College of Education > Academics > Leadership, Language & Curriculum > Graduate Programs > Curriculum Studies (PhD) > Admission Requirements

PhD Program Admission Requirements

​Admission Eligibility

To be eligible to enroll in the Curriculum Studies PhD program, students must hold both a bachelor's and master's degree from an accredited college or university and have a previous GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale. In addition, you should have experience in an educational role, as well as demonstration of leadership or leadership potential.

Application Requirements

A complete application to the PhD program will include the following materials:

  • Graduate admission application
  • $40 domestic application fee, $75 international application fee
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
  • Résumé or curriulum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which should be from faculty in your master's program
  • A personal statement in which you discuss your interest in further study and articulating an issue or problem of interest or concern (approximately 3 pages)
  • Writing sample from a master's-level class; alternatively, you can write a 3-5 page response to questions provided by the Curriculum Studies program - Alternative Writing Prompt

Applicants may be invited to attend an interview with PhD program faculty as part of the application process. Interviews are held either at the Lincoln Park campus or by phone, depending on an applicant's availability. The Office of Graduate Admissions contacts applicants to schedule the interview if one will be required.

Applicants who have earned a degree outside of the U.S. or who will be considered international students must submit additional materials. Visit our International Students page for more information.

Applicants can upload supplemental application materials, send requests for letters of recommendation, and pay the application fee through our online application system.

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to program and admission requirements for the educational doctorate program, students choosing to apply to one of the additional endorsement options are required to fulfill the following requirements.

Teacher Leader Endorsement

  • A copy of a valid Illinois teaching license
  • Proof of at least two years of full-time teaching experience
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors or supervisors
  • Statement of purpose indicating professional development goals and related experience (750 words)

Principal Endorsement

  • A copy of a valid Illinois teaching license
  • Proof of at least two years of full-time teaching experience within the last five
  • One letter from district office recommending entrance into the principal preparation program
  • Two letters of recommendation (one from your supervisor and one from a colleague) - These take the place of the three letters of recommendation required for admission to the PhD program
  • Statement of purpose indicating why you want to be a principal
  • Upon initial review, the process will include a required interview. Candidates will be expected to complete on on-site writing sample during the interview and submit a teaching portfolio.

Superintendent Endorsement

  • Students must already have the general administrative (K-12) or principal (preK-12) endorsement added to their professional educator license
  • Proof of at least two years of full-time administrative experience on a valid administrative license with the general administrative endorsement

Application Deadlines

The PhD program admits new students every quarter: fall, winter, spring and summer. It offers rolling admission, but regular deadlines are set for each term to assure students full consideration for admission and financial aid. The program will continue to accept and process applications after the regular deadline if space is available.

August 15
December 1
March 1
May 1

*The PhD program admits students all year on a rolling basis; however, most students admitted for the summer term will begin classes the following fall quarter.

Applicants typically receive an admission decision 4-6 weeks after submitting a complete application.

Information Sessions

Learn more about the Curriculum Studies PhD program and meet with program faculty at an upcoming information session.

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College of Education

Office of Graduate Admission
2400 N. Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614-3250
Phone: (773) 325-4405