How to Apply

Application Deadlines for the Doctoral and Masters Residential Programs

Fall Admission

November 30th, Deadline for priority scholarships and fellowship funding

January 1st, Deadline for LDT teaching and research assistantship considerations

March 15th, Last program deadline; no fellowship or funding is guaranteed

Quick Checklist

1) _______ Resume or Curriculum Vitae

2) _______ Statement of Purpose

3) _______ Short Writing Sample (Required)

4) _______ Optional Writing Sample

5) _______ Letters of Recommendation

6) _______ Transcripts from Previous Schools

7) _______ GRE Scores - For Fall 2023 admissions only (please refer to the three application deadlines listed above). GREs can be waived for the PhD and MS applications, but applicants may be required to sit for a short timed writing task. Those applicants that choose to exclude GREs will be contacted for further instructions.

8) _______ Application for assistantship/funding (if funding is being sought)

Procedure to Apply

For admissions to our graduate programs:

Please note: *you must apply to the Graduate School and also submit a packet of materials to the Learning, Design, and Technology Program.*

Step 1: Applying to the Graduate School

  1. Complete the electronic Graduate School Application, including a nonrefundable application fee. Details on the amount of the application fee and forms of payment can be found in the How to Apply section of Penn State’s Graduate School Web site. When completing the Graduate School Application, enter “Learning, Design, and Technology” in the box requesting the “Graduate Major Sought.”
  2. As part of the graduation school application, you will be asked to upload the following documents:
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Statement of purpose: Explain why you want to enter the Ph.D., M.S., or M.Ed. program. Describe your career goals and explain how your prospective degree in LDT will help you to achieve your goals. Describe how your professional and academic backgrounds qualify you for acceptance to the program. Explain how your professional interests correspond with the curricular strands and faculty expertise--please be specific in identifying faculty projects or expertise that are of interest to you and how they relate to your professional background and your professional career goals. This statement should not be more than 750 words.
  • Required writing sample: This should be an approximately 300-word review of an article or report published in a recent professional journal of your choice, and which deals with a contemporary educational issue related to your academic interests. Please be sure to include the article that is being reviewed. The writing sample is required for both master's and doctoral applicants.
  • Optional writing sample: You may also include one other writing sample, in addition to the article review, such as a published paper, scholarly paper, or other relevant writing sample that you have authored. The optional writing sample should be in English.
  • Letters of recommendation: These should be solicited from two people who are best qualified to assess your ability to succeed in graduate school. You will be asked to submit the name of the two referents along with their email addresses. The referents will be sent an email directing them to the appropriate site to upload their reference letter. You will be notified via email when a reference letter is submitted, but you will not be able to view the letter.

Please take note: as you prepare your application to the program, pay careful attention to the following items that will be used in decision making for university and college scholarships:


  • What is the connection between your interests and those of the faculty with whom you wish to work? Information about the research interests of individual faculty members is available at: LDT Faculty
  • Describe any notable professional experiences, publications, awards/recognitions, or honors that you have gained.
  • How will gaining a doctoral degree help you to achieve your personal career goals?
  • Describe your overall promise for becoming a contributing member of the field.
  • Do you have high-quality letters of recommendation from acknowledged professionals?
  • Do you have high quantitative and qualitative GPA and GRE assessments?
  • (If you required to demonstrate language proficiency): Does your TOEFL score indicate high-proficiency with the English language?

Step 2: Applying to the LDT Program

Please submit an application packet consisting of the following:


  • As part of the online application process, applicants are required to electronically upload a copy of transcripts/documents from all post-secondary institutions attended. Upon online acceptance of a program recommendation for admission, applicants will be notified that official/original transcripts/documents must be sent from the originating institutions for review by the Graduate School, in order to finalize an admission decision. Transcripts/documents must be in the official language of the institution(s) attended, but if that language is not English, an official English translation must also be sent. The Graduate School will review all official documents to finalize the offer of admission. An offer of admission will be revoked if official/original documents are not received by the Graduate School within specified deadlines, or if official/original documents differ from the copies uploaded by the applicant prior to the offer of admission. For applicants whose degree conferral is in progress at the time of uploading copies, the deadline specified for receipt of official/original documents will allow for the passage of the reported date of degree conferral, and that conferral must be confirmed on the official/original documents received by the Graduate School, in order for the offer of admission to be finalized.
  • GREs can be waived for the PhD and MS applications, but applicants may be required to sit for a short, timed writing task. Those applicants that choose to exclude GREs will be contacted for further instructions.
  • International applicants must also present official scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with scores being a 550 or better on the paper test, a score of 213 on the computer-based test, a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section of the internet-based test, or a minimum composite score of a 6.5 on the IELTS.


Students taking the GRE, GMAT, IELTS, and TOEFL should use school code 2660 to send scores to Penn State.

Students wishing to send MAT scores should select “Penn State University” or use code 2609.

IELTS and MAT scores should be mailed to:

The Pennsylvania State University
Graduate Enrollment Services
114 Kern Building
University Park, PA 16802

  • Application for an Assistantship (ONLY FOR DOCTORAL APPLICANTS SEEKING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE). In the LDT program, an application is required to be considered for teaching assistantships, research assistantships, Dean’s Graduate Assistantships for Engaged Scholarship and Research in Education, University Graduate Fellowships, Bunton-Waller Graduate Awards, World Campus Fellows, and other types of doctoral funding. In general, these awards require an average of 20-hours per week over the 18 weeks of fall and spring semesters. Doctoral applicants will not be considered for funding unless the Application for an Assistantship is received along with the other application materials in time for the November 30 or January 1 deadlines; qualified candidates will be interviewed by the faculty via video conference in mid-December and mid-January.

We cannot trace the whereabouts of application materials not yet received. Important phone numbers for you to use to check out your application and related questions are listed below:

The Graduate School Admissions Information (814) 865-1795
LDT Admissions Coordinator (814) 863-2596

Take a look at some frequently asked questions regarding the admission's process of the Learning, Design, and Technology Program.