Graduate Degree

Special Education - Doctor of Philosophy

Special Education - Doctor of Philosophy
Plan Code:
Program Level:
Award Type:
Doctor of Philosophy
College of Education
Counseling, Educ Psych, and Special Education

Excerpt from the official Academic Programs Catalog:

Listed below are the approved requirements for the program from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Students must consult their advisors to learn which specific requirements apply to their degree programs.

College of Education

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education

Graduate Study
Special Education - Doctor of Philosophy

The doctoral program with a major in special education is available to students who show promise of becoming outstanding leaders in the administration of special education programs or in college instruction. Students' programs of study are planned to develop mastery of a comprehensive field, to foster creative approaches to the educational problems of exceptional children, and to encourage a breadth of understanding of related disciplines.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Education, students must meet the requirements specified below.


Applications for admission to the program are reviewed by faculty who look for indications of a high probability of success.  Such indications include a high level of academic performance, a high score on the Graduate Record Examination General Test, and a statement of professional goals that is consistent with the objectives of the program.  The applicant must submit three letters of recommendation including at least one from a professor or employer.

The applicant is required to submit the university application and applicable application fee. 

Persons are admitted to the program once a year with enrollment starting fall semester only.  The deadline for submitting applications is December 1 of each year for admission the following fall semester.  If space is available in the program, late applications will be considered.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Special Education

Students must meet the requirements specified below:

1. Research Methodology (21 credits):
a. All of the following courses:
CEP 930 Educational Inquiry 3
CEP 932 Quantitative Methods in Educational Research I 3
CEP 933 Quantitative Methods in Educational Research II 3
CEP 942 Single-Case Experimental Designs for Intervention Research 3
CEP  995 Practicum in Research Design and Data Analysis 3
b. One of the following courses:
CEP 931 Introduction to Qualitative Methods in Educational Research 3
TE 939A Special Topics in Advanced Qualitative Methodology 3
TE 939B Advanced Qualitative Methods: Critical Ethnography 3
TE 939C Advanced Qualitative Methods: Discourse Analysis 3
TE 939D Advanced Qualitative Methods: Case Studies 3
TE 939E Advanced Qualitative Methods: Humanities Oriented Research 3
TE 939F Advanced Qualitative Methods: Phenomenology 3
TE 939G Advanced Qualitative Methods: Humanizing Research-Decolonizing Qualitative Inquiry 3
c. At least one additional course in research methods.
2. Special Education Core.  All of the following courses (15 credits):
CEP 900 Proseminar in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology I 3
CEP 925 Applied Research in Special Education 3
CEP 941 Academic Issues in Special Education for At–Risk Students 3
CEP 943 Multicultural Issues in Special Education 3
CEP 949 Critical Issues in Special Education 3
3. At least 3 courses, totaling 9 credits in an approved cognate area.
4. Successful completion and defense of the dissertation. Students may not earn more than 30 credits in CEP 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research.