Students are admitted to the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction once a year in the Summer semester (May start date). General qualifications for admission are a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.5 or higher, acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), current master’s level certification in teaching with three years of successful teaching experience (preferred but not required)*.
*NOTE: Completion of the program and a passing score on the GACE Content Assessment for Curriculum and Instruction will lead to eligibility for a certificate upgrade to level 7 in Curriculum and Instruction for those who currently hold valid clear renewable certification. The degree is approved for certification only for those who are currently certified and does not lead to initial certification.
Submit Required Application Materials by January 15 or April 1:
Online or paper Application 
$35 Application Fee
Three Years’ Teaching Experience and Copy of Teaching Certificate, Preferred Not Required*
All Official College transcripts
Current vita or resume 
Three Letters of recommendation
Official Sealed GRE Score Report(s)
Career and academic goal narrative
Faculty Interview (Invitation Follows a Review of Completed Paper File)

Admission Standards

Application – Complete online or paper Application for Admission.


Application Fee - Please include the $35 application fee ($50 for international applicants) in the form of a check or money order made payable to Mercer University.  Bank or credit cards are accepted, please do not send cash. The application fee is waived for Mercer students or alumni.

The application fee is nonrefundable, cannot be applied toward tuition.

Conferred Master’s degree – Applicants official transcripts will document a conferred master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 3.5 accrued from previous graduate work at time of application review.
Teaching experience documentation – Applicants may submit documentation of at least three years of certified school experience (preferred but not required*).
Copy of current certificate – Applicants may submit copy of current Georgia (level 5 or higher) teaching and/or leadership certification (preferred but not required*).
College transcript(s) – Applicants must submit an official transcript(s) from ALL colleges/universities previously attended, regardless of length of stay or if the grades are listed on another school's transcript. A minimum cumulative graduate GPA of 3.5 is required. Submit your transcript(s) electronically at
Current vita or resume – Applicants must submit a copy of current vita or resume. 
Letters of recommendation – Applicants must submit three official letters of recommendation. One of these must be from a school system supervisor.
GRE test scores – Applicants must submit an official sealed GRE score report(s) no older than 5 years.
The GRE test score report is not the sole criterion; applicants with scores lower than the target may apply but will need to provide compelling evidence of potential to complete graduate level coursework. International applicants should consult the university catalog for additional requirements.
Narrative of research interest – Applicants must submit a short essay (approximately 1,000–1,500 words) that includes the following :
  • Brief intellectual autobiography: describe your academic interests and how they developed
  • Area of interest or particular problems you are interested in studying
  • Connection to experience: focus on how your professional experience, academic training, or research experience has prepared you to pursue doctoral work
This essay will serve as an example of your best academic writing and indicate your intellectual interests in pursuing this degree.
Qualified applicants will be invited to interview with the Curriculum and Instruction Program faculty admissions panel.

Mail all application materials to the following address:

Mercer University Tift College of Education  

Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction Admissions
3001 Mercer University Dr. 
Atlanta, GA 30341

Additional Requirements for International Applicants 

A.Evaluation of Foreign Credentials: Applicants who completed all or part of their education abroad are required to have their foreign educational credentials evaluated by an independent evaluation service. A Course-by-Course and Grade Point Average Equivalent Evaluation is required for admission. Contact the Office of Admissions for information about evaluation services if your foreign credentials have not been evaluated. If an evaluation has been done, you must submit an official sealed evaluation report with your application.
B.Official Translations: Documents submitted in a language other than English must be accompanied by official translations.
C.Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): The TOEFL or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test is required for international applicants whose primary language is not English. The scores may not be more than two years old. Official score reports must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions by the Educational Testing Service. The Educational Testing Service institution code for submission of official score reports is 5025. Unofficial copies of the score report may be included with the application for initial review and evaluation. This does not replace the requirement of an official sealed score report for those applicants who are offered admission.
Exception: The TOEFL is not required of international applicants who have attended another U.S. institution and completed freshman English Composition I and II with grades of "C" or higher.
D.Financial Guarantee: International applicants who wish to obtain an I-20 for F-1 visa must include financial documentation showing ability to finance tuition and living expenses for one year. Financial documents must have a current date and indicate available funds of US$25,000.
E.Visa Status: International Applicants Who are Currently in the United States - Documentation of your current visa status must be submitted with the self-managed application. (Copy of I-20 and I-94 if on an F-1 visa; copy of visa stamp and I-94 if on another type of visa; or copy of Resident Alien card [front and back] if classified as a Resident Alien.)

Learn more about our Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum & Instruction program

Ready to take the next step?

Schedule your personalized admission appointment or contact Graduate Admissions at 678.547.6084 or for more information.