Frequently Asked Questions

What is the general profile of the CANDEL applicant?

Most of our applicants are administrators, educational leaders and student service professionals in educational settings such as P-12, community college, higher education institutions and advocacy organizations. They have visionary leadership abilities and have a strong desire to create changes in educational policy from within their school, district, department, etc.

How often do classes meet? Where do classes meet?

Classes meet on the UC Davis campus all-day Friday and Saturday every 2-3 weeks. 

Can my application fee be waived?

For the 2023-24 admission cycle, California residents may request a Fee Fellowship to cover the $135 graduate application fee. Please contact candeledd@ucdavis.edu for information. If you are requesting an Application Fee Fellowship, do not pay the application fee, as we are unable to make reimbursements.

How much does the program cost?

The CANDEL program follows the UC Davis Graduate Fee schedule. Visit our application page for information on fees and the application process.

Do I need to take the GRE test?

No. The GRE is no longer a requirement to apply.

How do I answer the Statement of Purpose and the Diversity Statement?

The Graduate Studies Admissions Essays webpage provides guidelines, instructions and prompts for both essays.

What is a “cohort-based” program, and what are its advantages?

Every September, a new group of students begins the program and continues through the whole program together. Each quarter, your group, or “cohort,” will all register for the same courses. 

Overwhelming feedback from our students indicates the cohort structure is one of the strongest features of the program. Students are able to support one another, study and work together on projects and research, visit each other’s sites, and generally find a more enriching experience in this collegial and personal setting.

How many units do I take per quarter?

CANDEL students enroll in 12 units per quarter for the first two years of coursework (72 units). After the completion of coursework, students must enroll in 12 units per quarter of dissertation seminars until they complete their dissertations.

I would like to teach at a four-year university. Is CANDEL the right choice for me?

Our goal is to cultivate leaders who want to work within their P-12/community college districts or higher education administrations to implement and develop real change. Yes, you can teach at the university level with an Ed.D.—however, if this is your primary goal, then we suggest seeking out a program that is more suited to your professional needs. Please review the UC Davis Ph.D. Program in Education.

How beneficial is having all the educational settings work together?

The results have been very successful—we think it’s a great match! The feedback we consistently receive from our students is that the program provides a unique opportunity for professionals to interact with each other, learn about the “other side,” and recognize and appreciate the challenges and hurdles within those environments.

Still have questions? E-mail us at candeledd@ucdavis.edu.


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