, undergraduate studies, master’s, etc). Per the instructions, official transcripts can be mailed or emailed (from the institution) to Graduate Admissions. For more information go to: https://education.sdsu.edu/academics/how-to-apply/submit-test-scores-transcripts
No. SDSU graduates do not have to request transcripts from the university.


No. At this time, the requirement to submit GRE scores with application materials has been suspended.  


12-15 people are typically admitted.
The program is focused on developing community college leaders and is designed for those who are already employed within a postsecondary institution. With this focus on the community college, the majority of those admitted work within a community college setting. University employees who work with community college students in some capacity (e.g., transfer students, summer bridge programs) are also admitted into the program. Regardless of institution type, those admitted usually have approximately 5 or more years of work experience within a postsecondary institution.
Students are only admitted for a Fall start. Students cannot enter the program in the spring semester.
The best time to apply is prior to the December 15th priority review cycle deadline. The majority of admitted students are selected from this early submission period. However, applicants are still selected for admission from applications submitted after the priority review deadline (as long as all application materials have been received by the final review cycle deadline).
Yes. Applicants who are expecting to receive their master’s degree during the application submission window should not apply since final transcripts must be submitted with the application materials.
Yes. Applicants are encouraged to apply again.  The admissions committee is glad to provide feedback to applicants who have been denied admission on how to improve their application and gain vital experience in the community college prior to reapplying.