school of education

Chafee Hall, 10 Chafee Rd, Kingston, RI 02881


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Ph.D. in Education


Applicants must possess a Master’s degree in education (or allied field, e.g., psychology) or at least 30 graduate credits from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. The graduate level work must include three credits in each of the following areas: educational foundations, curriculum, and research. Applicants accepted without a master’s degree must pass a Qualifying Examination after completing Year One in the Program.

All applications are completed online through the URI Graduate School. Applications are only reviewed at the beginning of each spring semester and completed applications must be submitted by January 31. All students in the same cohort begin with the same classes in the fall and take them in a certain sequence, so it is not possible to enroll in the middle of the academic year.

What to Include

Resume: Please upload one updated copy of your resume, indicating education, certifications, history of employment, and any awards and/or publications.

Personal Statement: Please state your reasons for deciding to pursue the Ph.D in Education. Include references to your past study and research in your chosen field, your plans for study in the URI/RIC Ph.D. in Education program, including problems and issues you want to address, and your personal goals.

Research Statement: Please write a two-page statement of your research interests and educational concerns and how they might align with current research in one of five areas of scholarly work. Please follow the format and directions outlined in this template.

Three letters of recommendation: Two letters should come from college/university faculty with direct, detailed knowledge of your academic ability and performance. The third letter should come from a professional in the field who has a formal, supervisory relationship to you and direct, detailed knowledge of your ability and performance in teaching (or other form of clinical work related to your professional role, such as guidance counselor, speech-language pathologist, etc.).

Official GRE scores: Your scores should be sent directly from the Testing Agency.  GRE scores must be within the last 5 years and received by the URI Graduate School by the January 31 deadline. Please note that it takes approximately 3 weeks for scores to be sent to URI and processed by the Graduate School. The URI Institutional Code is 3919.

Transcripts: Two copies of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not you completed a degree program, are required. Please note: This requirement differs from the requirement of the URI Graduate School. Official transcripts should in a sealed envelope and signed by the registrar at the issuing institution.  Please send all transcripts to: URI/RIC Ph.D. in Education Program, Attention: URI Co-Director, School of Education, Chafee Hall, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881

  • Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be formally evaluated by one of the following credential evaluation agencies. Please request a course-by-course evaluation and have an official report sent directly to URI at the above address.
World Education Service
Bowling Green Station
PO Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-5087
Center for Educational Documentation, Inc.
PO Box 231126
Boston, MA 02123
Fax: 617.338.7101
Educational Credential Evaluators
PO Box 514070
Milwaulkee, WI 53203-3470
Fax: 414.289.3411

Online Application Form

  • Non-refundable application fee, submitted via online application as a credit card payment or as an electronic check.
  • Certificate of Residence: If you think you qualify for Rhode Island instate tuition and fees or the Metropolitan Tuition Policy as a regional resident, you must submit the completed affidavit, available through the Graduate School at, and be approved for resident or regional student status before the beginning of the semester in which you matriculate.

What to expect after your application materials are submitted

  • February: (Phase 1 Review) Once submitted, all complete applications will be reviewed by the program committee, which includes four faculty members from URI and four faculty members from RIC. Your materials will be scored with a holistic rubric that includes points for each part of the application.
  • March: (Phase 2 Review) Applicants who score well in Phase 1 will be contacted in early March to set up an interview with members of the Program Committee. Interviews are held on a Saturday morning in late March. Local students should plan to attend a face-to-face interview and students outside of Rhode Island will attend a virtual interview.
  • April: (Notification) In early April, the Graduate School will send an email to all applicants (those selected for an interview and those not) to let you know whether or not you have been accepted into the program. In late April, accepted students will be asked to confirm their decision to join the program and attend a two-hour Saturday orientation session to meet the other students in your cohort and learn more about the program.
  • May-July: (Pre-requisite statistics course) Although formal coursework does not begin until September, all students enrolled in our Ph.D. in Education program are expected to have a basic understanding of statistics. To ensure this basic understanding, accepted students will do ONE of the following:
    1. Enroll in and pass a summer session statistics course (EDC 555) designed specifically for students in our program. This class is held once a week from the last week of May to the last week of July at a special summer tuition rate.  It is also a great way to meet other students in your cohort.
    2. Test out of the statistics course in early May by passing a written test given by the EDC 555 course instructor.
    3. Submit a request to enroll in an approved online statistics course covering materials similar to EDC 555 and achieve a passing grade prior to beginning formal coursework in September.
  • September: Formal coursework begins for all students accepted into the program. Typically, one course each semester is held on the URI campus in Kingston and the other course is held on the RIC campus in Providence.

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