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Apply Now - PhD in Education and Human Development

The 'Urban Ecologies' and 'Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies' concentrations will change to 'Critical Studies in Education' and 'Leadership for Educational Organizations' effective fall 2019 for all enrolled students. The new name is more descriptive of the expertise program completers acquire and provides employers with a clearer description of graduates’ learning. This change better serves the interests of our current and future students and ensures their success post-graduation.

Thank you for your interest in the PhD program at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development.

Application deadlines:

The deadline to apply to the PhD program is December 1st. Students are admitted for the following fall.  The core course rotation begins every fall. We encourage students to review the concentration area choices on our website and contact one or more of the faculty associated with that concentration area for an appointment prior to submitting their application. This ensures the students have an opportunity to discuss their research area of interest, as well as introduce themselves to the faculty. Also, the financial support we provide our PhD students is often tied to federal and state funding decisions, so meeting with a faculty member will let you know if any funding opportunities will be available in the upcoming year.

As part of gaining admission to the PhD program, students are paired with a doctoral faculty advisor/mentor. Find more details about these areas under the Concentration Areas tab for this program. The doctoral faculty may request a personal interview to complement the information provided in the application materials.

Application Process:

Step 1. Prepare your materials. The School of Education & Human Development accepts all applications online. Please review the information below to prepare for the application process. Your application will include:

  • Current resume or curriculum vita — Applicants must have and show evidence of relevant professional and/or academic experience.
  • Written Statement — In 4-6 pages (double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font or larger), discuss research goals and a problem of practical or theoretical importance that could lead to a research study. Be sure to address how your research would fit within one of the concentration areas.
  • Three letters of recommendation - Preferably, two letters should come from faculty in a university program in which you were previously enrolled. The recommenders are sent an email with a link to the recommendation form. When a recommender submits the form, we receive an email notifying us that a recommendation has been submitted on your behalf. The recommendation includes a space for your recommender to cut and paste their recommendation.
  • One official transcript from every previous college/university attended — Please submit transcripts from (a) institutions granting previous degrees and (b) institutions from which courses have been taken that you wish to transfer into the program. Transcripts should be issued to you, collected by you, and subsequently sent to the School of Education & Human Development in the original, unopened envelopes. Instructions on where to mail transcripts are provided in the application.

    Minimum requirements:
    • Master's degree or equivalent
    • 3.5 GPA in graduate-level course work recommended
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) — Verbal and quantitative scores are required. The analytical writing score is also required. Scores must not be older than five years at the time of application and must be sent electronically by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to University of Colorado Denver (institution code 4875). Learn more about the General GRE at
  • Recommended: Master's thesis and/or published materials — Examples of published materials include articles, book chapters, newsletters and technical reports.
  • $50 application fee for domestic students, $75 application fee for international students (paid via credit card, e-check or by mailing in a check)
  • Students applying to the Research, Assessment and Evaluation Concentration should submit a transcript that shows statistics proficiency. To demonstrate proficiency, please contact

Step 2. Submit your application. Your application must be submitted online. Please visit the link below to set up your user name and password to access the online application.

Step 3. Monitor your email. All communication regarding the status of your application, questions we may have, as well as admissions decisions will be sent to the email address you provide to us.

Step 4. Scholarships. Now that you’ve applied to your program, please go to the Scholarship Portal to apply for scholarships! You will use the same credentials to log in as you used to apply.

An interview may be required for admission into the PhD program. Should you be invited for an interview, you will be contacted after an initial review of your application to arrange this.

Please note: The ONLY items that we will accept as hard copies are official transcripts and paper checks. All other required materials must be submitted electronically within the online application.

For more information or questions, please contact​​​​​​​​

CU Denver School of Education &
Human Development

1380 Lawrence St., Denver, CO 80204 | Map It

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