PhD Admissions

A female student looks onward at graduation

Application Instructions for PhD Students

Congratulations on your interest in joining the PhD program at the Pitt School of Education. You will soon have the opportunity to work alongside the leading minds in education research. The University of Pittsburgh is a Research 1 institution, which means that we engage in the highest levels of research activity. Our faculty are working on groundbreaking research that has a transformative effect on education policy, practice, and science. 

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PhD Admissions Deadlines

The admissions deadline for PhD programs is December 1.  All PhD programs begin in the fall term. 

PhD Admissions Guidelines

To be considered for our PhD programs, your admissions materials must include the following basic elements. Please visit the web page of your program of interest to see if there are additional program requirements.

Online Application

  1. Applications are submitted through the Pitt Education Online Application Form

  2. There is a non-refundable application fee of $50 (USD) to be paid by credit card

  3. Your online application must include (a.) a Purpose Statement of your career goals and degree objectives that is two-to-three pages double-spaced in length, (b.) your resume or curriculum vita, and (c.) contact information for three academic or professional contacts to later be invited to provide letters of recommendation

Transcript Submission

  1. Official transcripts from every institution previously attended can be sent to us electronically at or mailed to us at "School of Education Admissions and Enrollment Services, 5500 Posvar Hall, 230 South Bouquet Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15260"

  2. Any courses that you took or degrees that you earned from the University of Pittsburgh after 2008 do not need to be sent. Our office can obtain these transcripts internally.

Additional Requirements 

  1. Your scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are required. The GRE institution code for the University of Pittsburgh is R2927 and the Department Code for "Education" is 3999.

  2. 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 paper can be uploaded as part of your online application.

  3. A narrative statement of 750-1,250 words that explains the following:

    1. The applicant’s specific area of research interest

    2. The alignment of research interests with at least 1 or 2 School of Education faculty

    3. The supporting field outside of education that the applicant plans to include as part of the degree program

    4. How the applicant’s professional experience and academic background have prepared them for graduate study

    5. How the PhD program area of concentration, and supporting field will allow them to pursue their research interests and contribute to their professional goals