Ph.D. in Education

PhD in Education with Concentration in Special Education


Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Education with a concentration in Special Education prepares researchers equipped to study interventions designed to improve the learning and behavior of students with a variety of disabilities. The program emphasizes practical, relevant research that stems from a solid theoretical base. Moreover, the program focuses on inclusive practices and fosters an understanding of how socio-political factors influence classroom practices. Students selected for the program are expected to have an experiential base upon which to draw in designing and implementing their research. The primary goal of the program is to prepare graduates to assume research positions at colleges and universities and/or to be engaged in the preparation of special educational professionals at both the pre-service and in-service levels. It is expected that graduates of the program will contribute to advancement of evidence based practice throughout their careers. All graduates will have: (1) up to date knowledge of the research and issues pertaining to special education; (2) the ability to apply comprehensive research skills to problems relating to the education of children with special needs; (3) the competence to prepare highly qualified teachers that are equipped to understand to complexities and individual differences of children with special needs, especially within urban environments; and (4) a deep knowledge of how public policy and political and social variables shape research and service delivery activities within special education.

View the Special Education Faculty Directory.

Program Requirements

Required Course Work

  • College-wide core seminars (6 semester hours)
    • Contemporary Trends in Educational Research (3 semester hours)
    • Epistemology and Method in Educational Research (3 semester hours).
  • College-wide research courses (Minimum 15 semester hours)
  • Disciplinary concentration courses* (12 semester hours: see list below.)
  • Research Apprenticeship (6 semester hours)
  • College-wide elective courses (3-12 semester hours)
  • Culminating Courses (6 semester hours overall; minimum 2 semester hours of ED 9999)
    • Qualifying Exam (ED 9994)
    • Proposal Writing (ED 9998)
    • Dissertation Writing (ED 9999)

Refer to the PhD in Education Program Requirements for details.

*Concentration Courses (12 S.H.)

  • Pro-Seminar in Special Ed.
  • Current Issues and Trends in Special Ed.
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Special Ed.
  • Assessment and Intervention in Special Ed.


How to Apply

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