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Special Education - Ph.D.

The Special Education Ph.D. program offers rigorous coursework and research opportunities to help you become a leader in the field. Apply now and make an impact in special education.

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Program Information

Program Description

Full Description

The Ph.D. degree in Special Education is designed to prepare highly qualified, experienced persons for academic faculty and research positions in colleges, universities and research centers, in addition to leadership, administrative and advocacy positions. The program enables students to master a comprehensive field of emphasis in special education; employ intellectual and innovative methods for addressing the needs of exceptional children, youth and adults; and acquire a breadth of understanding of related disciplines that focus on the professional roles of college teaching, research, administration and clinical-, educational- and agency-based services for individuals with exceptionalities.

Students participate in research studies, learn methods for conducting research and design independent and collaborative studies in their specialty area. In addition to conceptualizing, designing, implementing and interpreting research, all doctoral students are also expected to demonstrate competence in teaching at the college level during their doctoral training.

Admissions

For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.750 graduate GPA on a 4.000-point scale (minimum 3.500 GPA is recommended)
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Goal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Interview
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions to waive) by earning one of the following:1
    • Minimum 79 TOEFL iBT score
    • Minimum 6.5 IELTS score
    • Minimum 58 PTE score
    • Minimum 110 DET score
1

International applicants who do not meet the above test scores will not be considered for admission.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • Rolling admissions
  • Spring Semester
    • Rolling admissions
  • Summer Term
    • Rolling admissions
Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the program will be able to:

  1. Formulate ideas, concepts, designs and/or techniques within and beyond the current boundaries of knowledge and practice in the field of special education; demonstrate breadth within their learning experiences.
  2. Articulate research problems, potentials and limits with respect to theory knowledge or practice in the field of special education; create research and scholarship that makes a substantive contribution to the field.
  3. Share knowledge and research in the field of special education with students in a clear and engaging manner; effectively communicate with students within and outside of class; advance contributions of the field of special education to society.
  4. Communicate complex ideas in a clear and understandable manner to a variety of audiences.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to work well with others, participate in professional organizations and adhere to ethical standards of research protocol and professional behavior.
Coursework

Program Requirements

Major Requirements
SPED 70092COLLEGE TEACHING AND PRACTICUM 3
SPED 80001SPECIAL EDUCATION RESIDENCY 3
SPED 80002ANALYSIS OF THE LITERATURE IN SPECIAL EDUCATION 3
SPED 80003IMPLEMENTATION SCIENCE IN SPECIAL EDUCATION 3
SPED 80005EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATIONS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION 3
SPED 80040RESEARCH GRANT DEVELOPMENT FOR DISABILITY PROGRAMS 3
SPED 83201CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN SPECIAL EDUCATION 3
SPED 83301SINGLE-SUBJECT RESEARCH METHODS 3
Major Electives, choose from the following:12
RMS 75510
STATISTICS I FOR EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
RMS 78710
INTRODUCTION TO MEASUREMENT
RMS 78716
STATISTICS II: ANOVA AND NONPARAMETRIC TESTS
RMS 78728
MULTIPLE REGRESSION
RMS 85515
QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN AND ANALYSIS
RMS 85516
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN
RMS 85517
ADVANCED QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH IN EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
RMS 85518
ADVANCED QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN EDUCATIONAL SERVICES
RMS 88791
SEMINAR: EVALUATION AND MEASUREMENT
SPED 73204
LEGAL AND POLICY FOUNDATIONS OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
SPED 83991
SEMINAR IN SPECIAL EDUCATION
SPED 83998
RESEARCH:SPECIAL EDUCATION 1
Culminating Requirement
SPED 80199DISSERTATION I 230
Minimum Total Credit Hours:66
1

Research topic for SPED 83998 must be approved by and registered with a specific faculty member and approved by advisory committee.

2

Upon admission to candidacy, each doctoral candidate must register for SPED 80199. It is expected that a doctoral candidate will continuously register for Dissertation I for a total of 30 credit hours, and thereafter SPED 80299 each semester until all requirements for the degree have been met.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum Major GPA Minimum Overall GPA
- 3.000
  • After admission to the Ph.D. degree program, students plan a program of study with their respective faculty advisory committee, headed by their advisor.
  • Students’ programs may include at least one appropriate graduate-level minor or cognate as well as the major.
Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Kent Campus
Accreditation

The Ph.D. degree in Special Education is accredited by the Council of Education of the Deaf for coursework that focuses on deaf education.

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

Education administrators, all other

8.1%

much faster than the average

52,100

number of jobs

$87,580

potential earnings

Education teachers, postsecondary

4.8%

about as fast as the average

77,300

number of jobs

$65,440

potential earnings

Community and social service specialists, all other

11.7%

much faster than the average

105,200

number of jobs

$46,770

potential earnings

Social and community service managers

17.0%

much faster than the average

175,500

number of jobs

$69,600

potential earnings

Social scientists and related workers, all other

0.8%

little or no change

38,800

number of jobs

$87,260

potential earnings

Special education teachers, all other

8.5%

much faster than the average

36,600

number of jobs

$62,820

potential earnings

Notice: Career Information Source
* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

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