Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program

Accepting applications for fall 2019!

  • The University of San Diego Graduate School Admission Application and $45 application fee
    • Upload the following to submit your online application:
      • Resume
      • Copy of Official Transcript
      • Statement of Purpose
      • Recommenders’ Contact Information
  • Letters of Recommendation and International Transcript Evaluations must be received by the program deadline to complete your application.

Transcripts:

Copies of your official transcripts from the university where you earned your master’s degree and bachelor’s degree are required at the time of application.

  • Unofficial transcripts from student portals are not acceptable.
  • If admitted to the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, you will be required to submit an official sealed transcript from all colleges and universities from which you received credit, including community colleges.
    • Official E-Transcripts are acceptable only if emailed to grads@sandiego.edu.
    • Transcripts from study abroad courses are not required.

Degrees Earned Outside of the United States:

  • Students who earned their bachelor’s or master’s degree from an institution outside the United States must submit a course-by-course degree evaluation conducted by a NACES current member at the time of application.  
    • Applications for students educated outside the United States will not be considered complete nor can an admissions decision be made until this degree evaluation has been submitted.

Statement of Purpose: 

Applicants should address each of the three questions in no more than four single-spaced pages:
  • Why you are interested in earning a doctoral degree in Education for Social Justice and how does this degree align with your academic, professional and personal goals?
  • What are one or two research topics that you want to investigate as part of your doctoral program and how can the work of faculty in the Department of Learning and Teaching support these research interests?
  • How have your academic, professional and personal experiences made you a good fit for this program?

Letters of Recommendation: 

Three professional letters of recommendation from professors or employers. We strongly recommend that at least one of the letters be from a professor who can address your academic abilities and potential, and overall promise as a doctoral student.


English Proficiency Exam (International Applicants Only): 

Official score reports for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all international applicants.  be waived if English is the applicant’s primary language or if he or she obtained a bachelor’s degree in the U.S., Great Britain, Canada or Australia.

  • TOEFL minimum scores:
    • Internet-based test: 83
    • Computer-based test: 237
    • Paper-based test: 580
  • IELTS minimum score:
    • Band score 7

Standardized Testing Requirements

  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), but it is not required. Official GRE test scores must be within 5 years of the test date.
    • There is no minimum GRE score required.
  • The University of San Diego’s GRE Institution Code number is 4849.
    • This number must be included on test registration forms in order to have the official results sent to the university.
    • Standardized testing must be completed well in advance of the deadline as it typically takes about 2 weeks for the score reports to arrive after a request is made.
  • For more information on preparing for the GRE, visit USD's Test Prep or call (619) 260-4579.

Education Requirements

  • Applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree and a master's or JD prior to beginning the program.
  • Applicants may apply prior to completing their master's degree.
    • In this case, please submit your most up-to-date transcripts, and if admitted, submit a second set of official transcripts after your degree is conferred.
  • The minimum cumulative Grade Point Average is 3.50 (on a 4.00 scale) in all graduate coursework.

Experience Requirements

Professional experience is strongly recommended.

Application Deadline:

All application materials, including transcripts, test score reports, and letters of recommendation, must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by the final deadline in order for your application to be considered. View current deadlines for admission.

Submit all application materials online, or to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
University of San Diego
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
Email: grads@sandiego.edu 

For questions about admissions requirements contact:

SOLES Office of Admissions and Outreach
School of Leadership and Education Sciences
University of San Diego
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, Suite 143
Phone: (619) 260-7988
Email: solesadmissions@sandiego.edu

Application Status and Decisions

To confirm that application materials have been received or to check the status of your application, please log in to the MySanDiego portal. Admissions decision are sent via email and US Mail.

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2019-2020, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on April 1, 2019. Access the catalog of record at http://catalogs.sandiego.edu.