Prospective students seeking admission to a graduate degree program should view electronic application instructions and admission information on the School of Education Graduate Program webpage. GRE test scores are optional for admission to the doctoral programs.

Admission to all programs and degrees in the School of Education is selective. Master's admissions deadlines are October 1 for spring semester, January 15th for Fall and Summer for international students, and February 1st for Fall and Summer for domestic applicants. Note that our MA+ Licensure programs only accept applications for the Summer term. The admissions deadline for PhD applicants is November 15th for international applicants and December 1st for domestic applicants. The PhD program only accepts applications for the Fall semester. Students should visit the International Admissions webpage for additional forms and information.


Graduate students are assigned an individual faculty advisor after admission and are required to submit a formal plan of study, approved by their advisor, before the end of the first full year of study.

Maximum Load and Part-Time Study

A maximum of 15 credit hours in any one semester may be applied toward graduate degree requirements. During the summer, 9 credit hours is the maximum that will be counted toward education graduate degrees. Within this limit, students may take up to 6 credit hours in a five-week summer term, and/or 3 credit hours in a three-week term. During the academic year for financial aid purposes, students will be regarded as having a full load if they are registered for 5 or more credit hours in courses numbered 5000 or above, or are registered in a minimum of 5 dissertation or 1 MA thesis hour. At least four semesters of residence credit hours, two of which must be consecutive in one academic year, must be earned for work taken at CU Boulder. See the Graduate School section for clarification.

Opportunities for Assistantships

The School of Education has a limited number of assistantships administered by the dean on the recommendations of faculty and the associate deans. Some assistantships involve the supervision of student teachers; others involve helping professors in their teaching or research. Taxable stipends in amounts set by the university are paid for all assistantships. Appointments are usually made in terms of one-fourth time (10 hours a week) or one-half time (20 hours a week).

Master of Arts in Education

The master of arts degree requires one academic year or more of graduate work beyond the bachelor's degree.

The master's degree must be completed within four years of initial enrollment. The MA plan II (non-thesis) degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours to graduate. See the Graduate School section for discussion of plan I and plan II. Students may transfer no more than 9 credit hours of work taken at another institution or as a non-degree student at CU Boulder.

All program areas have outlined a recommended or required program of study, and students pursuing a degree are expected to follow that program unless they have appropriate substitutions arranged in advance with their advisors and the associate dean of students.

At the beginning of the final term of study, each student must submit a "Candidacy Application for an Advanced Degree." These forms are available online through the Graduate School. If a minor is included, the form must first be signed by a representative of the student's minor department or program area. The form must first be signed by the student and the student's faculty advisor, then submitted to the School of Education Graduate Programs Coordinator for initial approval and then to the Graduate School for final approval. All students are required to pass a comprehensive-final examination or its equivalent, as determined by the program's faculty committee (For time limits and other information, see the Graduate School section under master's degree).

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education

Please see the PhD in Education section of the catalog for details.


A student must apply online through the student portal for graduation via the student portal; this is the official notification to the Graduate School of intent to graduate during a given semester. The student will be permitted to graduate during a specific semester only if you have applied by the deadline for that semester. If they do not graduate during the semester for which they applied, the student must apply online again for the new semester. Application submissions are not retained beyond the semester indicated online. The Graduate School determines all deadlines. The student is responsible for meeting all deadlines to ensure graduation during a particular semester.

Scholarships and Awards

Each year a number of merit-based Teaching Assistantships (TA), Research Assistantships (RA), Graduate Part-Time Instructors (GPTI), and fellowships are available in the School of Education to support full-time doctoral study. Half-time appointments (the maximum allowed) for 20 hours of work per week are the norm. Quarter-time RA, TA, and GPTI appointments (10 hours per week) may also be made. The monetary amount of stipends paid for assistantships are set by the university. These stipends are taxable income. Students must be considered full-time to hold an assistantship. According to university policy, full-time enrollment prior to completing the comprehensive examination is five (5) hours of coursework per semester at the 5000 level or above or eight (8) semester hours of mixed level coursework. After passing the comprehensive examination, full-time is considered to be five (5) dissertation hours per semester.

The strongest doctoral applicants are nominated by the school for fellowships awarded by the Graduate School. Candidates apply in the spring semester for scholarships and awards for the following school year. Application procedures and deadlines are publicized by the Graduate School.

Students are eligible to apply for university-wide financial assistance through the Office of Financial Aid. The Office of Financial Aid, in conjunction with the Graduate School, awards financial aid in the form of grants and workstudy jobs on the basis of both need and merit criteria. Students must be registered for a minimum of four credits in order to be eligible for Financial Aid.

State and federal programs are available for loan cancellation or forgiveness for Colorado teachers of certain subjects or who teach in designated schools serving students from low-income families. Information about these opportunities may be found on the School of Education website.

Academic Standards

A grade average of B (3.00) or better is required for all work taken for any graduate degree. Transferred credits are not included when calculating grade averages.

A mark below B- will not be credited toward the PhD program; a mark below C is not acceptable for MA students. Students who do not maintain at least a B (3.00) average or better may be suspended by the dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the School of Education. Students may also be suspended from the Graduate School for continued failure to maintain satisfactory progress toward the degree sought.

Please refer to the Graduate School for details on Academic Standing.