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Ph.D. Admissions

Ph.D. Admissions Criteria

The following information is specific to our Ph.D. degree programs in education. Requirements for admission include:

Bachelor's Degree

4-year equivalent from an accredited institution

3.0 GPA

Cumulative undergraduate and/or master's degree


Invested interest in conducting research that aligns with the SOE faculty

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Doctoral Application

Use these reference tools to help you apply to doctoral programs in the School of Education


Connect with Our Faculty

Starting a doctoral program is a long term commitment. During the five-year program, students are trained to be a skilled researcher utilizing a rigorous curriculum and one-on-one faculty mentors. To ensure our program is a good fit for both the student and faculty, we strongly encourage applicants to review the faculty profiles within the area group of choice and reach out to those who research interests overlap with their own. An introductory email would include:

  • Name and program of interest
  • Term you plan to apply
  • Highlight 1-2 publications you found interesting from their profile and why
  • How faculty research overlaps with your own
  • Request a 10-15 minute meeting on the phone/Zoom


Application Materials

All application materials must be submitted by the posted deadlines to ensure adequate timing of admission decisions. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure all application materials are received by the posted deadline or the application will be closed as incomplete. Make sure to check the status of application materials. Note: no refunds will be issued for incomplete or withdrawn applications.

  • Transcripts

    All applicants:

    Upload an unofficial transcript for every college and university attended in the application prior to submitting/paying the application fee. All colleges and universities attended should be reported even if coursework was transferred to another college or university. Make sure your name and the institution name are visible on the unofficial transcript.

    International applicants:

    An unofficial transcript and certificate of degree/diploma in both the original language and English from the home institution are required. Make sure the university seal is visible on the documents. If the home institution does not provide English translations, a notarized copy may be submitted. Read more about international academic records here.

    If offered admission/accept the offer, an official e-transcript or paper transcript will be required prior to registration.

  • Letters of Recommendation

    Acquire three letters of recommendation from academic sources. At least two letters should be requested from professors who are in a position to analyze your academic ability and potential for success in a rigorous graduate program. Professional letters may be used if the applicant has been away from school for several years. 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. Letters of recommendation cannot be released to the applicant and cannot be forwarded elsewhere.

  • Statement of Purpose & Personal History

    The Statement of Purpose is your opportunity to discuss your intent for pursuing the graduate program and how it aligns with your career objectives. While not required, it is highly recommended that you connect with the SOE faculty member whose research interests align with yours prior to submitting an application. The Statement of Purpose essay should then list the faculty member(s) you wish to work with highlighting the specific research you are interested in.

    The Personal History Statement is about your background, culture, economic and social experiences, and how those elements have led you to pursue a graduate degree.

    Each essay is approximately 1-2 pages double-spaced in a Word/PDF document.

  • Writing Sample

    The writing sample should be a research or final class paper submitted for a previous course on any topic, and should not exceed 30 pages. It is preferred that you be the sole author of the paper.

  • CV/Resume

    Submit a copy of your most recent CV/resume highlighting academic and professional accomplishments, publications and other noteworthy achievements.

  • International Applicants - English Test

    Request TOEFL or IELTS scores electronically from the testing center to be sent to UCR. UC Riverside code: R4839
    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 for the institution. The scores cannot be more than two years old from the date of matriculation (example: September 2020 for Fall 2022 admission). We do not accept Duolingo English tests. For more information about English test scores, click here.

    TOEFL - minimum required scores:
    Internet-Based Test (iBT) - 80
    Paper-Based Test (PBT) - 550
    Computer-Based Test (CBT) - 213

    IELTS - minimum required scores:
    Overall score – 7
    Individual/sub-scores – 6


Application Deadlines

All application materials must be in by posted deadline including transcripts, letters of recommendation and English test scores (if applicable).

Fall 2025 Admission

September 15, 2024
PhD application opens

December 1, 2024
PhD fellowship and priority admission consideration deadline
School Psychology specialization deadline

June 1, 2025
PhD application closes for all remaining specializations*

*Fellowships subject to availability after December 15th deadline

Quarter Starts
September 25, 2025

Have questions?

Contact our Graduate Recruitment Specialist for questions about the application process, admissions criteria or general program items.

Graduate Recruitment Specialist

Elizabeth Tisdale

Graduate Recruitment Specialist

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