Ph.D. Admission Requirements

We are very pleased that you are interested in the PhD in Curriculum and Instruction (CIED) here at the University of Arkansas. The application process has two parts. First you apply to the UA Graduate School and then to the Department where the final admission decision is made. If you wish to apply to the Ph.D. program in CIED, then you will want to start with the Graduate School.  You can find more information about the application process here:  and the application itself can be found here  

Note that all of the required documents need to be submitted electronically through the graduate school.  We will no longer accept emailed applications.   You will want to be aware of a few key deadlines as you make your plans:



Admission Semester

Eligible for Graduate Assistantship / Fellowship Consideration?
December 1 Fall Yes
April 1 Fall No
October 1 Spring No
On-Going Fall/Spring No


The decision to admit a student to graduate study particularly at the PhD level is multi-faceted. It involves not only a review of the students’ qualifications but also our capacity to help each student achieve their specific personal and career goals. We expect our successful applicants to have an earned master’s degree and a solid GPA and GRE scores at or above the 50%ile (that’s about 149 in Quantitative and 151 Verbal Reasoning on the new exam). However, the final decision is not based solely on any single indicator, but on the match between what the student wants, what we can provide, and what the student might bring to the department. There are two ways in which students are admitted into the M.Ed. & Ph.D. programs in CIED.  The first is by submitting an application that exceeds the minimum requirements for admission into the program.  These requirements include:

  • GRE Scores at the 50th percentile or above in all three areas
    • Quantitative
    • Verbal
    • Writing
  • For Ph.D. applicants - Master’s degree G.P.A. of 3.5 or above
  • An available faculty mentor in the desired area of interest
  • Favorable faculty mentor reviews of:
    • Writing sample which demonstrates professional writing competency
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Three years of field related experience in the desired area of interest

The second path to admission is by a full review of the Graduate Admissions Committee that meets once per semester in December (Fall) and April (Spring).  Review by the Graduate Admissions Committee is required for any student who wishes to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship/Fellowship and for any student who does not exceed the minimum admissions requirements.   If you are interested in funding for your Ph.D. then you can apply for a Graduate Assistantship through the department.  Graduate Assistantships are awarded by the Graduate Admissions Review Committee.  GA positions are limited, and are not necessarily available to the department each year.  Preference is given to candidates who would also have a strong case for a Doctoral Fellowship.  You can find more information regarding the fellowships here  

The decision to pursue a PhD is a significant one. Not everyone with a master’s degree necessarily must earn a PhD. So, ask yourself, why you want to earn a PhD? Do you know which field within Curriculum and Instruction is of interest to you? Have you looked at the online resources and/or talked with faculty members to make sure that your needs will be well met? Have you come to campus to meet personally with professors in the PhD program? Are you really prepared to dedicate the time necessary to complete the coursework and dissertation? Have you considered becoming a full time doctoral student? For those who hope to be professors, this is the best option. If you haven’t already done so, take a look at the various links associated with the UA Department of Curriculum and Instruction and review the faculty biographies posted on the College of Education and Health Professions (COEHP) website. You should know something about the faculty who will help you get where you want to go.   To help us make the best decision, you will need to submit the following documents in support of your application for admission. If you have already provided materials in any of these categories, there is no need to send them again.  

1)   RESUME or CV: Please provide a current resume including details of you as a professional and a scholar.  

2)   STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Tell us about yourself by providing a brief personal narrative account linked to a statement of purpose regarding your future career plans. In other words, tell us why you why want to earn a PhD with a focus in curriculum and instruction. Do you want to advance in your present position or do you want a career as a professor in a higher education environment? What impact would you like to make personally and professionally by earning a PhD? Will you be a full time or part time student? What is your area of specialization? All PhD students take a common core of classes but a good program should be much more than that. For instance, are you interested in literacy education, TESOL, science, mathematics, history, technology or elementary education (to name some possibilities)?  A few students may graduate and work broadly in “curriculum and instruction” (but that’s just the name of the degree). The best strategy is to find a specialty that will permit you to grow as a professional and graduate from the University of Arkansas with specific expertise.  

3) WRITING SAMPLE: Send us an original writing sample (less than 20 pages, please) that illustrates your ability to communicate in a clear and creative fashion. This might be a paper that you have written for a recent class, a position paper, an action plan that you may have written for your employer or a published work. Give us an idea of your communication skills and who you are as a communicator. Keep in mind that quality, not quantity, is the key. Please respect the length requirement, so you may need to edit something you have already written.  

If you have questions about the PhD program in CIED or want more information about the application process, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.  

Jason L. Endacott, Ph.D.                                  Associate Professor
Ph.D. - M.Ed. Program Coordinator         Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Peabody Hall 118                                                (479) 575-2657