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Doctoral Program

Doctoral Degrees (Ph.D. and Ed.D.)

Admission Requirements for Ph.D. 

To qualify for admission to the Ph.D. all applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Candidates should submit a statement of no more than 1,500 words, that responds to two questions:
  • 1. What are you interested in researching during your doctoral studies, and why?
  • 2. How would doctoral studies at UMass Lowell advance your career goals?
  • Earned master’s degree from an accredited institution. The most appropriate master’s degree is the M.Ed.; however, other related master’s degrees will be considered if the candidate can demonstrate work experience or knowledge of education policy and/or research. The master’s degree must have been earned with a 3.000 GPA or better.
  • Resume, which highlights the applicant’s education and experience relevant to the degree after completion of the bachelor’s degree.
  • Satisfactory TOEFL scores taken within the last year for international applicants as appropriate.
  • Three letters of recommendation which speak to the suitability of the applicant for advanced graduate work, work ethic and knowledge of the field of education and/or education research.
  • Please submit a writing sample that demonstrates the applicant's ability to present a cohesive, focused and persuasive response to an education issues of his or her choice. The writing sample should be accompanied by a brief note explaining the context in which it was written and identifying the kinds of support received by the applicant producing it. 
  • Interview on-campus or via a video-conferencing tool for those applicants seeking Teaching or Research Assistantships, or for those whose application materials raise unanswered questions.
Questions about the Ph.D. should be sent to the Ph.D. coordinator via email:
Application for admission to the Ph.D. program is available online through the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Admission Requirements for ED.D. 
  • An M.Ed., Ed.S. or master’s degree in a field relevant to PK-12 education
  • Should be currently working in a PK-12 school or other setting that serves these students, have a commitment to continuing to serve such students as a leader who will influence excellence and equity
    • STEM option: Should have experience as a STEM teacher or other roles in STEM within the district e.g. elementary STEM coordinator; mathematics coach
  • Demonstrated leadership skills in such settings 
  • Official transcripts from previously earned degrees
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • A Professional resume
  • A two-page statement of purpose in which the applicant describes their work as an educator to date, including a discussion of leadership roles beyond classroom teaching and professional goals, research interests, and reasons for entering a scholar-practitioner doctoral degree. Applicants demonstrate their understanding of equity-based educational problems; the ability to identify and articulate the reasons to address a contextually relevant, equity-based problem (Equity-based problems for STEM applicants should have a STEM focus).
  • $50 application fee

Questions about the ED.D. should be sent to the ED.D. coordinator via email:

Application for admission to the Ph.D. program is available online through the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Additional Admission Requirements for International Applicants

  • For applicants who earned their degree outside of the US, you do not need to have your transcript evaluated by a credentialing service such as WES or CED.
  • English proficiency testing
    • TOEFL minimum 90
    • IELTS minimum 7.0
    • Duolingo minimum 105

Please note, F1 student visas are not issued for ED.D program since it is offered exclusively online.

Degree Requirements

  1. Complete the stipulated course requirements for the degree program at this university.
  2. Complete all course requirements for the degree with a cumulative grade point average of B or better.
  3. No more than nine credits of coursework with an earned grade below B (3.00) may count towards the doctorate.
  4. Pass comprehensive examinations as determined by the specific program prior to beginning dissertation work.
  5. Satisfactorily complete and defend a dissertation based upon the results of original research as approved by the candidate’s dissertation committee, and submit the dissertation per University regulations.
  6. Complete the program within eight years from the date of admission.

Degree Pathway for

Links to program information on the School of Education pages:

Updated 10/17/2022