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Application Deadline


Application Process

Prospective graduate students apply for admission through the University of Utah Apply Yourself (AY) online application system.

Application Fee

For domestic applicants the application fee is $55, for international applicants, the fee is $65. You can pay your fee online through the AY system.


All applicants will be asked to upload an unofficial copy of their academic transcripts when completing the application online. Current students or graduates of the University of Utah will not be required to submit their U of U transcripts. If you are admitted to our program, you will be required to provide an official copy of your transcripts, sent directly from your previous school to the Admissions Office:

Admissions Office
The University of Utah
201 S 1460 E
Room 250 S SSB
Salt Lake City, UT 84112


IMPORTANT: Under the Program Information section on the AY application, first choose your program of interest, which is Educational Ldrship & Policy PHD. Then choose your area of emphasis – either Higher Education or K12. MASTER’s DEGREE REQUIRED with minimum 3.0 GPA (or enrollment in joint MPA/PhD program).

Please upload the following under the appropriate sections on the Apply Yourself application:

1. RESUME that includes professional and leadership experience.

Upload item #2 under the Statement of Purpose section on the AY application.
The Ph.D. is an academic degree with an intense focus on research and inquiry. The degree is intended to prepare scholars, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to work in various educational roles, including the professorate. Please describe the following in your statement of intent and research interest:

• your educational journey to this point and your career aspirations upon completing a PhD.
• how you see the ELP PhD program fitting into your academic and professional trajectory
• a concise statement of your research interests
• which ELP faculty member(s) best match your research interests and the nature of that fit.
Please limit your statement to 1000 words or less.

Upload item #3 under the Writing Sample-Essay-Publication section on the AY application.
Select and answer one of the following essay topics:

Topic A: Education has long been viewed as the "great equalizer" through which individuals and groups that have traditionally been marginalized in the broader society can attain greater economic and social equity. However, mounting evidence suggests that education has fallen short of this goal, particularly in relation to historically marginalized students in educational settings (e.g., students of color, students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, immigrant students, LGBT students, and students living with disabilities). In the face of enduring challenges to provide all students with high quality learning opportunities in higher education, what role, in your opinion, does educational leadership and/or policy play in creating more socially just educational environments?

Topic B: It is commonly believed that education is beneficial to both individuals and society. Describe some of the major individual and societal benefits of education. Is it possible that educational attainment is differentially beneficial for particular groups in the population (e.g., racial, social, sexual identity, gender, ability, etc...)? Discuss the idea of education as a public versus private good. What role do educational leaders and policymakers play in ensuring that the benefits of education are equitable across populations? Please limit your response to 1000 words or less.

4. Faculty – as indicated above, this should be included in your Statement of Intent and Research Interest document and uploaded under the Statement of Purpose section of the AY application.
5. Financial Support – please indicate if you are interested in a teaching or research assistantship.
6. Full or Part-time – be sure to indicate whether you plan to be a full or part-time student.
7. Letters of Recommendation -- Three recommendations are required as part of the ELP application process. Recommendations should be written by individuals who can speak to your leadership and academic ability and potential. We HIGHLY recommend that at least one letter be written by a faculty from whom you have previously taken a class. This can be done through the AY application website.

The Department of Educational Leadership & Policy (ELP) at the University of Utah no longer requires GRE scores for admission to our graduate programs. As we review applications, we are primarily concerned with students’ understanding of the educational leadership and policy program and their commitments to equity and social justice. Further, we seek students who demonstrate a promise and desire to engage in transformative educational leadership.

Applicants are responsible to ensure that all application materials are provided on or prior to the application deadline of December 1.  Applications that are incomplete at the application deadline will not be considered.

If you have questions or concerns at any time please contact our Academic Coordinator, Marilynn Howard, at 801-581-6714 or

Last Updated: 10/9/20