Ph.D. Admissions Criteria

Please read through the application requirements thoroughly. We also recommend attending an Information Session or contact the Graduate Program Coordinator as soon as possible.

Please note: GRE scores will NOT be required for Fall 2020 due to COVID. TOEFL and IELTS are also not required, however, applicants recommended for admission will need to participate in a Zoom interview with admissions. Also, due to the campus closure, we are unable to access paper mail. All transcripts/diplomas should be emailed directly to

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 in junior/senior years


General Subject Test

Verbal/Quant/Writing sections


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

    Due to the campus closure, we are unable to access paper mail. All transcripts/diplomas should be emailed directly to until further notice.

    Mail in one copy of all official transcripts in the original sealed envelope from the home institution. All academic institutions attended after high school should be reported even if coursework was transferred to another college or university. Unofficial copies may be emailed to for application review purposes only. 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.

    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.

  • GRE Scores

    Report GRE scores to UCR. Test scores may not be more than five years old from the month of matriculation (example: September 2014 for Fall 2019 admission). Request that ETS send your scores electronically to UCR. UC Riverside code: R4839.

  • 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

    Submit a writing sample. 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.


  • International Applicants

    International applicants: request TOEFL or IELTS scores from ETS to be sent to UC Riverside.
    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.
    UC Riverside code: 4839

    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

    An official Test Report Form (TRF) should reported electronically to UCR or mailed to:

    Graduate Admissions
    University Office Building Room 116
    University of California, Riverside
    Riverside, CA 92521 USA

Application Deadlines

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

Fall 2020 Admission


September 15, 2019 – Application opens

December 15, 2019 - PhD fellowship consideration and School Psychology deadline

June 1, 2020 – International applicant deadline*

August1, 2020 – Domestic applicant deadline*

*Fellowships subject to availability after December 15th deadline

Quarter Starts October 1, 2020

Fall 2021 Admission


September 15, 2020 – Application opens

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

June 1, 2021 – International applicant deadline*

August1, 2021 – Domestic applicant deadline*

*Fellowships subject to availability after December 15th deadline

Quarter Starts September 23, 2021