PhD Admissions Guidelines

GRE scores are not required. Admission is based on your past educational achievement and accomplishments, and your visions for the future as a scholarly researcher.

Applicants must complete the School of Education online admissions application. Please select the application for the fall term.

There is a non-refundable application fee of $50 (USD) by credit card with the application, unless you apply for and receive a need-based fee waiver.

Your online application will include your:

  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Goal statement
  • Contact information for three academic or professional contacts to later be invited to provide letters of recommendation.
  • Academic Transcript

In the online application, applicants are required to complete a goal statement not to exceed 750 words.

Below is a summary of the writing prompt:

“Please share your reasons for pursuing a degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, focusing on your long-term goals and how your academic program will help you achieve those goals. Include any aspects of your experience, skills, and background which may aid the admission committee in evaluating your fit for the program for which you are applying. If applying for an EdD or PhD program, please also discuss your area(s) of research, academic and/or professional interests and identify 1-3 faculty you’re interested in working with and why.”

You may identify faculty on the degree page for your program of interest. Or you may contact our admissions team for more information at

The online application includes a field to select for students interested in participating in our Equity and Justice Fellowship program.

In February, the admissions committee will provide applicants with additional information regarding the essay.

Submission of a professional writing sample in the form of a previously completed term paper, master’s thesis, article, etc. that does not exceed 20 pages in length. The writing sample can be uploaded as part of your online application.

In the Academic History section of the online application, please request that official transcripts from all U.S. institutions attended are sent to GRADCAS. If your previous institution is unable to send transcripts electronically, please contact an Admissions & Recruitment Manager at 412-648-2230 or

Applicants may be eligible for a need-based application fee waiver due to:

  • Pell eligibility within the last three years
  • Recent participation in federal, state, or local programs that aid students from low-income families
  • Qualification for public assistance
  • Otherwise demonstrable financial hardship, including emergency expenses or unexpected medical bills


Our admissions staff will review your request, and reach back out to assist you in completing your application. The School of Education reserves the right to request any necessary documentation.

Ready to Apply?

Submit your application online

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