Doctor of Education in the Field of Special Education

Addressing the challenging demands of disability in society through institutional improvements is essential to supporting individuals with disabilities.

The doctor of education in the field of special education degree program prepares individuals determined to transform educational and social institutions into inclusive environments through relevant and rigorous research in order to improve the lives of all persons with disabilities. Included in the course sequence are leadership, policy and research courses, as well as foundational courses in brain development from early childhood through adulthood.

The doctor of education in the field of special education degree program has a unique emphasis on developmental science research and how to interpret and apply it to the field of special education. Students study structural and functional changes in the brain, examine cognitive processing, and consider the implications of those findings for teaching, learning, and educational policy. Graduates leave prepared to have an impact through leadership in academic settings, research communities, policy institutions, and advocacy organizations.

Specific admission requirements are shown on the Graduate Program Finder.

Visit the program website for additional information.

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The requirements for the Doctor of  Education programs.

60 credits, including 15 credits in foundation courses, a minimum 15 credits in research courses including 3 credits in advanced research, 6 credits in internship courses, a minimum 15 credits in dissertation courses, 9 credits in elective courses, and successful completion of a comprehensive examination.

Neuroscience Foundations (9 credits)
SPED 8305Foundations of Neuroscience in Special Education
SPED 8306Advanced Study in Development Science and Variance I: The Early Years
SPED 8310Advanced Study in Development Science and Variance II: The Later Years
Leadership Foundations (6 credits)
SPED 8308Preparation for the Professoriate in Special Education
SPED 8352Disability and Public Policy
Research Tools (15 credits)
SPED 8304Research and Trends in Special Education (Literature Review)
EDUC 6116Introduction to Educational Statistics
EDUC 8120Group Comparison Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8122Qualitative Research Methods
Level B Advanced Research Elective; 3 credits chosen in consultation with advisor from the following
EDUC 8100Experimental Courses
EDUC 8130Survey Research Methods
EDUC 8131Case Study Research Methods
EDUC 8140Ethnographic Research Methods
EDUC 8142Phenomenological Research Methods
EDUC 8144Discourse Analysis
EDUC 8170Educational Measurement
EDUC 8171Predictive Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8172Multivariate Analysis
EDUC 8173Structural Equation Modeling
EDUC 8174Hierarchical Linear Modeling
EDUC 8175Item Response Theory
EDUC 8177Assessment Engineering
Internship
SPED 8353Post-Master’s Internship in Special Education
SPED 8354Doctoral Internship: Special Education
Interdisciplinary Electives
9 credits in consultation with advisor from recommended list below
SPED 6299Federal Education Policy Institute
SPED 8303Administration and Supervision of Special Education
SPED 8311Doctoral Proseminar: Scholarly Writing in Applied Settings
SPED 8345Consultation and the Change Process
Dissertation
SPED 8998Doctoral Seminar in Special Education
SPED 8999Dissertation Research (minimum 12 credits needed to complete requirement)
Approved dissertation proposal required
Successful completion of comprehensive exam required