2013-2014 Graduate Catalog

Special Education Ph.D.

The Ph.D. program in Special Education is designed to prepare candidates in theory, pedagogy, research methodology, evidence-based practice, public policy and advocacy, and collaboration. The philosophy of the doctoral program is based on the concept that learning is an active, self-regulated process. The doctoral program is composed of required courses in special education, research methods, electives, research tools, and requires the completion of a dissertation. Doctoral learners are guided through their program by their advisor (who usually serves as Research Chair for the dissertation) and a committee of faculty from special education and other disciplines. The doctoral dissertation is defended by the Doctoral Learner in a committee meeting open to the campus community. The program can be completed in 3-5 years, depending on enrollment status (full- or part-time) and professional goals.

In joint planning sessions, the doctoral learner and advisor, in consultation with the doctoral committee, should establish a tentative doctoral plan of study during the first and second semesters on campus. This plan should be based on past experience and training and on the student’s interests and goals. The plan of study must include an emphasis on critical thinking, breadth and depth of theoretical understanding, scholarship, methods of inquiry, direct experiences in schools with diverse populations, and collaboration with faculty and student colleagues. Doctoral learners are expected to become stewards of the discipline, demonstrating: a) the ability to conduct research and scholarship; b) an understanding of the history and foundational ideas of special and gifted education; and c) the ability to represent and communicate ideas effectively and clearly.

Each applicant must receive a positive recommendation from representatives of the School of Special Education faculty to be recommended for admission to the Graduate School.

For degree and program requirements, see:

Special Education Administration Licensure

Special Education Ph.D.

Special Education Doctoral Minor