Educational Psychology

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Admissions: Special education M.A. & Ph.D.


December 1: fall M.A. & Ph.D. applications

Note: We do not typically admit students for spring semester.

December–January: review process

The admissions committee considers a variety of factors including your prior academic achievement, GRE scores, relevant employment and life experiences, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and compatibility of your clinical and research interests with those of the program and faculty. Although interviews are not required, you may be called by the program for more information.

December–January: admissions decisions

All applications are reviewed during December and January for entrance the following Fall Semester. For updates on the status of your application, visit ApplyYourself or send an email to the program.

The Office of Graduate Admission completes a final review of your materials.  You will receive your official admission decision via the email address provided on the ApplyYourself  online application.

“My research is focused on early intervention strategies for children with autism. In the future, I hope to conduct research in early identification practices in autism.”

Kelsey Young headshot

Kelsey YoungPh.D. student |

Interests: Early identification of autism, including: biobehavioral markers, assessments, diagnostics

Work: Early intervention for preschoolers with autism

How to apply

Start your application
on ApplyYourself

Upload and submit all application materials, including transcripts, directly to the ApplyYourself admissions system. For additional information on how to apply, visit the Graduate School website.

Graduate school application

Choose “Ed-Psych Special Education-M.A.” or “Ed-Psych-Special Education Ph.D.” as your proposed major and degree objective.

Required fields: Personal Information, Application Information, Educational Background, Languages, Awards & Activities, Employment/Residence Information, Financial Support, Applicant Statement #1 (Statement of Interest), Program Supplementary Information and Recommendations.

Optional fields: All other fields or application materials are optional, but will be taken into consideration if submitted.

Application fee

Visit the Graduate School website for more information

Program application

Download the program application

Complete the program application form and upload it in the Program Supplementary Information section of the ApplyYourself online application under 'Graduate Program Additional Application.


Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English. Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts, there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review.

If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of this material.

More information about transcripts and credentials

Letters of recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. Recommendations should be from professors or others who are able to comment on your educational and professional goals and potential.

You must input the names and contact information for each recommendation provider in ApplyYourself.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores

The GRE (General) is required for all applicants and must have been taken within five years of date of application. Due to the length of processing time all applicants should take the GRE test no later than the October testing date to meet the December application deadline. Be sure to request that ETS send your scores to the University of Minnesota Graduate School (using institution code 6874).

Get more information about the GRE or see if the Graduate School has received your official scores

English language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

Students whose native language is not English are required to submit English Language proficiency scores.

More information on English Language test scores

Applicant statement #1 - personal statement

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.

Resume/curriculum vitae (CV)

Upload in the Program Supplementary Information section of the ApplyYourself online application under “CV/Resume.”

Optional application materials

Articles, term papers, theses or reports of experimental investigations

Upload publications and articles in the Program Supplementary Information section of the ApplyYourself online application under “Writing Samples.”

Applicant Statement #2–Diversity Statement

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

Extenuating circumstances

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

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 University of Minnesota is a public grant institution, it is imperative that CGC scholars can both benefits 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:

  • Enhance your graduate student experience
  • Prepare you for your chosen career
  • Benefit the public


Fellowships & awards

Submit your application materials by Dec. 1, and you’ll automatically be considered for Graduate School fellowships and departmental awards based on scholastic achievement. Notification of awards will be sent in March.

National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention (NCLii)

The National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention (NCLii), a new consortium funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), will prepare special education leaders to become experts in research on intensive intervention for students with disabilities who have persistent and severe academic (e.g., reading and math) and behavioral difficulties. The project is currently recruiting applicants to begin doctoral study in special education in Fall 2016.

Contact: Frank Symons, associate dean for research and policy, College of Education and Human Development

Financial aid

Visit OneStop Student Services for more information on available financial aid.


Visit the College of Education and Human Development’s Awards page for scholarship information.