The following information is intended to help you with your decision-making process; we are also happy to answer additional questions at any time. If you have problems with the online application process or wish to check on your file, please contact EPE’s administrative assistant at (859) 257-2626. If you have further questions about our programs or funding support, please email the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Jane Jensen, at

STEP ONE: Choose a Degree Program

Master’s in Education: Students holding a baccalaureate degree in any field are welcome to apply to our master’s programs. You have a choice of three degree programs that require at least 31 credit hours of coursework: Social & Philosophical Studies (SPSE), Research Methods in Higher Education (RMinE; 37 hours required), or Higher Education (HIED). Social and Philosophical Studies includes a broad array of approaches to the study of education including non-formal and informal learning experiences. The recently redesigned Master’s in Higher Education degree allows students to choose an emphasis in either Policy Issues or Student Affairs. Click here to see the program overview for this degree and to see the courses associated with each emphasis.

Doctoral programs: Our department offers two doctoral degrees which both typically require 43 credit hours of coursework, a qualifying exam, and dissertation. The Education Doctorate (EdD) is primarily intended for students interested in investigating live and emerging issues in educational settings, including questions of measurement and evaluation. The PhD in Higher Education assumes an interest in investigating research questions in higher education, broadly defined, that will advance knowledge in the field.

EdD in EPE Cohort: On occasion, we offer our EdD program as a cohort (approximately every 3-4 years). The EdD in EPE Cohort features a purposefully designed program of study focusing specifically on issues facing open-access post-secondary institutions, including but not limited to community and technical college leadership. For those participating in the EdD in EPE Cohort, course delivery follows a blended delivery model of monthly face-to-face class meetings complemented by interactive online learning. Requirements for the cohort EdD are the same as those for our regular degree program. Note: Admission for the next EdD cohort is likely to occur in 2019. For information on the EdD cohort, please contact Dr. Jane Jensen at
Regular admission to the on-campus EdD program is open each semester.

NOTE: If your goal is to be a certified educator in K-12 settings or in methods of instructional design you should visit EDC: Curriculum and Instruction. If you are interested in a licensed counseling position, you may want to visit EDP: Educational Psychology & Counseling. If your interest is in professional administration in educational settings, then you should contact EDL: Educational Leadership & Administration.

STEP TWO: Complete Your Application to the UK Graduate School

Click HERE for the Graduate School application form.

Your application to the Graduate School also initiates your status, if accepted, as a UK student. All your registration, online persona, billing, scholarship, and employment data begin at the Graduate School. The Graduate School has abundant information on their website and you’ll often be referred there during your studies.

STEP THREE: Submit Supplemental Materials to the Graduate School

A personal/professional statement is very important to your application. Master’s students are asked to explain how participating in an EPE master’s program will meet personal and professional goals. Doctoral candidates should also outline goals for research in the doctoral program. The admissions committee is interested in determining how well your goals “fit” with what our department can offer. These statements should be less than 500 words.

Doctoral applicants will need to submit a writing sample with their applications. Your writing sample helps us assess whether your writing skills are up to the challenge of graduate coursework in our department. We like to see samples that show your ability to analyze a problem, develop a thesis, and work with primary and/or secondary sources. Thus an academic paper or article is often the best choice, but some professional writing would also be acceptable if it includes evidence of these critical writing skills. An alternative essay is also possible if you do not have a writing sample you feel represents your current skills. Contact the Director of Graduate Studies if you would like to write an essay specifically for your application.

The Graduate School will forward all submitted application information to the department.

STEP FOUR: Solicit Recommendations In Support of Your Application

A field is provided in the Apply Yourself application for the email addresses of your recommenders. They will be contacted by the Graduate School once your application has been submitted and a recommendation will be requested.

Master’s applicants must provide email addresses for two references.

Doctoral applicants must provide email addresses for four references.

Your recommendations help us determine the likelihood of success in graduate school and confirm your description of your goals for study. Thus your recommenders should know you well, and at least half of your letters should come from people who know your academic work (or at least your writing and analysis skills). If email is not an option, you may ask your recommenders to send written letters directly to the department via postal mail.

STEP FIVE: Submit Official Transcripts, GRE Scores, and TOEFL Scores to the UK Graduate School

Unofficial transcripts or photocopies of transcripts may be uploaded to the Graduate School’s Apply Yourself application form. We do not ask for official transcripts until you are admitted. Upon admission, one set of official transcripts must be sent to the Graduate School if you plan on enrolling. The University requires transcripts from ALL institutions of higher education you have attended, even if you only took a few courses. Official transcripts may be sent electronically through the major clearinghouses, or they can be mailed to the address below.

Graduate Admissions
University of Kentucky
202 Gillis Building
Lexington, KY 40506-0033

The UK Graduate School GRE Institution Code is 1837. Use the UK institution code, not the department code, when submitting GRE scores.

Some prospective students worry about whether their GRE scores or undergraduate grades are competitive. We consider GRE scores and grade point averages to be part of the whole admissions package. GRE scores are also considered in the selection of some fellowships and assistantships.