Applications for the Education PhD program are accepted from October 1 through December 1, 2017, for admission in Fall 2018.

Check back on October 1 for this year's information.

The minimum grade-point average (GPA) established by the University of California for admission to graduate school is 3.0. In general, the Ph.D. in Education program looks for potential excellence in graduate students, whether this manifests itself in a high grade-point average, strong letters of recommendation, high Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, or a strong statement of purpose. Applicants will be evaluated on their individual merits and also with regard to how well their proposed doctoral projects can be supported by the existing resources of the program. Only students interested in working toward the Ph.D. in Education will be admitted to the program.


  • Bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, from an accepted university prior to the quarter for which admission is sought

  • Experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • 3.0 GPA or above

  • Official GRE scores taken within the last five years

    • Official scores are required for full consideration; unofficial scores are placeholders only. The UCSC School Code is 4860.  There is no department code.
  • Statement of Purpose

  • Personal History Statement

  • A writing sample, preferably in education or a related field. The sample can be a term paper, a field report, a research proposal, or an essay written especially for the application

  • A transcript from each college-level institution attended, regardless of length of time in attendance of if a degree was received.  For purposes of review, unofficial transcripts can be uploaded to your application. Official transcripts will be requested later from anyone who accepts an offer of admission.

  • Three current recommendation letters specifying potential for scholarly productivity

  • Current resume

  • Application fee ($105 for domestic applicants, $125 for international applicants)

    • For information about fee waivers or exemptions, see the Graduate Division FAQs. These are limited; international applicants are not eligible.
  • Demonstration of English Proficiency. International applicants from countries where English is not the primary language must have taken either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System test (IELTS) within the past two years. For admission, the minimum TOEFL scores are 550 for the paper-based TOEFL test, 220 for the computer-based test, or 83 for the internet-based test; the minimum IELTS score is 7. The TOEFL examination maybe waived for international students who have taken and successfully passed a freshman composition course at an accredited university in the United States.

    • To be considered for Teaching Assistantships, a speaking score of 26 or higher on the internet-based TOEFL or an overall IELTS score of 8 is required.
    • If you think you might qualify for a waiver of the TOEFL or IELTS, please carefully review the information and follow the instructions under English Language Testing.
  • Prior to completing your application, we highly recommend a personal interview with at least one of our faculty members. Please contact an education faculty member whose research interest is similar to your own. (Emeriti faculty, Visiting faculty, Lecturers, and Teacher Supervisors do not advise new students.)


  • K-12 classroom experience

You must submit your application, including the fee payment information, by the December 1 deadline (11:59pm). Supplemental materials (e.g., letters, test scores) will be added to your application as they arrive, but you are strongly encouraged to request letters and to schedule the required tests so that the results will be available by the deadline (or shortly afterwards). The initial review of applications by the admissions committee will begin shortly after the deadline. The campus is closed beginning Dec 23 through Jan 2.

Before submitting your application, please review it for completeness and accuracy, and be sure that the required and correct versions of documents are attached.


  • Please focus your application materials so that you convey a clear sense of: 1) the strength of your preparation to pursue scholarly inquiry; 2) the connection between your scholarly interests and social justice; 3) your short- and long-term goals; and 4) the fit between your interests and goals and our program and faculty.

  • If possible, please select a writing sample that demonstrates your strengths in academic writing and scholarship.

  • In the aggregate, your letters of recommendation should speak to your academic abilities and potential as a scholar.

  • During the preparation of the application, you are encouraged to make direct contact via email with current faculty whose research interests you share to explore the fit between your own interests and those of the program.


The official notification for all admissions decisions is made by Graduate Admissions. All applicants will be notified via email by Graduate Admissions as to whether or not they have been admitted. Departments do not make the official offers and the information that they can give via phone, e-mail, fax or in person is limited.

For program questions, email Within a few business days after an application is submitted, you will get instructions for viewing your applicant portal.  If you see that materials are missing and it's been a reasonable amount of time since you arranged for them to be sent, you can followup with graduate admissions, (not the department), to check on missing materials.