University of California, Irvine

Department of Education

Education - PhD


UC Irvine Graduate Division

University of California

Irvine, CA 92697

United States


(949) 824-5544


(949) 824-7993

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

PhD w/ a specialization in either (a) Learning, Cognition and Development, or (b) Educational Policy and Social Context, or (c) Language, Literacy and Technology

Format: Campus

Program Description:

UC Irvine's full-time Ph.D. in Education Program provides all students a core knowledge of the requisite educational theory and research, while allowing focus in one of three areas of specialization. Each student's program of study is developed in coordination with a faculty advisor/mentor and is designed to help the student conduct research in their resoectuve area of specialization. During the first 2 years, students take coursework, combining core courses, research methods courses, specialization courses, a directed research sequence and electives. As part of both the first and second year coursework, students have the opportunity to engage in a variety of  year-long research projects under the direction of faculty.

In the fall of the second year, students present findings, via posterboards, about their first year research. At the beginning of the third year, students will submit an empirical research paper of publishable quality. Midway through their third year, students submit a theme essay, which can be a conceptual paper, a policy paper, or a course outline.

During the third year, the student will work on their proposed dissertation allowing them to advance to candidacy and begin research and writing of their dissertation, typically a 2 year endeavor.  Average time for advancement to candidacy is 3 years and, 5 years for completion of the degree. Students entering the program with a strong background in their area of specialization may be able to complete degree requirements sooner.  Please refer to our Student Handbook for more detail of the PhD degree program.


UC Irvine is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and all graduate programs receive rigorous external reviews mandated by the University of California every five years.

International Student Requirements:

1. International Students and students who do not speak English as their native language must submit scores for TOEFL iBT ( overall minimum score of 80). As an option to TOEFL, you may submit scores from the IELTS exam (overall score = 7 .AND. with sub-scores = 6 on each individual IELTS module). 2. Applicants who qualify to serve as Teaching Assistants (TA) may be more competitive for admission. To be eligible to serve as a TA, a TOEFLibt score = 26 on the Speaking component, OR, an IELTS score = 8 on their Speaking module, OR, a score = 50 on the TSE (Test of Spoken English). Official Test Scores must be transmitted to UC Irvine. TOEFLibt scores will be transmitted to UC Irvine when you specify the following on your exam: Institutional Code = 4859, Departmental Code = 47 ** TOEFL/TOEFLibt or IELTS test scores must be = 2 years old as of the first day of classes. Older scores are NOT acceptable.

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Loans Offered: Tuition assistance is available through student loans

Locale: Midsize City

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