Application Steps

The Leadership for Learning written application asks each applicant to 1) provide basic information about yourself and your experience with educational leadership and 2) reflect on your leadership and learning related to equity, inquiry, instructional and systems focused leadership. We recommend that you begin your application to the Leadership for Learning program early, as there are a number of required materials and several steps. All materials must be submitted on or before the application deadline of February 1, 2021. The subsequent application deadline will be in early 2024 for the cohort begining in July of that year.

Step One: Prepare to Apply

  • Get transcripts from each college or university attended. Download unofficial transcripts or scan printed copies; you will need these for the UW Graduate School application (Step Two).

    Note that official copies of your transcripts are not required at the time of application.  Following admissions decisions, admitted applicants will be required to submit official transcripts to the Graduate School. Please note that we are not able to share or reuse any transcripts that you may submit to our office during the initial application process.

  • Identify people who are willing to write letters of recommendation for you. These letters should be from persons who are able to testify regarding your leadership and academic abilities and your potential for success in a graduate degree program. If your recommender cannot submit their letter online, a recommendation form may be downloaded for their use.
  • Collect your writing samples. The samples should be professional in nature and connected to your leadership work. There is no page limit on writing samples, but they should clearly indicate authorship. At least one writing sample must be solo-authored. 
  • Prepare your Goal Statement. This section of the L4L application process aims to engage you with important aspects of the L4L program, including the L4L Leadership Standards, and deepen your reflections on the fit between your professional goals and L4L.This narrative, which you will upload as part of the online application, is used to ensure the applicant’s needs and our programs are well-matched. In no more than four double-spaced pages, applicants should respond to all of the following questions.
  1. L4L Standards: The L4L Leadership Standards describe program faculty’s latest thinking about the observable leadership actions that contribute to excellent educational opportunities and outcomes for each and every student, especially students of color, students learning English, students living in low-income families, and others traditionally underserved by public school systems. Throughout the program, you will learn more about each standard and use the standards as a jumping off point to lead your own learning. As a start to that process, briefly review the current L4L Leadership Standards and choose one of the 16 that stands out to you. Then, in no more than 2 double-spaced pages, discuss:
    • Which standard did you choose? Why that one?
    • In your own words, what does that standard mean to you?
    • What is a concrete example from your experience-- either your own leadership or someone else’s leadership that you have encountered directly-- that illustrates what this standard looks like in practice and why the leadership described in this standard is important?
  2. Equity-focused leadership is the foundation of L4L. Throughout L4L, your definition of such leadership-- and that of other cohort members and faculty, too-- will deepen. But where is your starting place? To capture and communicate your current thinking, please respond to the following prompts.
    • In a brief paragraph, how do you define “educational equity?” We acknowledge that educational equity as a complex idea but sometimes systems leaders must capture complex ideas in a couple sentences. What is your current definition, in a nutshell?
    • What is one concrete instance of educational inequity that you have encountered and that is important to you? Why is it important to you?
    • What is a specific example of how you led to address that or a related instance of educational inequity? Please describe in detail what leadership moves you made. Why those? With what results? And what are your reflections now on your leadership and impacts? If you have not exercised leadership around that issue, why not? Stepping back, what feedback might you give yourself about how to take action with regard to that instance of inequity?
  3. Professional Goals: L4L is a cohort program with a common curriculum that offers many opportunities for you to tailor your participation to your own goals. To start our conversation about your goals and how L4L may help you pursue them, please respond to the following questions:
    • What are 1-2 of your most important current professional goals right now? Why those?
    • In what specific ways do you see participating in L4L7 helping you make substantial progress toward those specific goals?


Step Two: Apply to the UW Graduate School

Fill out an online application for graduate study at the UW. Create an applicant profile; your login and password will allow you to save your application and return to it later. When prompted to select a program, choose "Education - Seattle (EdD - Educational Leadership & Policy Studies - Leadership for Learning)” from the dropdown menu.

The application will ask you to upload unofficial transcripts from each college or university you have attended and to designate the people who have agreed to write letters of recommendation for you. Your designees will be sent an email directing them to a secure website where they can submit their letters.

All applications require a nonrefundable fee of $85, which is subject to change without notice. After you've submitted your application, you can check on its status at any time by logging into the application page.


Step Three: Interview

Once applications have been screened by faculty, selected applicants will be invited for an in-person interview and to participate in other on-site activities.

If you have any questions about the application process or deadlines, please contact Brieanne Hull, Program Manager, at