College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Psychological foundations: MA and PhD admissions


    Before you apply, contact a faculty member to discuss your interests by completing our contact form. Be sure to select “psychological foundations of education” as your program of interest.

    All prospective psychological foundations of education students who connect with faculty before completing their 2024-2025 school year application will have their application fee waived. Review the Application Fee Waiver page for information on how to request the waiver.

    Applications for fall 2024 will open the day after Labor Day. Until then, you may start your application in the system. Just be sure to change the term to fall 2024 prior to submitting.

    Submit your MA or PhD application for the fall semester following the deadlines below.

    December 1

    PhD applications

    March 1

    MA applications

    The admissions committee considers a variety of factors including your prior academic achievement, relevant employment and life experiences, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and compatibility of your clinical and research interests with those of the program and faculty. Although interviews are not required, you may be called by the program for more information.

    When you hear back from the program will vary based on the date you applied and the volume of applications received. All applications will be reviewed by the end of March. For updates on the status of your application, visit the graduate application or send an email to

    The Graduate School makes the official admissions determination and will inform you of their decision via the email address provided on the graduate application.

    How to apply

    Upload and submit all application materials, including transcripts, directly to the graduate application. For additional information on how to apply, visit the Graduate School website.

    Graduate school application

    Required fields: Program Selection, Term Selection, Biographical Information, Personal Background, Academic History (including transcripts), Test Scores, Employment, Materials (including: Personal Statement, Resume/CV, Graduate Program Supplemental Application), Diversity Statement, and Three Letters of Recommendation

    Optional fields: All other fields or application materials are optional, but will be taken into consideration if submitted.

      Visit the Graduate School website for more information.

      Please note: If you apply for more than one program in educational psychology (e.g., psychological foundations of education and quantitative methods in education), you will need to pay more than one application fee.

      Before you apply, contact a faculty member to discuss your interests by completing our contact form. Be sure to select “psychological foundations of education” as your program of interest.

      All prospective psychological foundations of education students who connect with faculty before completing their 2024-2025 school year application will have their application fee waived. Review the Application Fee Waiver page for information on how to request the waiver.

      Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the graduate application “under the “Academic History” section. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English. Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts, there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review.

      If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of this material.

      More information about transcripts and credentials

      Students whose native language is not English are required to submit English Language proficiency scores.

      More information on English Language test scores

      Three letters of recommendation are required. Recommendations should be from professors or others who are able to comment on your educational and professional goals and potential.

      You must input the names and contact information for each recommendation provider in the graduate application. They will be sent directions on how to upload their letter directly into your application.


      Note: The materials below reflect previously required application materials. We are in the process of adjusting our required admissions materials and ask that you refrain from starting your application in the system until closer to when applications open (the day after Labor Day).

      Required materials

        Upload a statement (not to exceed three double-spaced pages) to your application under "Personal Statement" in the Materials section in the graduate application. Your statement should outline your interests and professional goals. This statement is an integral part of your application and will be weighted heavily in its evaluation. You should include, minimally, the following points:

        • How did you become interested in educational psychology?
        • What specific factors have led you to apply to Minnesota for this specialization?
        • From whom have you received encouragement to continue work in educational psychology?
        • What do you consider to be your outstanding strengths and weaknesses?
        • Please mention specific skills, special talents or aptitudes.
          • What aspects of or specific problems in your area of specialization interest you most at this point?
          • What kinds of educational psychology work do you see yourself doing seven or eight years after you get your degree?
          • Please describe briefly any participation in research, applied educational psychology, or employment which might be relevant to your application.

        Upload it under “Resume/CV” in the Materials section of the graduate application.

        Complete the Course Abstract form [DOC]. (Required only if you've previously taken a course for graduate credit. See form for details.) Upload it under "Ed Psych - Psych Foundations" in the graduate application.

        Supporting the development of a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. This mission is enacted by the inclusion of academically excellent students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and/or a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive characteristics and/or life experiences, such as successfully overcoming obstacles or hardships, that you would bring to your graduate program and how that could contribute to the education and enhanced perspective of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. This statement may be used to nominate exceptional applicants for graduate fellowships.

        Tip: Tell your story. If you learned from obstacles you personally overcame, write about them. If you grew up with privilege, write about how you discovered your privilege. It might be tempting to write about someone else’s experience, an entire group’s experience, or diversity and inclusion in an abstract way. However, most often, admissions teams want to understand how you personally came to be empathetic, reflective, resilient, and aware of inequalities. Describe how your background, experiences, and achievements will contribute to the program and the University’s goals of promoting excellence through diversity.

        Upload the essay under “Diversity Statement” in the Materials section in the graduation application.

        Optional materials

          Upload publications and articles in the graduate application under “Writing Samples.”

          You may upload a brief statement explaining any extenuating circumstances that may have affected your grades or your test scores under “Extenuating Circumstances” in the Materials section of the graduate application.

          If you wish to be considered for a Common Ground Consortium assistantship (PhD applicants), please be sure to indicate this on your program application, and then upload a statement (no more than 250 words) briefly addressing the following statement: Given that the University of Minnesota is a public grant institution, it is imperative that CGC scholars can both benefit personally from their membership in the program as well as further the university’s founding mission to contribute to scholarship that benefits the local and greater communities.

          Please describe how your participation as a CGC scholar would do the following:

          • Enhance your graduate student experience
          • Prepare you for your chosen career
          • Benefit the public

          Tuition and funding

            Visit the College of Education and Human Development's Finance and Funding page for information on tuition.

            Submit your application materials by Dec. 1, and you’ll automatically be considered for Graduate School fellowships and departmental awards based on scholastic achievement. Notification of awards will be sent in March.

            Get paid to work as a teaching assistant, graduate instructor or research assistant. Graduate assistantships are available through the department, College of Education and Human Development, and the University.

            All University of Minnesota graduate assistantships

            Note: Applicants who complete their applications by the March 1 deadline will be less likely to receive graduate assistantships than students who meet the Dec. 1 deadline.

            Visit OneStop Student Services for more information on available financial aid.

            Visit the College of Education and Human Development’s Awards page for scholarship information.