How to Apply
Choose a Program and Specialization
While an applicant may apply to several programs, applying to several specializations within the same program is not recommended.
Academic Statement of Purpose
Please use the Academic Statement of Purpose to describe (within 1000 words): (1) the substantive scholarly questions you are interested in exploring in graduate study, (2) your academic background, intellectual interests, and any training, research, or other experiences that have prepared you for graduate study, (3) how our program would help you achieve your intellectual goals, (4) any specific faculty members, if applicable, whose research interests align with your own interests, and (5) your professional goals.
A statement in which you provide evidence of how your professional experiences and prior academic work have focused your thinking toward the planned program of study. A minimum 500 words is required for the personal statement. There is no maximum length to the statement, though most are not over 3 pages.
This is required of all applicants. For students applying to the Special Education doctoral program, a minimum of two years paid full-time professional experience related to special education or the field of disability is preferred for consideration for the program.
Letters of Reference
Every applicant is required to submit 3 letters of reference from persons who have direct knowledge of their academic and/or professional performance and potential for graduate study.
At the time of application you are only required to upload unofficial copies of your transcripts into the application. The unofficial copy can be a screenshot or scanned copy but should not be a photo of the transcript. Applicants must have earned at least a degree from an accredited college in the United States or a comparable degree from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad. If admitted, you will be required to submit official transcripts to the Graduate College.
3.0 Minimum GPA
A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (A=4.0), or comparable GPA for an international applicant, for last two years of undergraduate study is a minimum requirement for admission.
Once you have submitted your application, you will be required to pay your application fee by credit card.
- The fee must be paid within 3 weeks of submitting your application or your application will be unsubmitted.
- The fee must also be paid prior to your application deadline
- The fee is non-refundable and your application cannot be reviewed until the application fee has been processed.
- The application fee amount is determined by your citizenship and/or visa status.
- Domestic applicants are required to submit a $70.00 application fee.
- International applicants are required to submit a $90.00 application fee.
There are a variety of application fee waivers available. Please see the Graduate College's website for the waivers accepted by the University of Illinois.
Program/Degree Specific Criteria
Scholarly Writing Sample
This is required for applicants to doctoral programs in Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Psychology and Special Education; strongly recommended for doctoral applicants in Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership. The writing sample can be a masters thesis, research paper, or any other sample that demonstrates the applicant's ability to analyze and synthesize data.
***Please note that the GRE will not be required for the Fall 2022 admission cycle.***
This is required for doctoral applicants in Educational Psychology. No minimum score is required.
For applicants to the Special Education doctoral program, a minimum of two years paid full-time professional experience related to special education or the field of disability is preferred for consideration for the program.
Applicants for the Educational Administration and Leadership (EAL) programs are required to provide either a formal evaluation from your school/district, which includes evidence of student learning (e.g. student growth objectives), that has been completed in the past two years, or a portfolio with evidence of your teaching, leadership, use of data, and connections with families.
EAL Endorsement Information Form
All applicants for Educational Administration & Leadership must complete the EAL Endorsement Information Form. In addition to this form, applicants interested in the Principal Endorsement need to submit the Principal Verification of Experience form and applicants interested in the Superintendent Endorsement need to submit the Superintendent Verification of Experience Form.
Applicants for all teacher licensure programs in secondary education must complete a content test in the appropriate content area. It is recommended that applicants to these programs take the exam prior to admission and include their test scores with their application.
International Applicant Criteria
For more information on international applicants, please visit the Graduate College website.
Proof of Funding Documentation
International applicants who are requesting F-1 or J-1 visa eligibility documents are required to submit Proof of Funding Documentation.
Evidence of English proficiency
Provide evidence of English proficiency.