Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2017-2018, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on August 10, 2017. Access the catalog of record at

The Department of Learning and Teaching offers a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Literacy and Culture Program to assist professionals in the field of education to develop a scholarly and practical approach to literacy and second language instruction. We strive to prepare reflective practitioners who can successfully engage and ensure the academic success of students from diverse cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The TESOL, Literacy and Culture Program goals are for candidates to:

  1. develop a critical understanding of theory and practice.
  2. understand the development and implementation of research-based and culturally responsive teaching practices, including those designed to close the achievement gap and systems that perpetuate educational inequity.
  3. serve as change agents and teacher-scholars at local, national and/or international levels.

Additional Requirements for Admission

MEd in TESOL, Literacy and Culture

See here for basic admission requirements.

Entrance Semesters Fall
Application Deadlines Visit
Minimum Grade Point Average 2.75 (4.0 scale) in all undergraduate coursework
Additional Requirements Resume
Statement of Purpose
Two letters of recommendation
Interview for applicants who meet the preliminary selection criteria may be required

Degree Requirements

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2016-2017, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on October 1, 2016. Access the catalog of record at

As the nation’s first interdisciplinary doctoral program in Leadership Studies, USD is internationally recognized as an institution of dynamic innovation and scholarly excellence. Known for our close student/faculty engagement and collaboration, we offer a rigorous yet practical course of study grounded in prevailing theory and a social change orientation. The program is designed to empower the next generation of researchers, scholars and practitioners to make significant contributions to the field of leadership studies and efforts to address the pressing needs of the world at large.

The 54-unit program includes required leadership courses, electives consistent with the student’s career goals, a minimum of four research courses and credit-generating activities leading to a dissertation. The program is unique by virtue of its interdisciplinary approach, the diversity of the student cohorts and its strong commitment to developing leaders who have the skills and inclination to make organizations not only effective and efficient, but also ethical and humane.


Program of Study

Upon admission, each student is assigned a program advisor, with whom he or she will develop a program of study. Students are required to complete a minimum of 54 semester-units beyond the master’s degree. 

General Regulations

  1. Academic Performance Requirements
    Doctoral students are required to maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average in their coursework throughout the program.
  2. Maximum Load
    Doctoral students who are employed full-time may not take more than 6 units per semester unless the additional load is approved by the student’s advisor and the department chair. No doctoral student may take more than 12 units per semester without special approval of the student’s advisor, department chair and the associate dean.
  3. Transfer of Credit
    With approval, a student may transfer up to 12 units of appropriate post-master’s graduate coursework taken at an accredited and USD-recognized college or university up to five years prior to the student’s entry into the USD program (See here and for more information on Transfer of Graduate Credit). A student previously enrolled elsewhere in an accredited doctoral program recognized by USD may appeal to the faculty and the Dean's Office for the transfer of more than 12 units.
    Transferred credit must be for courses that are consistent with the goals of the Leadership Studies program. Transfer credit will normally not be substituted for either core or research courses. All core courses must be completed at USD.
  4. Advancement to Candidacy Process
    To advance to candidacy, students must complete a two-part process. Part A of this process involves the preparation of a qualifying paper that normally relates to a student’s dissertation topic. Part B of the Advancement to Candidacy process involves preparing and successfully defending a dissertation proposal. More detailed information about the Advancement to Candidacy process can be found in the Doctoral Student Handbook.
  5. Admission to Candidacy
    Admission to candidacy (not equivalent to admission to the program) is achieved when the student has successfully completed Parts A and B of the Advancement to Candidacy process and all required courses, except for LEAD 695. Next, the candidate will have the proposal approved by the Institutional Review Board, if appropriate. The candidate is then ready to focus completely on the dissertation and is not eligible for a leave of absence.
  6. Dissertation
    Successful written and oral defense of dissertation is required for graduation.
  7. Time Limit
    A student must complete the doctoral program within seven years of the first semester of enrollment.

Additional Requirements for Admission

Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies

See here for basic admission requirements.

Entrance Semester Fall
Application Deadlines Visit
Recommended GPA 3.50 (4.0 scale) in master's coursework
Standardized Admission Test Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test taken within the last five years
Additional Requirements Master’s degree (completed prior to admission)
Statement of Purpose
Three letters of recommendation
Interview for applicants who meet the preliminary selection criteria may be required
Preference will be given to applicants whose statement of purpose demonstrates commitment to the study of leadership, capacity for critical inquiry and creative thinking, and the potential for excellent scholarship
Note: No single criterion alone determines the Doctoral Admissions Committee’s decision to admit or deny an applicant.