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FAQ for Prospective Doctoral Students

PhD in International Education

For general questions about your application, please read the Graduate Admissions Application Guide.

Where can I find application information?

The application is available on the Graduate Admissions website. It is due each year on December 1. All materials are submitted through the online application system. For questions about the application itself, including fee waiver requests, please connect with the Steinhardt Graduate Admissions office. 

Is the GRE required? What is the average GRE score?

Yes, the GRE is required. There is no fixed cut-off score for admission to the program and we review all applications holistically.  Successful candidates have typically had scores in the 70th percentile. Special consideration may be made for students who did not go through the US education system.

Can I submit a GMAT score instead of the GRE?

No, we only accept the GRE.

Do I need to submit letters of recommendation?

Yes, three letters of recommendation are required for the PhD program. Please note that these should be academic references.

What are the English proficiency exam requirements?

All applicants whose native language is not English are required to take one of the following English proficiency exams and submit the score: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic. See more information on English proficiency testing.

What is the GPA requirement?

There is no fixed GPA requirement; evaluations of undergraduate and MA GPA scores depend on the quality of the institution as well as other factors. However, successful candidates typically have high prior GPAs.

Is funding available?

Yes, all full-time admitted PhD students are fully funded. More information about the funding package is provided at the time of admission. 

Is an interview required for admissions?

The International Education faculty typically conduct brief skype interviews with semi-finalists.

Can I defer my admission?

NYU Steinhardt does not allow deferrals and the Office of Graduate Admissions is no longer permitting applicants to update their application and application materials for future consideration. Applicants who wish to be considered for a future semester must reapply by submitting a new application including all of the supporting materials by the application deadline.

What are the qualifications for admissions?

Applicants will be evaluated on four main criteria:

  • Statement of purpose
  • Research interests
  • GRE scores
  • Academic references

We are looking for applicants who are a good fit with our department and whose research interests align with those of our faculty members.For advice on writing the statement of purpose, please also see the Application Guide.

What should I include in my statement of purpose?

Your statement of purpose should describe your research interests. You should begin to formulate the questions you want to study and outline the preliminary methods for how you will go about conducting your research.

Your statement should also identify a person in our department who would be your primary mentor among our core faculty as well as any additional faculty in our department you would be interested in working with.

Do I need to have a fully developed dissertation topic when I apply?

Your dissertation topic does not have to be fully developed at the time of application. However, you should have a clear idea about your research interest. 

Is there a language requirement for admissions into the program?


Can I transfer credits I earned from a master's degree to the doctoral requirements?

No. Credits previously earned for a different degree cannot be applied toward the doctoral program.

What events can help me learn more about the program?

We host an Open House each fall for prospective students and online Information Sessions in both fall and spring. Check the Graduate Admissions Events website for more information; we typically post the dates and RSVP information for events in late August.

I cannot attend the open house or visit campus. Can I still meet with an adviser or faculty member to discuss the program?

Yes, you may email us to request a phone appointment with an advisor or ask questions. Please be sure to carefully review our website and FAQ first as you are likely to find many answers to your questions there. 

How can I learn more about the research interests of faculty or connect with them about my research interests and how they might align?

Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend one of the on-campus or online events to get to know program faculty, their research, and to look for alignment in research interests. Due to an overwhelming number of requests, and to keep our responses equitable, we do not schedule individual meetings with faculty and prospective students. If you have questions about the program and cannot attend an event, you may also email our staff to ask questions or set up a phone appointment. These meetings do not influence admission decisions.

When will I receive a decision from NYU?

Decisions are typically emailed in late-March.