Apply to Ph.D. Program


Doctoral study in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction is research-oriented. Because the Ph.D. degree is the highest degree conferred by the University of Connecticut, it is granted to a graduate student only when evidence indicates a pattern of pursuing powerful ideas, developing distinctive expertise, cultivating professional commitments, and engaging an able imagination. The degree is never awarded solely for a required period of study or the completion of a prescribed program of course work.


Prospective doctoral scholars must meet the admission criteria of both the Graduate School and the Department of Curriculum & Instruction. Consideration for admission requires the following:

  1. Complete the online application to the Graduate School
  2. Upload the following materials electronically into the online application:
    • Transcripts of all collegiate work completed to date, graduate and undergraduate
    • 3 Reference Letters
    • Personal Goal Statement
    • Residence Affidavit
    • GRE Scores (Verbal & Quantitative)
    • TOEFL (for international applicants whose native language is not English)
    • Vita
    • Academic Writing Sample
    • Evidence of K-12 or Other Relevant Teaching Experience*

Taken together, the documents in your application file should provide a compelling argument for why you aspire to doctoral work. Seek excellence in the documents you submit. Provide explanations for your application materials. Help the Admissions Committee understand: Why do you want the Ph.D.? Why do you want to earn the degree at UConn? What are you curious about? To the committee, the documents in your application folder must present a persuasively argued appeal for investing in your long-term scholarly goals.

Prospective applicants, please see the Curriculum and Instruction Ph.D. Handbook for additional important admissions information.

*A minimum of three years of K-12 teaching experience is preferred, but not required for Ph.D. applicants. This is especially true for candidates who plan to pursue a position as a faculty member with a university-based teacher education program after earning a Ph.D. Many of these positions require and/or prefer at least three years of K-12 teaching experience.