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Option in Special Education

The PhD in Education, option in Special Education is designed to develop expertise in the field of special education through evidence-based practices, research and teacher preparation. We prepare professionals who value diversity, engage in lifelong learning and advocate for quality educational opportunities for all students. Our doctoral graduates go on to work with children with disabilities by helping to improve academic, communication, social, behavioral and adaptive skills, while training others to do the same as professors, consultants or teacher-leaders.


This 69-hour program includes 15 hours of doctoral dissertation as well as the following special education core curriculum:

  • Legal Aspects in Special Education
  • School & Interagency Collaboration
  • Current Issues in Special Education
  • Research Topics in Special Education
  • Program Development in Special Education
  • Single Subject Design in Special Education
  • Internship in Special Education
  • Directed Reading
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching in Special Education 
  • Instructional Assessment & Consultation 

100%Job placement

in a variety of K-12 educational settings

Course information


Research and Faculty

Research within our program is collaborative and interdisciplinary. Such collaborations have resulted in international travel opportunities, national and international publication, grant funding and national conference presentations for our students and faculty. Our faculty represent a broad range of special education experience, including classroom teachers, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and special education administration. Our research focuses not only on students and children, but also stakeholders such as teachers, administrators, families, and therapists.


Teacher certification

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Meet our faculty

College research initiatives



Applications are accepted on a rolling basis each semester, with the following deadlines:

  • Fall Priority — January 15 | Fall Final July 1 
  • Spring Priority  September 15  | Spring Final December 1

To apply for the PhD in Education, option in Special Education program, complete the following:

Student graduating

  • Graduate College application
  • Transcripts from all previously attended institutions (3.5 minimum graduate GPA required)
  • Current resume/vita
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Professional goal statement (approximately two pages)
  • GRE or MAT scores (within the last five years) 
  • Academic or scholarly writing sample 
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (if required to establish English proficiency
  • In-person or virtual interview may be required as part of the admissions process 

Graduate student resources


Cost & Assistance

Currently enrolled students are also eligible for scholarships offered through the College of Education and Human Sciences. 





Financing graduate school


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