Why should I choose the Department of Education’s Ph.D. program?
The Department of Education is an interdisciplinary community that bridges the theoretical and research foundations of education, traditional academic disciplines (e.g., sociology, psychology, history), and the professional practice of education. The programs of research pursued by our faculty span a variety of disciplinary perspectives, methodological approaches, and levels of analysis ranging from the individual to complex systems. The department offers a vibrant student-centered community in which faculty and staff are invested in the mentoring and success of students. Given our department’s small size and low faculty-to-student ratio, our Ph.D. students are able to create strong relationships with their advisors, fellow students, and our broader education community.
What are the most important components of the application?
When making admissions decisions, the Department of Education’s Doctoral Studies Committee takes a holistic approach to assessing each applicant’s potential to thrive in our program and community. Accordingly, the committee considers many factors, including grade-point average in previous programs, research experience, potential advisee-advisor matches, and letters of recommendation. The statement of purpose and the writing sample are important components of the application. Applicants should use the statement of purpose to communicate why they are applying to doctoral program. The essay should describe their research interests and experiences (if applicable) as well as their future goals and how the program will help to achieve them. Although previous research experience is not required for admission, it is highly recommended in order to be competitive with other applicants. Applicants should also carefully consider the writing sample that they plan to submit. The sample should be a paper independently written by the applicant that best reflects their thinking and writing ability. The paper may have been prepared earlier for another purpose, or it may be written specifically for the application. Ideally, the paper would showcase a research experience, such as a thesis, an independent project, or a term paper for a course.
Should I identify a faculty advisor before submitting my application?
The Doctoral Studies Committee wants each admitted student to have at least one faculty member who is willing and able to mentor the student. Thus, it is important for applicants to find a faculty member (or multiple faculty) with whom their research interests align and indicate the potential match in their application. Before submitting their application, applicants are strongly encouraged to reach out to potential faculty advisors to introduce themselves, discuss their goals and research interests, find out more about the faculty member’s current research and priorities, and determine whether or not the program is a good fit. Faculty are much more likely to take a closer look at an application if the applicant has contacted them in advance. Applicants should only consider faculty from the Department of Education. A list of potential faculty advisors is above. Each advisor has a profile page that describes their research interests and provides contact information.
Am I eligible to apply?
The Department of Education encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission. Applicants must earn the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree prior to the application semester. Applicants are not required to have a master’s degree.
How do I apply to the Ph.D. in Education program?
Applicants should apply through the Office of Graduate Studies' online application. Application requirements are listed above.
Does the department require GRE scores for admission?
No, GRE scores are not required for admission to the Ph.D. in Education program.
When are applications due?
In order to be considered for admission, applicants must submit a complete dossier no later than December 4th. All students are admitted for the fall semester.
How can I inquire about an application fee waiver?
You may inquire about an application fee waiver by emailing the Office of Graduate Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I submit official English proficiency test scores (TOEFL or IELTS)?
TOEFL scores may be submitted electronically via ETS to school code 6929.
Official IELTS scores must be mailed from the testing center to:
Washington University in St. Louis Graduate Admissions
1 Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
Is there a waiver for the English proficiency test?
The English proficiency testing requirement may be waived for applicants who meet certain criteria. More information on waiver eligibility can be found on the Office of Graduate Studies’Admissions FAQ page.
What financial support is offered to Ph.D. students in the Department of Education?
Our Ph.D. students receive full tuition remission, a health fee subsidy, and a monthly stipend to defray living expenses. The stipend is paid over 12 months (August-July), meaning summer funding is included. Washington University guarantees funding for Ph.D. students for up to six years as long as satisfactory progress is being made in their program. Competitive fellowships are also available through the Office of Graduate Studies. More information on fellowship opportunities can be found on the Office of Graduate Studies Funding and Support page.
How do I submit my official transcript(s)?
Unofficial copies of transcripts must be uploaded at the time of application for each institution attended. Transcripts should include the applicant’s name, the institution’s name, and all grades received. Transcripts from foreign institutions should be translated by the issuing institution and uploaded with the original transcripts. Translations must bear an original ink signature and seal.
After accepting an offer of admission, official transcripts must be submitted from degree granting institution(s) for all undergraduate and graduate coursework. Transcripts must be in English and list the applicant’s name, the institution’s name, and all grades received. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies from the issuing institution, or delivered by hand in a stamped and sealed institutional envelope. If the official transcript does not show degree conferral applicants must also send a certificate of graduation (with translation if needed). Transcripts may be mailed to:
Washington University in St. Louis
Office of Graduate Studies in Arts and Sciences
1 Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
Can I receive a master’s degree while working on my doctoral degree?
The Department of Education offers an optional “en-route” master’s degree for students enrolled in the department’s Ph.D. program. The program requirements consist of coursework and the completion of a master’s thesis. The coursework has substantial overlap with the requirements for the doctoral degree to avoid adding time to degree. Completing the A.M. in Education is optional for Ph.D. students but strongly recommended for those students with no master’s degree or a master’s degree in a field outside of education. Doctoral students in the Department of Education will be able to opt into the “en-route” master’s program at any point up until they complete or exit the doctoral program. However, students are encouraged to complete the requirements for the A.M. in Education before the end of their second year in the Ph.D. program.