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Graduate School of Education


Ph.D. Admissions Criteria

Please read through the application requirements thoroughly as information has changed as of 9-30-20. Most noteworthy: the GRE is no longer required and the deadline for application submission has been moved up for Fall 2022.

We also recommend attending an Information Session or contact the Graduate Program Coordinator as soon as possible.

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

Junior/Senior years of bachelor's degree or cumulative master's degree


Invested interest in conducting research that aligns with the GSOE faculty

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Graduate Application

Use these reference tools to help you apply to graduate programs in the GSOE.

Application Materials

All application materials must be submitted by the posted deadlines to ensure adequate timing of admission decisions.

  • Transcripts

    In response to COVID-19, the UCR campus is closed. As a result, we are unable to access paper mail. All official e-transcripts/diplomas should be emailed directly to until further notice. (Updated: 8-4-20)

    Upload an unofficial transcript for each college and university attended in the application prior to submitting it. All colleges and universities attended should be reported even if coursework was transferred to another college or university. International applicants must submit official transcripts and Certificates of Degree/Diploma in their original language and English by the home institution. Notarized documents or copies are not accepted. If offered admission, an official e-transcript or paper transcript will be required prior to registration..

    Mail documents to:
    Graduate Programs
    Graduate School of Education
    900 University Avenue
    1207 Sproul Hall
    Riverside, CA 92521

  • 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.

    Tip: An automated email will be sent to recommender on file after you submit/pay the application fee. Make sure you provide your recommenders a deadline to submit their letter as the automated email only provides instructions on how to upload a letter.

  • 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 GSOE 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. If you copy/paste your essay into the textbox in the online application, it cannot exceed 3,000 characters.

  • Writing Sample

    The writing sample should be a research or final class paper submitted for a previous course, 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 2019 for Fall 2021 admission).

    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

    Note: the TOEFL/IELTS is required for Fall 2021 admission; however, the GSOE is aware of the ongoing constraints related to COVID-19. As such, if you are unable to take an English test due to COVID-19, please email to request an interview. In your email, make sure you clearly state the reasons for the request.

Application Deadlines

All application materials must be in by posted deadline including transcripts, test scores and letters of recommendation.

Fall 2021 Admission


October 15, 2020 - Application opens

December 15, 2020 - PhD fellowship consideration and School Psychology deadline

June 1, 2021 – International applicant deadline*

August 1, 2021 – Domestic applicant deadline*

*Fellowships subject to availability after December 15th deadline

Quarter Starts September 23, 2021

Fall 2022 Admission


October 15, 2021 - Application opens

December 15, 2021 - PhD fellowship consideration and School Psychology deadline

June 1, 2022 – Application closes*

*Fellowships subject to availability after December 15th deadline

Quarter Starts September 22, 2022

Have questions?

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

Graduate Program Coordinator

Heather Killeen

Graduate Program Coordinator