Special Education, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Special Education prepares researchers, teacher educators, and leaders who will advance the education of children and adults with disabilities. The program is intended for full-time students and requires a minimum of 60 post-Master's credits in courses that address special education issues and trends, policies, current research and practice as well as research methods and design. Doctoral students will, with their advisor, identify a sequence of courses and experiences to advance their knowledge in an area of specialization. Students pursuing the doctoral program in special education must have completed a Master of Arts degree or the Master of Education degree in special education or a related area. Students should consult the Department website on Graduate Programs for more information. https://education.umd.edu/academics/programs/graduate/special-education-phd

Advance to Candidacy: Doctoral students are required to complete 60 credits of coursework as well as a Comprehensive Portfolio.  The portfolio should include the following:

  • CV
  • Synthesis Paper
  • Evaluation of Research and Scholarship
  • Evaluation of Leadership and Professional Knowledge
  • At least 3 credits of EDSP898

Post-Candidacy: Students must complete a minimum of 12 credits of EDSP899 Doctoral Dissertation Research and successfully defend and submit an original dissertation. 

Course Title Credits
Core Requirements
Select 5 of the following courses (or other courses with advisor approval):15
Issues and Trends in Educating Individuals with Disabilities
Legal and Policy Foundations for Individuals with Disabilities
Special Problems in Special Education (EDSP798x Special Problems in Special Education)
Theory and Empirical Design in Educational Research
Apprenticeship in Special Education
Single Subject Research Designs
Research Methodology and Design Courses:
EDMS646General Linear Models I3
EDMS651General Linear Models II3
Select three additional courses approved with advisor9
Remaining Coursework:
EDSP898Pre-Candidacy Research3
Electives15
Dissertation Research Requirements
EDSP899Doctoral Dissertation Research12
Total Credits60