Special Education

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is a research focused degree and is tailored to the individual. Each candidate works closely with an adviser to develop an integrated course of study reflecting his or her goals in the area of special education. All doctoral students have the opportunity to be involved in research, university teaching, and service to the field of special education during their doctoral studies. Doctoral students typically complete the program in four to five years of full-time resident study.

Typical Plan of Study (48-72 hours)

Core coursework chosen in consultation with advisor

32 hours

No more than 12 hours of 595 independent study can count towards the degree

Basic Research Methodology Courses

4 - 8 hours

Please consult the College of Education Graduate Handbook for specific courses.  

Advanced Research Methodology Courses

4 - 8 hours

Please consult the College of Education Graduate Handbook for specific courses.  

Thesis Research

4 - 20 hours

Program Cost

To determine program cost, use the Cost Calculator. Please note that online students should reference the tuition cost only, there are not additional fees for online. 

Plan of Study

Most special education doctoral students complete their degree in approximately four years, although programs of shorter or longer duration are possible.  A timeline for major program milestones is listed below:

 Year 1:

  • Begin coursework/PhD Research Area Requirement
  • Select an advisor
  • First year review

Years 2/3:

  • Complete coursework/PhD Research Area Requirement
  • Undergo annual evaluations
  • Early research project
  • Qualifying exams

 Years 3/4/5:

  • Finish doctoral competencies (i.e., teaching, supervisor, grant administration,
    dissemination activities, etc.)
  • Dissertation
  • Graduate