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Doctoral Programs Admissions Requirements

If you are seeking admission to an online doctoral program, you must meet the following three levels of admission requirements (conditional, provisional, full) in order to be be fully admitted to Ashford University.

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Conditional Requirements

The Conditional Admission period is intended to ensure that you are familiar with classroom expectations, time and technology requirements, and other factors that may impact your experience as a student. It also allows you time to determine, risk free, whether Ashford is the right university for you. If you are seeking admission to any doctoral degree program, you must meet the following admission requirements prior to the start of your first course at Ashford University.

  1. Have a master’s degree from a regionally or approved nationally accredited institution with a graduate level cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, or an earned Doctoral degree from a regionally or approved nationally accredited institution. 
  2. Have access to a computer with an Internet connection for the Web-based programs and meet the minimum technology requirements and minimum computer skills, abilities, features, system configurations, hardware, and software outlined in the General Academic Information & Policies section of the Academic Catalog.
  3. Have the ability to study in English indicated by one of the following:
    • Earned a bachelor's degree in which the primary language of instruction was English; or
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination taken within the past two (2) years. For the TOEFL, a minimum score of 550 paper-based or 79 internet-based is required. For the IELTS, a minimum score of 6.5 is required. Copies of unofficial scores must be submitted prior to provisional enrollment, and official scores must be submitted prior to full admission.

Master’s degrees from nationally accredited institutions granted accreditation by the following accreditation agencies may be considered for admission:

  • Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools, Accreditation Commission (AARTS);
  • Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE, formerly known as AABC);
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC, formerly known as ACCSCT, NATTS or CCA-ACICS)
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS, formerly known as AICS or CCAACICS)*;
  • Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, Commission on Accrediting (ATS);
  • Council on Occupational Education (COE, formerly known as SACS-COEI);
  • Distance Education and Training Council, Accrediting Commission (DETC, formerly known as NHSC);
  • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission (TRACS); and
  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

* Credits earned from colleges and schools with this accreditation will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine if the accrediting body was approved and in good standing when credits were earned.

Ashford University reserves the right to deny admission or re-admission to any applicant. Ashford University recognizes the importance of protecting your privacy and reserves the right to request documentation to establish or verify your identity at any time, for administrative or compliance purposes. You are expected to provide such documentation, and failure to do so may be considered a violation of the Student Community Standards. The University may deny or rescind admission to you for failure to authenticate your identity.

You are conditionally admitted to a doctoral degree program when you submit a completed application indicating that you meet admission requirements outlined for that program and are approved by the Registrar’s Office. As an applicant in a conditional admission status, you are not eligible for Title IV funds and are not considered a regular student until granted provisional or full admission.

Provisional Requirements

You must attend beyond Week 3 of their first course in order to be provisionally admitted to a doctoral degree program at Ashford University.

Attendance beyond Week 3 constitutes your confirmation of your intention to continue in the program as a regular student. Upon attendance beyond Week 3 of their first course, you are considered a matriculated, regular student in your degree program. If you meet the requirements for Full Admission, you will be fully admitted into the degree program.

Additional Admission Requirements for International Applicants

The following requirements are applicable to international applicants and applicants relying on academic credentials earned outside the United States for admission to the programs offered through the online modality. Please note that visa services are not provided for enrollment in online programs and that the University will not vouch for a nonimmigrant alien student’s status or associated charges.

Provisional Admission Requirements

In addition to the requirements for provisional admission outlined in the admission policy for doctoral programs, copies of documentation indicating that you meet the following admission requirements are required for provisional admission:

  • Submit copies of an official evaluation from an approved evaluation service indicating that you have met the following requirements:
    • The equivalent of a regionally or approved nationally accredited master’s degree from the United States.
    • The requirement for official evaluation of the master’s degree may be waived when a doctoral degree has been earned at an appropriately accredited university in the United States.

All academic records from countries other than the United States must have been evaluated by one of the following evaluation services:

  • Educational Credentials Evaluators, Inc. (ECE); OR
  • World Education Services (WES)

Note: If you have already had your international credentials evaluated prior to applying to Ashford University, you may petition the Office of the Registrar for acceptance of evaluations from other credible agencies.

Full Requirements

The following requirements must be met prior to the conclusion of the third (3rd) attempted Ashford University course in a degree seeking program. To start the fourth (4th) course, you must complete all the requirements subsequently outlined and must meet all admissions requirements applicable to your specific degree program. If you do not complete all requirements, you will not be fully admitted and will be withdrawn from the program.

  • Submission of an official transcript from the regionally accredited or approved nationally accredited institution that awarded the master’s degree indicating a minimum GPA of 3.0 or an official transcript from a regionally or approved nationally accredited institution that awarded a doctoral degree, with a degree conferral date prior to the start of the first course at Ashford University.
  • Submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores, if required for admission.

Additional Admission Requirements for International Applicants

The following requirements are applicable to international applicants and applicants relying on academic credentials earned outside the United States for admission to the programs offered through the online modality. Please note that visa services are not provided for enrollment in online programs and that the University will not vouch for a nonimmigrant alien student’s status or associated charges.

Full Admission Requirements

In addition to the requirements for full admission outlined in the admission policy for doctoral programs, as an international student, you must submit an official evaluation sent directly from an approved evaluation service indicating that you meet the full admission requirements (student copies are not accepted) prior to the conclusion of three (3) Ashford University courses (equivalent to one academic term) if that institution is where your graduate degree was earned. To begin the fourth (4th) Ashford University course, as an international student, you must complete the requirement or you will be withdrawn from the program at the conclusion of the third (3rd) attempted Ashford University course.

Transfer Credits

Transfer up to 30 graduate-level semester credits from a regionally or approved nationally accredited college or university.* Call now for more information at 866.711.1700.

* The transferability of credits is subject to Ashford University’s transfer credit policies and requires the submission of official transcripts. The official transcripts will be evaluated to determine the credits that will officially apply toward an Ashford University degree program.

Transfer Credit Evaluation

Records Management staff will begin requesting official transcripts from schools where any graduate-level credit was earned, using the signed Transcript Request form.

This request includes:

  • College or university transcripts from institutions where graduate credit was earned
  • Military credits evaluated for equivalency to graduate-level college credits

Once these transcripts have been received, the Registrar’s Office staff will complete your transfer credit evaluation.

At the conclusion of the third (3rd) attempted Ashford University course in a degree-seeking program, if any transcripts from institutions where graduate credit was earned have not yet been received, the Registrar’s Office staff will proceed with the transfer credit evaluation of any transcripts received to date. Additional transcripts may be submitted for evaluation at a later date, should they become available.

If it is determined prior to the conclusion of the third (3rd) attempted Ashford University course that certain transcripts where graduate credit was earned are unable to be provided, you may sign and submit an Authorization to Close File form thereby waiving potential transfer credits from previously attended schools, to expedite the transfer credit evaluation process. 

You are responsible for reviewing your transfer credit evaluation as well as your scheduled courses with your Academic Advisor and informing them of any courses that you feel are duplicative or equivalent in content to previously completed coursework.

You may submit official transcripts to Ashford University for review of transfer credits at any time.