University of Illinois at Chicago

College of Education

Special Education (M.Ed.) or (Ph.D.)


1200 West Harrison Street

Chicago, IL 60607

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Special Education (Ph.D.), Special Education (M.Ed.)

Format: Campus

Program Description:

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 the latest research and is grounded in regular, practical experiences in schools. The Special Education Faculty is recognized nationally and internationally for contributions to the field. Faculty members have received numerous teaching and research awards, and are leaders in professional associations and school/community outreach programs. UIC offers three Master's Degree options: Concentration One is for students seeking the M.Ed. degree only (no certificate); Concentration Two is for students seeking the Learning Behavior Specialist II Certificate (currently certified special educators who seek specialized knowledge and leadership) and possibly a masters degree concurrently; and Concentration Three Concentration Three is designed for individuals who aim to earn a certificate to become special education teachers and earn a masters degree.

At the doctoral level, we prepare and graduate students who take key positions in special education administration and higher education, where they are directly affecting policy, conducting research, and preparing the next generation of teachers.

Our graduates publish articles in prestigious journals and regularly present their work at state and national conferences. We boast the largest number of Ph.D. graduates in special education higher education positions in the Chicagoland area.

As a doctoral student you may focus your area of study on theory and research in a range of topics, including: early childhood special education, emotional/behavior disorders, language and learning disabilities, and developmental disabilities.

Doctoral students complete a set of courses that focus on the historical, social and philosophical influences on education; research design and statistical analysis; and educational measurement. Research seminars are offered on such topics as assessment, language disabilities, inclusion, teacher education, cognition, and prevention of emotional/behavioral problems. Classes are small, allowing faculty to work with students individually.

Doctoral candidates are given opportunities to teach a university course under the supervision of faculty members. Candidates are also provided with the experiences that enable them to become proficient in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. During their program of study, students conduct a collaborative research project with a faculty member, and complete a doctoral dissertation.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Loans Offered: Loans may be available. Applicants may apply by completing the Federal Application for Free Financial Aid (FAFSA).

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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