Special Education, Ph.D.

For information regarding deadlines and requirements for admission, please see the Guide to Graduate Admissions.

Degree Program Requirements

Required: 69-81 credit hours

Doctoral Seminars in Special Education (15 credits)
SES 753Issues and Trends in Special Education3
SES 755Critical Review of Special Education Literature3
SES 757School Reform and Leadership in Special Education3
SES 758History and Future of Specialized Education3
SES 759Grant Writing in Special Education3
Research/Inquiry (27-30 credits)
SES 760Single Subject Research Design3
SES 765Advanced Qualitative Research for Specialized Education and Related Professionals3
SES 775Directed Research 13-6
ERM 780Intermediate Statistical Methods in Education 3
ERM 781Design and Analysis of Educational Experiments 3
ERM XXXA third quantitative methods course (3 credits) 23
TED 730Qualitative Methods in Curriculum and Instruction3
TED 738Mixed Methods Research Design in Curriculum and Instruction3
TED XXXA second qualitative methods course (3 credits) 23
Professional Practice (6-12 credits)
SES 761Coaching and Supervision of Teaching and Learning (required)3
SES 763College Teaching & Adult Learning Theory (required)3
ERM 741Evaluation of Educational Programs (optional)3
ERM 752Applied Educational Evaluation (optional)3
Specialization (9-12 credits) 3
Select a minimum of 6 credits from courses in a related area of interest6-9
SES 749Internship in Specialized Education3
Dissertation (12 credits) 4
SES 799Dissertation12
Total Credit Hours69-81

May be repeated once.


Selected with advice and approval of the student's doctoral committee members.

Students are expected to work closely with the major advisor and advisory/dissertation committee members to identify a set of courses in a related area of interest that forms a specialization, including an internship. This course work may be in the areas of counseling, educational leadership, teacher education, early childhood, family studies, psychology, or others.
Each candidate for a doctoral degree must prepare and present a dissertation that focuses on some aspect of special education, that is, in one of the three areas noted above (early childhood, special education, deaf education). This product must demonstrate independent investigation and a synthesis of the skills learned in the program. The dissertation must be acceptable in form and content to the student’s dissertation committee and The Graduate School.

Required Milestones*

  • Residency (Immersion)
  • Plan of Study
  • First Year Review
  • Research Competency
  • Comprehensive Exam (Written & Oral)
  • Dissertation Proposal
  • Admission to Candidacy
  • Dissertation Defense
  • Filing the Final Approved Dissertation

General information about milestones for doctoral programs is available in Section III of the Graduate Policies page in the University Catalog. For information about how milestones are accomplished for a specific program, please refer to the doctoral program's handbook.