Programs Degrees Major Codes Admissions
Term Deadline
Doctoral PhD EDUC Fall* December 12, 2023
Fall Graduate School Fellowships December 12, 2023 (Recommended)
Program Coordinator See program specific contact information below
Address School of Education
CB# 3500, Peabody Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Phone Please see program specific phone numbers below
Test Requirements
GRE is Optional. Please see Test Requirements section under the Other Requirements for more information.
Letters of Recommendation 3
International Applicants Only TOEFL or IELTS score (no more than two years old)**
Other Requirements In addition to the University’s required application materials, applicants should review the information below for additional expectations or application requirements.


PhD in Education Concentrations:

Applied Developmental Science and Special Education 
Program Coordinator: Dr. Rodger Mills-Knooce (

Policy Leadership and School Improvement
Program Coordinator:
Dr. Lora Cohen-Vogel (

Culture, Curriculum and Teacher Education (CCTE)
Program Coordinator: Dr. Dionne Cross Francis (

Learning Sciences and Psychological Studies
Program Coordinator:  Dr. Matt Bernacki (

Test Requirements

Applicants for Fall 2024: Beginning in Fall 2023, the PhD in Education program no longer requires the GRE to apply. Applicants must demonstrate adequate quantitative, analytic, and writing aptitude to be admitted. Students who believe their application materials do not fully reflect their academic potential are encouraged to include in their application an official GRE score received within the last 5 years.  Any candidate may submit official, current GRE scores for consideration by the admissions committee.

Letters of Recommendation
Applicants should submit three letters of recommendation from people who know them well academically and / or professionally.  At least one of the three letters should be from someone qualified to assess a candidate’s academic potential. At least one of the three letters should be from someone qualified to assess a candidate’s academic ability/potential.

Transcripts from all post-secondary education (including community colleges, summer sessions and extension programs) are required to be uploaded in the application.  Each applicant should obtain an unofficial copy of their transcripts and either upload the document directly if it is in an accepted format or scan it into a file that can be uploaded.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to view each upload and make sure it is clear and legible.  If a degree was earned at any post-secondary institution, the transcript upload must show proof of degree.

Admitted applicants will be required to submit official transcripts from all institutions to The Graduate School.

Statement of Purpose
The Statement of Purpose should include career goals, knowledge areas of interest, commitments, experiences and accomplishments.  The applicants may also describe how this program helps achieve their career goals and why they are good candidates.  The statement of purpose should be 2-3 pages, single spaced.

Applicants are not required to submit writing samples as part of their application.  However, faculty strongly encourage applicants to include brief writing samples (no longer than 10 pages) demonstrating their ability to compose academic arguments.

The PhD program does not have a formal requirement for years of teaching experience but many jobs in schools of education require 3-5 years’ experience and permanent teaching license, and thus we tend to admit those who we feel we can place in appropriate positions upon graduation.  Teaching experience also makes it easier for students to find funding during their doctoral studies.


Applicants must also submit a resume which must include a list of experiences working with children and/or adolescents, such as jobs and volunteer efforts, along with the duration of each experience.  Additional consideration will be given to applicants with counseling-related experience and/or experience working with diverse children and adolescents, and to applicants who have experience working in or with schools.  Your experience working with children and/or adolescents MUST be obvious in either your resume or statement of purpose.

Incomplete Applications
All application materials, including letters of recommendation and matched official test scores (if applicable), must be received by the application deadline.  Applications that are incomplete after the deadline will NOT be reviewed for admission.

All application materials are submitted electronically.  Applicants are responsible for monitoring their application status and ensuring that their application, including letters of recommendation and official test scores, is complete by the application deadline.  Failure to do so will result in your application not being reviewed for admission.

Funding is available but not guaranteed in the form of Teaching Assistant (T.A.) positions and Research Assistant (R.A.) positions.  T.A. and R.A. positions typically include tuition waivers (both in-state and out-of–state), health insurance, and a monthly or bi-weekly stipend.  In order to be offered a T.A. position, you must already have completed your M.A. degree.

*Only in unusual circumstances and after consultation with the program are other admission terms considered.