Admission Requirements

Preliminary Administrative Services Credential

Department of Leadership Studies

Application Checklist 

  • The University of San Diego Graduate School Admission Application
  • One official sealed transcript from all colleges and universities attended, including community colleges. Foreign transcripts must be accompanied by a Course-by-Course transcript evaluation from World Evaluation Services (WES).
  • Two professional letters of recommendation. One letter must be from the applicant's current supervisor.
  • A current resumé or curriculum vita
  • Written Narrative. Please answer each question thoroughly. Maximum of four one-sided, double-spaced, U.S. letter sized pages with no less than 10-point font.
    • Why would you like to participate in the Aspiring Leaders Program?
    • How does your background and experience qualify you for the program?
    • Please describe the successes you have had as an educator thus far.
    • What skills and knowledge do you think are needed to become an effective school leader?
  • Copy of the applicant's California clear or life teaching or services prerequisite credential.
  • Copy of the applicant's passing CBEST scores. Unofficial proof of a passing score (such as a screenshot, email or photocopy) is acceptable for admissions purposes.
  • Applicants applying concurrently to the MA in Leadership Studies must also submit a third letter of recommendation and a 500-word Statement of Purpose, both addressing the master's program.
  • Applicants applying concurrently to the PhD in Leadership Studies must also submit a third letter of recommendation addressing the doctoral program, a four-page Statement of Purpose addressing the prompt required for the doctoral program, and an official score report with the results of the GRE General Test.
  • International applicants only: Official score reports for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Admissions Requirements

Standardized Testing Requirements

  • Applicants must submit a copy of their passing CBEST scores. Unofficial proof of a passing score (such as a screenshot, email or photocopy) is acceptable for admissions purposes.
  • Applicants who feel that their Grade Point Averages do not adequately represent their ability to succeed in a graduate program may find it helpful to submit GRE scores for consideration. However, the GRE is not required for admission.

Education Requirements

  • Applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree and hold a California clear or life teaching or services prerequisite credential prior to beginning the program.
  • Applicants must have earned a master’s degree or be willing to earn one during the course of the program. Applicants who do not possess a master’s must also apply to and be admitted to the MA in Leadership Studies to be eligible for this program.
  • The minimum cumulative Grade Point Average is 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  • This program does not have any specific prerequisite courses.

Experience Requirements

As of July 2013, applicants must have a minimum of five years of full-time teaching or services experience in schools in order to receive the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Applicants to our program must either:

  • Have 5 years of full-time teaching or services experiences in schools, or
  • Have 3 years of full-time teaching or services experiences in schools, and agree to complete the remaining required 2 years of experience during the the 2-year credential program (for a total of 5 required years of experience upon completion of the program)

Applicants who do not fulfill these requirements will not be eligible for admission because they will not be eligible to receive the credential from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing upon completion of the program.

Interview Requirements

The most qualified applicants will be contacted for a classroom instructional observation and written exercise.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all international applicants and may only be waived if English is the applicant’s primary language or if he or she obtained a bachelor’s degree in the U.S., Great Britain, Canada or Australia.

  • TOEFL minimum scores:
    • Internet-based test: 83
    • Computer-based test: 237
    • Paper-based test: 580
  • IELTS minimum score:
    • Band score 7

Application Process

Application Deadline

Applicants to the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential who wish to also earn a MA in Leadership Studies are not required to apply by the MA deadline. Rather, the committee will review applications for the joint credential and MA according to the deadlines for the credential. However, applicants who wish to be admitted to the doctoral program must apply by the doctoral program deadline.

All application materials, including transcripts, test score reports and letters of recommendation, must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by the deadline in order for your application to be considered. View current deadlines for admission.

Application Status and Decisions

To confirm that application materials have been received or to check the status of your application, please log in to the MySanDiego portal with your applicant log-in or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (619) 260-4524. Admissions decision letters are sent via US Mail.

Submit all application materials online, or to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
University of San Diego
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
Email: grads@sandiego.edu

For questions about this program or the admissions requirements contact:

Office of Admissions and Outreach
School of Leadership and Education Sciences
University of San Diego
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall 149

Phone: (619) 260-7988
Email: solesadmissions@sandiego.edu