Curriculum and Instruction

Ph.D. in Special Education

Degree Requirements (90 cr.)

Major Requirements (36 cr.)
Focus (24 cr.)
  • K590 Independent Study or Research in Special Education (3 cr.)
  • K601 Introduction to Special Education Scholarship (1 cr., taken three times for a total of 3 cr.)
  • K650 Paradigms and Policies of Special Education in the U.S. (3 cr.)
  • K681 Evidence-Based Practice in Special Education (3 cr.)
  • K780 Seminar in Special Education (1-4 cr., taken at least three times for a total of 9 cr.)
  • K785 Internship in Special Education (1-6 cr., taken for 3 cr.)
Other Special Education Graduate Courses (12 cr.)

Selected in consultation with advisory committee.

Inquiry Requirements (15 cr.)

The Inquiry component emphasizes methodological skills which provide a basis for conducting original research.

  • Y502 Intermediate Statistics Applied to Education (3 cr.)
  • Y521 Methodological Approaches to Educational Inquiry (3 cr.)

Select three courses from the following (9 cr.)

A list of approved inquiry courses may be found at

Minor Requirements (12 cr.)

The minor has integrity in its own right and complements the major. The minor field demonstrate wholeness within itself and contribute to the student's overall doctoral program. Minors are normally formulated within a single program area. However, an interdisciplinary or individualized minor is also possible. Individualized or interdisciplinary minors not specifically listed in the Graduate School Bulletin must be approved by the dean and a student's advisory committee. Approval is obtained through the Ph.D. Request for Individualized Minor eDoc which is submitted with the e-POS form. Major area courses may not be used in the minor.

Elective Requirements (9-12 cr.)

Selected in consultation with advisory committee.  Elective courses are chosen to fill out the major and to contribute to the integrity of the student’s program.  These courses are taken in the student’s area of interest, within or outside the department, in order to fulfill the total program requirement of 90 credit hours.

Dissertation Requirements (15 cr.)
  • K795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 cr.)
  • K799 Doctoral Thesis in Special Education (12 cr.)

Academic Bulletins

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Additional program information can be found at the Office of Graduate Studies.