Applying to the GSE

When are application deadlines?

The application deadline depends on the program you are applying to. Please see the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions website for deadlines.

How do I get an application packet or catalog for GSE programs?

All of our application materials are available online:

What is required to apply?

The application is available online at through the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions,  A complete application includes:

  • current general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (no older than five years);
  • two copies of official transcripts from all institutions attended; and
  • three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

International students: TOEFL or IELTS is required of all applicants whose undergraduate education was completed in a non-English speaking country. Even if you hold a master's-level degree from the United States or other English-speaking-country, you must still take the TOEFL or IELTS test. Scores must be current within two years of the applied semester.

All must be received (including test scores) by the application deadline.

I’m not admitted yet. Can I meet with a professor to plan courses to take?

Not until you are admitted to a program.

When I apply, can my transcripts be a copy or do they have to be an original?

Transcripts must be official, original copies. Student-issued and web printout copies will not be accepted.

Should I come for an interview?

No, we do not conduct interviews as part of the application process. However, you can visit campus to find out more about the program if you wish.

Is an undergraduate degree in education required?


If I take classes as a nonmatriculated student, do I still have to apply to the program?

Yes, you must apply to the program if you want a degree. Taking courses nonmatriculated does not guarantee your acceptance.

I already have a master’s degree. Do I need to retake the GRE?

If your scores are older than five years, you must retake the GRE, regardless if you have a postbaccalaureate degree or not.

How do I transfer credits?

You must have completed 12 credits of coursework with grades of B or better in the Graduate School–New Brunswick before you can apply for credits to be transferred. You then complete an application for transferring credits. The form is available from Ms. Kris Spaventa in room 106 of the Graduate School of Education and must be approved by the Ph.D. director.

Who can write letters of recommendation?

It is best to have letters of recommendation from people who know your academic work and who can comment on your potential for advanced study and research.

What should a personal statement include?

Your personal statement communicates to the members of the admissions committee why you wish to pursue a Ph.D. It should describe your plans for graduate study, the kind of research in which you are interested, and your plans for your career. You should clearly indicate WHICH of the four subareas of the Ph.D. program in Education that is of interest to you (educational policy, educational psychology, literacy education, mathematics education). You should describe particular research interests and you may also identify faculty members with whom you might like to work. You can get a general idea of what specific faculty research interests are by looking at their individual webpages.

What GRE tests should I take and when?

You should take the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which tests verbal, quantitative, and writing skills; and have the scores available when applying. See for test information. Note that the GRE now includes a new section on analytical writing. This replaces the old analytical section. Examples of scored essays are available on the GRE website.

Can the GRE be waived?

No, all students are required to submit GRE scores as part of the admissions process.

Who is on the qualifying examination committee?

The qualifying examination committee consists of four members of the faculty in the Ph.D. program in Education who work in the student’s area of concentration.

What is the qualifying examination?

The qualifying examination is given to determine whether a student has acquired sufficient mastery of the field of concentration to warrant admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. The exam should be taken as soon as a student has completed the major portion of the course requirements. It should be taken not later than four years after the student first registered in the Graduate School–New Brunswick. Consult the catalog of the Graduate School–New Brunswick for additional details.

What application materials do I send to the Graduate School of Education and what do I send to graduate admissions?

Send ALL required application materials to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions. For more information, visit Your materials will be forwarded to the appropriate program group.

How will I know if I have been admitted?

You can check the status of your application online via the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions website.

Can I find out before being admitted to the program which of my previous courses might possibly transfer?

No. An adviser will be assigned to you if admitted to the program. Upon completion of 12 credits in the Graduate School–New Brunswick, you can apply for transfer of credits. This request will need to be approved by your adviser, program coordinator, Ph.D. director, and ultimately by the dean of the Graduate School of Education.