The doctoral program is designed to prepare you for positions in academic institutions and educational policy-making organizations and places a strong emphasis on building research skills.

Graduates have found employment in universities, teacher education programs, as well as in business, policy-making entities, and international education organizations. As part of this doctoral program, you will complete a dissertation.

Your program advisor will help guide you through the requirements for degree completion.


For a complete list of requirements and courses:

Graduate Assistantships

Nearly all students in the Schools, Culture, and Society PhD program are placed in graduate assistantships to provide students with work experience and means to finance their education, while providing the university with the benefit of an innovative workforce.

Graduate assistant responsibilities often include student services, programming, or administrative duties. Individual faculty members occasionally receive funds for research assistants, grants, and the Iowa Testing Program awards a limited number of assistantships in the College of Education each year. TA responsibilities include attending lectures, leading discussions, grading, and holding office hours.

Admissions and Application

Application Deadline: January 15 (fall semester)*

*We will continue to review applications beyond this date; however, program enrollment numbers may limit late admissions. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. We cannot guarantee that late applications will receive consideration for funding.

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions.
  • Undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 or better on a four-point scale.
  • NOTE: The GRE requirement has been suspended for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. Official GRE scores
  • A personal interview with one or more members of the Schools, Culture, and Society faculty (recommended)
  • Undergraduate and/or graduate emphasis in education, philosophy, history, sociology, or the humanities (encouraged)

  1. Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  2. NOTE: The GRE requirement has been suspended for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. Official GRE scores from Educational Testing Service (the University’s institutional code is 6681)
  3. Official TOEFL scores may be required for some non-native speakers of English
  4. A one- to three-page statement of career goals
  5. Three letters of recommendation*

* You will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders, including their email, on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.

Apply Now

Please review the required supplemental documents above before starting the general graduate application.

Contact Us


Application questions can be directed to: Sue Cline, 319-335-5260,

We look forward to receiving your application!