Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Are you a candidate for Doctoral study?

Our program is designed for students with strong academic backgrounds and a dedication to the study of early childhood education. Doctoral students are expected to work both independently and in collaboration with faculty. They will pursue rigorous research agendas, publish in scholarly journals, and present widely at national conferences.

Criteria for Admission 

  • Strong Academic Record.
  • Transcripts from accredited institutions with a minimum 3.5 GPA in a student’s Master’s Program.
  • Education: Earned Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or related field.
  • Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. The College of Education requires all students who apply to the Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program to submit GRE scores as part of their application. Each program may require specific minimum scores for admission, and the selection committee will review the scores as part of the student selection process.
  • Three Academic References.
  • Research Experience.
  • Writing Samples/Publications: Submit two academic manuscripts that demonstrate your writing and analysis skills. Course projects are acceptable.
  • Curriculum Vita or Resume.
  • Relevant Professional Experience.
  • Personal statement of academic history and goals.
  • Educational or professional experience (minimum of 2 years working directly with young children).

Application Process 

  • Complete the online application. Upload all required application documents including transcripts and any and all test scores (originals should be sent to the USF Graduate Studies Office).
  • Notify the Early Childhood Advanced Graduate Program Coordinator (Dr. Ilene Berson) and the department of your intention to apply to the program: Ms. Julie Schenk.
  • Upon receipt of the complete application (i.e., Graduate School Application and additional requirements), the Advanced Graduate Program Coordinator reviews the materials to determine the applicant’s eligibility.
  • Eligible applicants are invited for an interview with the Early Childhood Education program faculty. Once completed, applicants will be notified regarding the status of their application within two weeks of the interview.

Admission Deadlines

Students are admitted into the program in the fall semester only. The deadline for applications is February 15.

Keep in mind that the admission process is time-consuming. The process begins online through the Graduate School and ends at the department level with the admission decision made by faculty. If you are interested in applying, please begin the process at least one year prior to admission because applications are not reviewed in the summer.

Students whose applications are received by December 15th of the preceding year will have the greatest opportunity for scholarships and fellowships. The deadlines for these awards are earlier than the final application deadline.