Application Process

Fall Deadline: December 1
Applications open August 1

NOTE: Faculty recommend new doctoral students for University Fellowships and Access to Excellence Fellowships (formerly Abraham Lincoln Fellowships). In order to be considered for a faculty recommendation, you must submit your complete application by the December 1 deadline.

How to Apply: New Applicants to UIC

  1. Complete the UIC Graduate Admissions application.
  2. All required documents should be uploaded online. Please follow any prompts or instructions as you progress through the application.
    1. Undergraduate transcripts for your last 60 hours of the undergraduate degree and all graduate transcripts
    2. TOEFL or IELTS test scores for international applicants only
    3. Three letters of recommendation. These letters should address the applicant’s academic qualifications, research ability/experience and ability to carry on advanced degree studies. Letters may be from current or former professors or supervisors.
    4. Answer the following questions:
      1. Question #1 (2-3 pages; 500-750 words).  Why are you  pursuing a doctoral degree in special education? How will the degree  assist you reach your learning and career goals? What is it about the doctoral program at UIC that makes it a particularly good fit for you and your goals?
      2. Question #2 (2-3 pages; 500-750 words). Provide an overview of your career in special education, and the impact you have had on the lives of  children and adolescents with disabilities and their families, particularly those from underrepresented and underserved communities. In particular, please highlight your professional accomplishments and scholarship. Examples might include, but are not limited to, committee work, leadership in school or community, professional presentations, mentorships, publications, and experiences working on research projects.
      3. Question #3 (3-4 pages; 750-1000 words). Discuss how you define research. Then discuss an area of research that you are interested in studying more about, and  situate your interest within the scholarly literature of the field.
  3. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our program is temporarily waiving the GRE requirement for the 2021 admission cycle.
  4. If being considered for admission, the applicant will participate in a face-to-face or phone interview with faculty.

How To Apply: Current Graduate Students at UIC

  1. Current UIC graduate students who want to change or add programs or degrees should complete the Request for Change of Graduate Program instead of the application.
  2. Compile these documents along with the Request for Change of Graduate Program form, and submit a paper copy to the Office of Student Services in Room 3145, ETMSW (1040 W. Harrison).
    1. Undergraduate transcripts for your last 60 hours of the undergraduate degree and all graduate transcripts. For current College of Education students, we will make copies of any transcripts you have on file from your previous application.
    2. TOEFL or IELTS test scores for international applicants only
    3. Three letters of recommendation. These letters should address the applicant’s academic qualifications, research ability/experience and ability to carry on advanced degree studies. Letters may be from current or former professors or supervisors.
    4. Answer the following questions:
      1. Question #1 (2-3 pages; 500-750 words).  Why are you  pursuing a doctoral degree in special education? How will the degree  assist you reach your learning and career goals? What is it about the doctoral program at UIC that makes it a particularly good fit for you and your goals?
      2. Question #2 (2-3 pages; 500-750 words). Provide an overview of your career in special education, and the impact you have had on the lives of  children and adolescents with disabilities and their families, particularly those from underrepresented and underserved communities. In particular, please highlight your professional accomplishments and scholarship. Examples might include, but are not limited to, committee work, leadership in school or community, professional presentations, mentorships, publications, and experiences working on research projects.
      3. Question #3 (3-4 pages; 750-1000 words). Discuss how you define research. Then discuss an area of research that you are interested in studying more about, and  situate your interest within the scholarly literature of the field.
  3. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our program is temporarily waiving the GRE requirement for the 2021 admission cycle.
  4. If being considered for admission, the applicant will participate in a face-to-face or phone interview with faculty.

If you have questions about the application process, please contact our doctoral programs advisor: