Admissions: MA/PhD

What we look for

Admission to our master's of arts and doctoral programs are competitive and we look for candidates whose goals and interests align with the program’s research and scholarship. Program faculty make admissions decisions based on the candidate’s experience and research competencies, along with compatibility of research goals.

Please look at our current faculty members’ research interests.

Our masters and doctoral candidates display

  • Evidence of strong interest in research and in the development of research competencies
  • Evidence of substantial experience in the discipline
  • Strong writing skills
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution or foreign equivalent

Application timeline

Priority deadline: December 1 for admission to the Fall the following year

Admissions decisions: January.

Applications submitted after this date are considered on a case-by-case basis and may not be reviewed until the following year. Faculty review applications in mid-late December, and the Graduate School will notify applicants about admission decisions shortly thereafter. Final admission decisions are based on complete applications. All application materials (listed in the “how to apply” section) must be included for the application to be released for review.

If you have missed the December 1 priority deadline, please contact Graduate Studies Coordinator, Kristina Pearson to find out if space is still available in your desired program area

Tuition and funding

We have several funding options to support students full-time through program completion. Support is available in the form of:

  • Teaching Assistantships. The majority work as student teaching supervisors for MEd initial licensure students. Daytime availability, a teaching license, and teaching experience are required
  • Research Assistantships
  • Fellowships. Based on a departmental nomination process. You will be notified by the Director of Graduate Studies if you are being considered for a fellowship. Decisions are made by April 15.
  • Graduate students are also eligible to apply for fellowships and graduate assistantships through other University departments. Visit the University's employment page or fellowships through the Graduate School's Graduate Fellowship Office.
  • Find more detailed federal financial aid and graduate tuition information.

Required application documents

  1. Unofficial transcripts.Upload your transcripts into the application system. Please include all transcripts from any institution you have attended, even if you did not earn a degree or certificate. Please do not mail your transcripts. Official transcripts are required only after you are admitted. Tips for uploading your transcript(s).
  2. Resume.
  3. CI Application Form. Upload in the graduate program additional materials section.
  4. Three letters of recommendation. Ask professors, employers, or supervisors to speak to your potential for successfully completing your degree; they will upload their letters directly into the online application.
  5. The GRE is being waived for those applicants applying for Fall 2022.

Required written statements

  1. Personal statement.Upload to the Applicant Statements section of the online application. (Most statements are 1.5-3 pages, single spaced). Please trace how you became interested in research in this discipline, as well as what problems interest you the most and why. Be sure to speak to:
    • Why you want to study in our department
    • What strengths, expertise, and research experience would contribute to your success in our program
    • Your professional goals for pursuing a research-focused degree
  2. Diversity statement.Upload to the Applicant Statements section of the online application. Identify the distinctive qualities, characteristics, and life experiences you would contribute to our community. You may wish to include examples that address your contribution to the diversity of the student body and illustrate your motivation to succeed by setting high standards for accomplishing intellectual and other goals, overcoming obstacles to achievement, and/or helping others to gain access to the resources necessary for success. (please do not exceed one page in length)
  3. Short writing sample.(Optional except for Literacy Education applicants). For example, an excerpt from a term paper or research paper for publication. No longer than five pages in English.
  4. Common Ground Consortium Fellowship. (Optional) for African-American students CGC develops proactive and collaborative Black intellectual leaders in education. If you wish to apply, submit a statement that describes how your participation as a CGC scholar would a) enhance your graduate student experience, b) prepare you for your chosen career, and c) benefit the public. Upload to graduate program additional materials section.

Tuition and aid

All master's degree programs in CEHD have the same cost per credit hour. The University of Minnesota tuition operates on a credit band where there is a flat rate for tuition each semester when taking 12 - 24 credits.

Transfer credits

MA students must complete at least 60 percent of their coursework (not including thesis credits) within our program. PhD students may transfer no more than 15 credits from an outside institution.

A maximum of 12 graduate course credits taken as non-degree seeking or non-admitted status at the University of Minnesota can be transferred; this is counted separately from the maximum 60 percent or 15 non-UMN credits. For example, a PhD student could transfer a maximum of 27 credits (15 non-UMN and 12 non-degree from UMN).

If you earned a MA at the UMN, please contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator to discuss transfer procedures. Thesis credits cannot be transferred.

After you are admitted, you will work with your adviser to determine which credits may transfer.

International applicants

International applicants may also need:

  • An English translation of your transcripts, if the transcript is not in English. Please note: the Graduate School Admissions Office will not accept an evaluation of your international coursework by an outside agency such as ECE or WES; they only accept the original transcripts.
  • TOEFL/IELTS or MELAB. You may qualify for an exception if you have completed 16 semester or 24 quarter credits within the past 24 months in residence as a full-time student at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States or other country where English is the official language (i.e. U.K, Canada). Score requirements and submission guidelines

Application checklist

Before applying online, go through the application checklist to ensure you have all the required materials. We are here to help! If you have questions, please contact the Graduate Studies Coordinator Kristina Pearson.

If you are a returning Graduate School student, follow the Readmission guidelines. If you are a current Graduate School student and need to change your program, follow the Change of Status guidelines.