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Educational Psychology
250 Education Sciences Bldg
56 East River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Voice: 612-624-6083

Special Education
250 Education Sciences Bldg
56 East River Road
Minneapolis, MN
55455-0364 USA

Tel: 612-626-0367
Fax: 612-624-8241

Admission to the educational psychology—special education Ph.D., M.A., and licensure/M.Ed. programs

Ph.D. and M.A. admission (non-licensure)


Application forms are needed from two sources—the Graduate School and the Department of Educational Psychology. Once materials are submitted to the University, they are not returned to applicants (with the exception of copies of Master’s theses, publications, etc., for which you have included a stamped, self-addressed return envelope). This means that should you not be accepted for admission, transcripts, letters of recommendation, test profiles, and other materials will not be returned to you. Neither can we favorably act on requests to copy materials and send them to other institutions or other programs at the University of Minnesota.

The final application deadline is December 1st to begin the following fall.

Application instructions

Applications to the Special Education program at the University of Minnesota must be submitted online using the Graduate School Web application. When beginning your application using Apply Yourself, indicate “Ed Psych-Special Education-MA,” “Ed Psych-Special Education-PhD,” or “Ed Psych-Special Education-Spec Cert” as your proposed major and degree objective. Please follow the instructions provided within Apply Yourself and note the Special Education-specific requirements described below. Please read all instructions to ensure that your application materials are complete and submitted online on or before the December 1 deadline.

Graduate School application

Complete and submit the Graduate School application. The procedure for completing your application to the Graduate School is described on its application. You will be required to upload all statements and additional materials into the online application.  Please note all of these materials are to be submitted directly to the Graduate School, not to the department. When the Graduate School file is complete, it will be forwarded to your particular program. Since your total application is not complete until the program has received both the departmental application materials and Graduate School file, it is very important to allow sufficient time before the deadline for materials to be processed by the Graduate School. Do not assume that the Graduate School file is complete until you have received notification from the Graduate School.

Graduate School online application for admission

Graduate School diversity statement

Applicant Statements

The statements are a very important source of information about who you are and what your goals and motivations are. It also is an example of your communication skills and organizational abilities. Take care to answer the questions posed in the application, but write the statement like an essay. Upload all statements into the appropriate sections of the application.

Applicant Statement #1: Personal Statement (required)

Upload a statement (not to exceed three double-spaced pages) to your application, outlining your interests and professional goals. This statement is an integral part of your application and will be weighted heavily in its evaluation. You should include, minimally, the following points: How did you become interested in educational psychology? What specific factors have led you to apply to Minnesota for this specialization? From whom have you received encouragement to continue work in educational psychology? What do you consider to be your outstanding strengths and weaknesses? Please mention specific skills, special talents or aptitudes. What aspects of or specific problems in your area of specialization interest you most at this point? What kinds of educational psychology work do you see yourself doing seven or eight years after you get your degree? Please describe briefly any participation in research, applied educational psychology, or employment which might be relevant to your application.

Applicant Statement #2: Diversity Statement (optional)

Submitting the diversity statement  is optional, however, you are encouraged to submit a statement (per the instructions provided in Apply Yourself) if you feel that submitting such an essay will add important information to your application.

Applicant Statement #3: Extenuating Circumstances Statement (optional)

You may upload a brief statement explaining any extenuating circumstances that may have affected your grades or your test scores.

Graduate Program Supplementary Information

Special Education additional application 

All applicants must submit the Special Education supplementary application and upload this form to the online application.  Please keep the completed form to a single page.

Writing Sample: Uploading a writing sample in this section is optional.

Description of Research or Work Experience: Upload a description of your experiences.

Resume or CV: Upload a detailed resume or curriculum vitae (CV).  Please include past professional, academic, and volunteer experiences as they relate to your work in the fields of psychology, counseling, education, and research.

Other Information: Upload a list of any awards which you have received and publications/articles you have worked on if not included on your resume/CV.

Program Supplementary Information - Upload #1: If you wish to be considered for a Common Ground Consortium fellowship for African-American students, please be sure to indicate this on your program application, and then upload a statement briefly addressing the following question:
Given that the U of MN is a public land grant institution, it is imperative that CGC scholars can both benefit personally from their membership in the program as well as further the university's founding mission to contribute to scholarship that benefits the local and greater communities. Please describe how your participation as a CGC scholar would do the following: (a) enhance your graduate student experience, (b) prepare you for your chosen career, and (c) benefit the public.

Test Scores

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (General)

The GRE is required of ALL applicants for admission and must have been taken within five years of date of application. To make arrangements to take the GRE, contact your nearest college or university counseling/testing center or write the Educational Testing Service (ETS), Graduate Record Examinations, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton NJ 08541-6000. ETS also may be contacted at (800) 473-2255 or Have ETS send your scores to BOTH the Graduate School (using institution code 6874) and the appropriate department/program code (SpEd-3705). Please enter your scores and percentile information in to the Test Information-Self Reported field in the ApplyYourself application.

The University Counseling and Consulting Service Testing Center provides test administration, scoring, and score reporting services to the University and surrounding community. The Computer-Based Testing Center administers the GRE General and Writing Tests, the GMAT, PPST, and TOEFL.

The Test of English as a Foreign Languagem (TOEFL)

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all international applicants whose native language is not English, except those who will have completed 24 quarter credits/16 semester credits (within the past 24 months) in residence as a full-time student at a recognized institution of higher learning in the United States before entering the University of Minnesota. The TOEFL must have been taken less than two years from date of application. This requirement will not be waived. For information about the TOEFL, write to TOEFL, Box 899, Princeton NJ 08541 USA or Again, have ETS send your scores to BOTH the Graduate School (using institution code 6874) and the Department of Educational Psychology (code number 09). Please enter your scores and percentile information in to the Test Information-Self Reported field in the ApplyYourself application.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. preferably from individuals in the education field. Please upload the names and email addresses of your recommenders in to the ApplyYourself application.  A message will be sent automatically sent to the recommenders with further instructions for submitting their letters electronically.  Please be sure that your endorsers are aware of the application deadline.


Upload an unofficial copy of your transcripts from all colleges or universities attended into your ApplyYourself application following the directions outlined on the Graduate School online application.  If you are admitted, the Graduate School will request official transcriptst. 

Please note: Applicants may be asked to present themselves for a personal interview at the University of Minnesota campus with a faculty member of the program OR be interviewed on the telephone by a program faculty member at the applicant’s expense OR be interviewed by an individual designated by the program in the applicant’s geographical location.

Incomplete applications WILL NOT be reviewed. It is the applicant’s responsibility to check with the program periodically, preferably by e-mail, to see whether the application is complete and ready for review.

Request department application materials from:


Readmission policy for Ph.D. and M.A. special education programs

Licensure/M.Ed. Admissions

Applications for admission

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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Revised November 27, 2013