The Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership online (OCL online) program is designed for current and emerging leaders, eager to enact systemic change from the top-down.

Application Deadlines

The OCL online program has three dates throughout the year: Spring (January), Summer (May) and Fall (August). All items must be completed before the Final Application Deadline, including letters of recommendation and transcripts. Learn more about Admission Requirements.

May 2024

Early Action Deadline
February 2, 2024
Priority Submit Deadline 1
February 16, 2024
Final Submit Deadline
February 26, 2024

1 Please note that if you have attended any institution outside of the US, it is strongly recommended that you submit all materials by the Priority Deadline.arrow_upward

Why Apply Early?

Applying before the final deadline gives you an earlier admission decision and the benefit of more time to prepare for your future, including identifying financial aid resources, scholarships and student loans.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, but we encourage you to apply early. If you apply by the Early Action Deadline, you will be eligible to receive an application fee waiver. If you apply by the Priority Submit Deadline, your application fee will be reduced from $90 to $50.

Upcoming Immersions for Incoming Students

It’s important to consider immersion dates while you are applying for the program. Plan accordingly, as these immersions are required. You may need to adjust your term schedule if you are unable to attend an immersion.

Summer 2023
20232 — Cohort 26 Immersion I
June 1 to 4, 2023
Fall 2023
20233 — Cohort 27 Immersion I
September 7 to 10, 2023
Spring 2024
20241 — Cohort 28 Immersion I
January 25 to 28, 2024
Summer 2024
20242 — Cohort 29 Immersion I
May 30 to June 2, 2024
Fall 2024
20243 — Cohort 30 Immersion I
September 12 to 15, 2024

Admission Requirements

The USC Rossier School of Education maintains the same high admission criteria for our online programs as for our on-campus programs.

We seek leaders across industries whose academic background, professional goals, personal commitments and communication skills meet the demands of a rigorous graduate program.

To be eligible for this EdD, you must have the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree or its recognized equivalent from a regionally accredited institution
  • A minimum of six years of proven leadership experience
  • A high level of verbal and written communication skills as demonstrated by the required video response and timed writing assessment
  • There is no minimum GPA required to apply to USC Rossier programs, but competitive applicants typically have a GPA of 3.0 or above. GPA is one of many elements evaluated in the admission committee’s comprehensive evaluation of candidates. We use a holistic review process whereby academic preparation, professional work experience, personal achievement and commitment to the USC Rossier mission are each considered. No single attribute or characteristic guarantees admission to USC Rossier.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

USC Rossier welcomes international applicants. If your prior study was completed outside of the United States, you must have earned the equivalent of a United States bachelor’s degree to be eligible for admission. View the international application requirements based on your country of study

International students whose native language is not English and who have completed their undergraduate work outside of the United States are required to demonstrate proficiency in English as part of the application process. USC does not waive the English proficiency requirement for graduate degree(s) earned in the United States or other qualifying countries; requirements are based on the completion of undergraduate studies. For more information on English proficiency requirements, English-language test waivers and other alternate accepted exams, please visit the USC Graduate Admission English-Language Proficiency page.

Note: if you have attended any institution outside of the United States, it is strongly recommended that you submit all materials by the priority deadline.

Application Components

All items must be completed and submitted before the final application deadline, including transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Online Application

The online application includes questions about your personal, academic and professional background.

Personal Statement

Your Personal Statement, comprised of three 500 word responses, will give you the opportunity to provide an in-depth look at your background and professional goals, as well as showcase graduate-level written communication skills.

Employment Information

You will be asked to provide information about past employment and upload your most current resume or curriculum vitae (CV).

Letters of Recommendation

USC Rossier requires three letters of recommendation to complete the application. Letters should come from supervisors and/or former instructors or faculty who can comment on significant contributions you have made in your workplace, your leadership skills as well as your commitment to life-long learning and your ability to perform well in master’s-level coursework.

  • Recommendation letters must be typed on official letterhead from the organization with a signature. If the recommender is not able to obtain company letterhead, this must be noted somewhere in the letter.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure all recommendation letters are submitted in the proper format prior to the appropriate deadline. Letters uploaded in the incorrect format without explanation are subject to further review.
  • Recommendations letters should be submitted by recommenders by the application deadline, but they are not required to be submitted at the time you submit your application.

Please note: recommendation letters are program-specific and cannot be used to apply to additional programs.

Video Response and Timed Writing Assessment

The recorded video response is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your communication skills in professional settings. The timed writing assessment will allow you to demonstrate your writing, critical thinking and analytical ability. No advance preparation is required for either assessment. You must complete both assessments during the same session. You are allowed to take each assessment one time only. For technical assistance with the video response or timed writing assessment, email

Required Writing Assessment

Applicants are required to submit a timed Writing Assessment. This 30-minute online exercise measures your ability to demonstrate critical thinking skills in written form. You will choose a position to a provided argument and compose a concise, well-reasoned response.


Many schools issue transcripts electronically. If this option is available to you, please specify that your encrypted transcript(s) be sent to This will expedite the delivery of your transcript(s) and the completion of your application.

Sealed, official academic transcripts must be sent directly from all postsecondary institutions you attended, including any community college coursework to:

University of Southern California (USC)
Application Processing Center
USC Rossier
PO Box 30096 024-003
College Station, TX 77842

Please note: To be considered an official transcript, the transcript must be sent directly from your institution(s) or through an electronic transcript vendor retained by that institution. Transcripts submitted by enrolled or prospective students are considered unofficial documents, even if they are in a sealed envelope provided to you by the issuing university.

Any academic or professional certificates or certifications earned at a regionally accredited institution may also require an official sealed transcript(s). Reach out to an Admission Counselor at 1-888-628-1872 or via email at with any questions about transcripts.

Application Fee

The USC application fee is $90; however, you can receive a reduced fee when you apply early.

International Applicants

Candidates from around the world are encouraged to apply. If your prior study was completed outside of the United States, you must have earned the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree to be eligible for admission.

If your native language is not English and you do not have a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university, you will be required to submit a valid score from the TOEFL iBT® (Internet-based test). View additional application requirements.

We may require that you complete an oral interview to assess your English communication skills to make sure you have the ability to understand course materials and collaborate with classmates and faculty. Oral interviews may be arranged in person, by telephone or through video conferencing.

Please note: International applicants should apply by the priority submit deadline.

Confidentiality and Document Submission Policy

Transcripts and all other materials submitted for admission consideration become the property of USC. The university does not return or duplicate materials for any reason whatsoever. The information and materials in your submitted application are made available only to the central Office of Admission and the admission committee of the academic department or professional school to which you have applied.

Virtual Tours

USC Rossier offers virtual tours of the online classroom experience. To schedule one or to learn more about other virtual engagement opportunities, please contact an an Admissions Counselor at 1-888-628-1872.