Admission Criteria

To Apply    

For information about the application process, for the online application form and for application instructions, see the Graduate School's Prospective Students page. Applicants will upload the materials required for the application through this site.


In addition to satisfying all admission requirements set by The Graduate School, the School of Strategic Leadership Studies requires applicants to have earned a master's degree from an accredited institution. Applicants are welcomed from any discipline, but should have completed (for a grade) an introductory statistics course and an undergraduate financial accounting course.  Other background coursework may be required depending upon the student's concentration. Prior to applying, it is strongly recommended that the applicant initiate communication with the coordinator of their intended concentration.

Required Materials

The School of Strategic Leadership Studies requires all applicants to submit the following:

  • Intended field of concentration
  • A master's degree from an accredited institution
  • GRE or GMAT scores
  • Official transcripts of all colleges and universities attended
  • A brief statement of purpose, 250 words in length, that identifies the applicant's reason for applying and their long-range career aspirations
  • Three (five preferred) years of full-time equivalent work experience
  • A current resume (uploaded on the online application)
  • Two scholarly samples
  • Three personal references using the online reference form, with at least one reference from a current or former direct supervisor
  • A personal interview may also be requested


The application deadline is March 1st for fall admission and October 1st for spring admission. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applicants are responsible for assuring that all materials have been received. Students normally matriculate in the fall semester but the matriculating semester is flexible.

When Will I Hear Back?

  • You can check the status of your application at any time (including all materials except for references that may be missing from your application) on CollegeNET, the online application system. You will receive an email from us if we find you are missing references as the deadline approaches.
  • We will begin reviewing applications on the application deadline, and you can expect to hear from us within 2 weeks after the deadline if we would like to invite you for an interview.
  • Final decisions are usually announced within 30 days after the application deadline.
  • While the Graduate School manages the admissions process and maintains official deadlines, we would appreciate a confirmation of your intention to accept by April 30th, or within 60 days of the application deadline, to allow time for meeting with your advisor, assessing the need for any prerequisite coursework or pre-testing to be taken over the summer, and setting up your JMU email well in advance of your first semester.