United States Doctorate in Special Education
Considering a PhD in special education or an online special education doctorate? Individuals interested in working with and for the educationally challenged, such as special needs students, might benefit from a Doctorate in Special Education. Masters degrees in special education as well as work experience might be prerequisites. Licensing is required by every state for teaching special needs individuals.
Why pursue a doctorate in special education?
Earning a PhD in special education is the highest academic level you can achieve in the field. In order to qualify to earn a doctorate in special education you typically must first earn your master’s degree—although in some cases you may start Ph.D. programs with just a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral programs in special education differ from master’s programs in that they tend to be more advanced, specialized and research-focused. PhD in special education candidates are also typically required to complete original research to create and defend a dissertation—which is a doctoral-level thesis.
Earning a doctorate in special education may help prepare graduates to pursue:
- Policymaking positions in state and federal government
- Research and teaching positions in higher education
- Consultation positions in professional education
Graduating from a doctoral program in special education can also be a good way to demonstrate competence in research and demonstrate that you’ve attained the most advanced level of education in your specialization—which may be appealing to employers. If conducting intensive research on a very specific topic in the realm of special education is appealing to you, a doctorate in special education may be an option worth looking into.
What are some research specializations for doctoral programs in special education?
If you choose to pursue a doctoral
program in special education, there are a variety of different research areas to specialize in. Although, it’s worth noting that there are likely to be less specialization options at the Ph.D. level than there are when pursuing a Master’s degree. The exact research track that you choose will depend on your educational and work experience and—of course—your career goals. Below is a brief summary of some research specialization options that you may want to consider if you plan to earn your doctorate in special education.
Positive Behavior Support:
Deals with establishing behavioral support practices and systems to help reduce problem behaviors and increase the quality of life—whether it be educational, work, social or leisure—for people with disabilities.
Involves working with children and adults with severe or low-incidence disabilities—such as autism—in home, school and community settings.
Deals with serving at risk infants and preschool children or those what have already been identified with a disability—and also working with their families.
Prevention and Academic Interventions:
Involves improving educational systems to help prevent and remediate academic struggles by employing more effective instructional and assessment practices.
Secondary Transition Services:
Focuses on working with adolescents and young adults with disabilities and high-risk behaviors during high school—as well as through the transition from public school into society.
Involves serving children and young adults with learning disabilities, behavior disorders and mild or moderate mental retardation.
Focuses on research and leadership that addresses children, youth and adults with autism, intellectual disabilities and multiple disabilities—and students who have significant support needs.
Involves working with children or young adults who are blind or visually impaired.
https://education.uoregon.edu/program/special-education-phd | http://peabody.vanderbilt.edu/departments/sped/special_education_phd/
"Do you aspire to drive transformative educational change in your institution and community? Designed for practitioners and administrators from P-12 to higher education, Walden University’s online Doctor of Education (EdD) program...
Grand Canyon University
- Muncie, INMuncie, IN
Ball State University
On-site doctoral program for individuals wishing to assume leadership roles in special education.
- Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton, FL
Florida Atlantic University
- Louisville, KYLouisville, KY
University of Louisville
- College Station, TXCollege Station, TX
Texas A&M University
The SPED Ph.D. program prepares students for academic positions in universities and research institutions.
- Norfolk, VANorfolk, VA
Old Dominion University
- Normal, ILNormal, IL
Illinois State University
The Ed.D. in Special Education is a degree offered for persons seeking leadership positions in the field of special education.
- Syracuse, NYSyracuse, NY
- Bethlehem, PABethlehem, PA
The graduate program is fully accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and offers special education certification at the Master's level. We are strongly committed to the preparation of highly qualified educators who are not only skille...
- Auburn, ALAuburn, AL
- East Lansing, MIEast Lansing, MI
Michigan State University
- Miami, FLMiami, FL
This MS program enables students to understand a variety of exceptionalities at all grade levels and learn effective strategies to instruct and challenge students to improve and maximize their learning potentials. This 36–credit program is designed for...
- Tempe, AZTempe, AZ
Arizona State University
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
University of Illinois at Chicago
The Degree of Master in Special Education focuses on improving the education of children with disabilities in urban settings. These programs benefit from cohort models, in which groups of learners progress together. The work of this program is linked to...
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
St. Louis University
Graduate work in the Department of Educational Studies is designed for those interested in pursuing advanced degrees in the areas of Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Foundations or Special Education. All programs must be planned with a graduate a...
- Seattle, WASeattle, WA
University of Washington
- Baton Rouge, LABaton Rouge, LA
Southern University and A & M College
To meet the challenges of the next millennium, Southern University and A and M College at Baton Rouge is rapidly transforming into a Doctoral Level II research institution. Graduate studies have gained the momentum on the strengths of new and dynamic le...
- Storrs Mansfield, CTStorrs Mansfield, CT
University of Connecticut
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
San Francisco State University
- Buffalo, NYBuffalo, NY
University at Buffalo
The Ph.D. program in Special Education is a joint University at Buffalo/State University College of New York at Buffalo program.