How to Apply - Doctoral Program

doctoral application process

Application for Non-degree Status

To expedite your enrollment in our courses, we recommend that you first apply as a "non-degree" graduate student, which will enable you to begin taking courses immediately. Those who wish to apply to the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education degree program can do so later. Fifteen credits earned under "non-degree" status may be eligible to be counted toward the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education degree.

To complete the Graduate School online application form as a non-degree student, you will need to pay an application fee and submit the online application found at: http://www.gradschool.psu.edu/index.cfm/apply/


Application for Degree Status

Applicants with a junior/senior grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or above (on a 4.00 scale), and a graduate GPA of 3.50 or above will be highly considered applicants for the program. Applicants with strong backgrounds and abilities in areas of particular interest or relevance to adult education practice may be admitted to either of the doctoral programs with a baccalaureate degree only (provided the junior/senior GPA is at least 2.70), or with masters level studies in which the graduate GPA is at least 3.20.


Application Deadlines

Lifelong Learning and Adult Education admits graduate students on a rolling basis.
All international students and any domestic students seeking graduate assistantships or fellowships should apply for the Fall Semester by January 1, of the same year they wish to enroll.

Domestic students who are not seeking financial assistance may apply for any semester. They must apply at least eight weeks prior to the semester in which they would like to begin the program.

Step 1: Graduate School Application

Complete the online Penn State Graduate School application form at http://www.gradschool.psu.edu/index.cfm/apply/.  Make sure you pay the application fee as outlined on the Graduate School application form.  You can check the status of your Graduate School application materials by visiting the Graduate Application Status Inquiry page.

When completing the online Graduate School application, you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Resume or curriculum vitae.

  • A writing sample such as a published article; master's paper; master's thesis; or a paper from your master studies. This paper must be between 10-100 pages long.

  • A statement of purpose describing your short- and long-range career objectives and explaining how your proposed study of adult education relates to those objectives. Applicants should also describe their research interests and specify how these interests fit with the program and its faculty. The statement of purpose is especially important for assessing applicants’ fit with the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program.

  • Letters of recommendation from two people who are best qualified to evaluate your ability to succeed in graduate study.  The Graduate School application will ask you to submit the names of references along with their email addresses.  Your reference will receive an email directing them to the site to upload a reference letter.  You will be notified via email when they have submitted their letter, however you will not be able to view the letter.

 

Step 2: Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program Materials

Prepare an application packet consisting of the following documents:

  • 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.

  • The D.Ed. requires either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores.  Scores must not be more than 5 years old.  If applicants choose the GRE, we require the General GRE test. Applicants facing critical, extenuating circumstances outside of their control may request a GRE or MAT waiver.  Factors such as scheduling conflicts or performance in a prior degree program are not considered sufficient grounds for a waiver.  The decision to grant a waiver is at the discretion of the Lifelong Learning and Lifelong Learning and Adult Education faculty.  Students with excellent academic records who wish to be considered for fellowships and scholarships should take the MAT or GRE as a matter of course.  To find out more about the GRE or MAT vist the websites.  

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

  • The Ph.D. requires only the GRE—no other scores will be accepted for the Ph.D., and scores must not be more than 5 years old. We require the General GRE test. Applicants facing critical, extenuating circumstances outside of their control may request a GRE waiver.  Factors such as scheduling conflicts or performance in a prior degree program are not considered sufficient grounds for a waiver.  Students with excellent academic records who wish to be considered for fellowships and scholarships should take the GRE as a matter of course.  To find out more about the GRE visit the GRE web site 

  • English Proficiency—The language of instruction at Penn State is English. International applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), with the exceptions noted below. The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, 213 for the computer-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT). Applicants with iBT speaking scores between 15 and 18 may be considered for provisional admission, which requires an institutional test of English proficiency upon first enrollment and, if necessary, remedial course work. The minimum composite score for the IELTS is 6.5. To find out more about the TOEFL Exam visit the TOEFL web site.  Information about the IELTS can be obtained by visiting its web site at www.ielts.org.

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

  • International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement who have received a baccalaureate or a master's degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Wales.

  • Assistantship Application (for those applicants seeking financial assistance only)

 

If you are ready to proceed to the application but have NOT read the Graduate School requirements, please visit this website.

If you have read the Graduate School and program requirements and are ready to apply, you may proceed to the application.