PhD Admissions Criteria

General Admission Criteria

Admission to the Graduate School of Education is open to domestic and international students with a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution.

Admission is based on a number of factors, including the academic degrees and record, personal statement, letters of recommendation, test scores and relevant experience. The appropriateness of the applicant's goals to the degree program and its relationship to the research interests of the faculty is also considered. In general, students with at least a 3.50 GPA in the last two years of upper division undergraduate work and a master's degree, along with a combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of 1100 or above (old scale) or 308 or above (new scale), have a higher rate of admission to our doctoral program. A writing sample is also required of all Ph.D. applicants.

Meeting all admission criteria does not guarantee admission to our graduate program. Admission will be offered to candidates with the highest qualifications. Currently, PhD applications are only open for fall admission.

PhD Program Deadlines - Fall 2018

Deadline Application Component
Fall Quarter 2018 (Programs Begin Late September)
Application Opens September 5, 2017
December 15, 2017 Admission deadline for fellowship consideration and final deadline for School Psychology applications.
June 1, 2018 General admission deadline for international applicants.
September 1, 2018 General admission deadline for domestic applicants.

How to Apply

  1. Application

    Complete the Online Application for graduate admission by the deadlines outlined above.

  2. Application Fee

    $80 U.S. citizen and permanent residents
    $100 for international students
    Application fee is non-refundable and must be paid by credit card (VISA or MasterCard) for the application to be processed.

  3. Official Transcripts - must be mailed

    One official copy of your transcripts must be sent directly from the Registrar's Office of all academic institutions you have attended after high school, or you may request official copies and send them yourself in the original sealed envelopes to the Graduate School of Education.
    International applicants must submit two copies of official transcripts and Certificates of Degree/Diploma in their original language, with English translations prepared by the issuing institution. Notarized documents or copies are not accepted. Official transcripts and Certificates of Degree/Diplomas with English translations must be sent directly to the Graduate School of Education from the issuing institution, or you can mail the transcripts yourself provided they are sealed within the original envelope of the issuing institution.

    Applicants who attended an institution located outside the U.S., please visit the Required Academic Records from International Institutions page for detailed document requirements.

    Admission Processing
    Graduate School of Education
    1207 Sproul Hall
    University of California
    Riverside, CA 92521

  4. Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

    The GRE General Test is required for all Ph.D. candidates. GRE scores must be submitted by the testing facility. The minimum expected score is 1100 (verbal and quantitative scores combined) or 308 in the new scale. Your scores may not be more than five years old from the date of matriculation. Fellowship applicants should take the exam in time to meet the departmental deadline. Request that ETS send your score electronically to UCR.

    Computer-based testing (CBT) information may be obtained by contacting ETS at:

    Educational Testing Service
    P.O. Box 6000
    Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
    GRE website

    The GRE institution code for UCR is R4839

  5. TOEFL or IELTS Scores

    TOEFL or IELTS scores must be submitted by students whose native language is not English and who do not have a bachelor's or postgraduate degree from an institution where English is the exclusive language of instruction. The scores cannot be more than two years old from the date of matriculation.

    The minimum required TOEFL score is 550 on the Paper-Based Test (PBT), 213 on the Computer-Based Test (CBT), and 80 on the new internet-Based Test (iBT). The official score must be submitted directly from ETS to UCR. Request that ETS send your score electronically to UCR.

    UC Riverside code: 4839

    The minimum overall IELTS score is 7 with score no lower than 6 on any individual component. This exam must be taken within two years of the time you intend to enroll at UCR. Please request an official Test Report Form (TRF) of your IELTS. Remember to order the TRF from the test center where you took the test and ask the administrator to send the official TRF to:

    Graduate Admissions Office
    Graduate Division
    University Office Building
    University of California, Riverside
    Riverside, CA 92521 USA

    For more information about registering for this exam or to locate the office of any test center, consult the IELTS website.

  6. Applicant Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement

    The Statement of Purpose is your opportunity to state your specific interests with respect to the program to which you are applying. Your intended area of specialization, career objectives, research interests, and experience are of particular interest.

    The Personal History Statement is your opportunity to discuss how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how you might contribute to social or cultural diversity within your chosen field; and/or how you might serve educationally underrepresented segments of society with your degree.

    Applicants must submit these essays directly into their online application. Please note that each essay should not duplicate the other. We also do not accept a personal resume or curriculum vitae as a response to either essay.

  7. Letters of Recommendation

    Applicants will be able to enter their recommenders' information directly into their electronic application. Recommenders will be notified electronically and provided instructions on how to submit a letter online. All letters of recommendation must be received electronically so they are attached to the applicant's file for review.

    Graduate Division requires three (3) letters of recommendation. Submitting more than three letters does not improve your standing as an applicant. At least two of these letters should be requested from professors in your major subject. The most important aspect of letters of recommendation is that they be completed by individuals who are in a position to analyze your academic ability and potential for success in a rigorous graduate program. It is strongly recommended that you not request letters from Teaching or Laboratory Assistants, postdocs, lecturers, adjunct faculty, friends, or faculty from junior colleges. If you wish to submit a letter from an employer, please contact the graduate program advisor to determine if this will be acceptable. All letters of recommendation must be in English. If you have been enrolled in a previous graduate program, it is required that one letter be from your research or program advisor in that graduate program.

    If you wish to waive your right to inspect the letters of recommendation, mark the appropriate box below the reference information on the application. Only enrolled UCR students are permitted to inspect letters of recommendation for which they did not waive their right to access. Letters of recommendation cannot be released to the applicant and cannot be forwarded elsewhere.

  8. Writing Sample - Required for all Ph.D. applicants only

    The writing sample may be a research paper (term paper or empirical research paper) submitted for a previous course, but does not need to be graded. It should not exceed 30 pages. It should not be an abstract or a report, but a research paper. It is preferred that you be the sole author of the paper.

  9. Supplemental Fellowship Application

    All domestic applicants are encouraged to submit the Supplementary Fellowship information form in order to be considered for all awards for which they might qualify. This optional form is for domestic applicants who wish to be considered for merit-based diversity fellowships.

  10. International Applicant Confidential Financial Statement

    All international applicants are required to complete the International Applicant Confidential Financial Statement to be considered for admission to our graduate program.


Fellowships and assistantships are awarded to our most qualified applicants in their first year in the graduate program. Applicants with a GPA of 3.50 or above in the last two years of undergraduate work and master's degree (if applicable) along with a combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of 308 or above are more likely to be offered a fellowship.

Merit-based fellowships are awarded in subsequent years to students with excellent academic performance if funds are available.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator at

More admission information is available at