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Programs and Degrees
What is Special Education?
The doctoral program in special education prepares students to be leaders in special education. Students in the program prepare for leadership roles in teacher education and research, organizational and district leadership, or classroom teacher leadership. Program participants work closely with faculty to focus on modern issues and research topics affecting the field of special education. After successfully completing an initial course sequence focused on special education, theory, and introductory research tools, students select a specialty for developing expert knowledge and skills. Through coursework and internship, students develop specialized skills in the research and practices of their chosen area.
In the end, the program seeks to develop reflective practitioners who through systematic, informed deliberation with their colleagues and the broader community are able to grow professionally, prepared to conduct research, propose solutions and make decisions on real problems in areas related to their career. Graduates of this program work in university higher education or district/state/national organization levels.
Graduates have gone on to careers in university teaching and research, public school teaching and administration, government agencies, private business and consulting.
UC Advantages and Special Opportunities
The Special Education program at the University of Cincinnati consists of faculty members who provide ongoing and supportive mentoring to doctoral students. Students gain knowledge by applying theoretical knowledge in real world settings.
Upon completion of the program, graduates with an EdD are prepared to become effective leaders and take positions in schools districts and thus promote high professional self-expectations and help others understand the needs of individuals with exceptional learning needs, and create positive and productive work environments.
Our graduates are also prepared to become effective at program development & organization and as a result, help design and deliver, as appropriate to their role, ongoing results-oriented professional development and expand their expertise with instructional technologies, curriculum standards, effective teaching strategies, assistive technologies to support access to learning, and assess progress toward the organizational vision, mission, and goals of their programs.
Graduates who are interested in higher education have taken positions at universities such as, Illinois State, Eastern Kentucky University, Memphis State and Ball State. Graduates are competitive in the current job market because they have learned the latest models, theories, philosophies, and research methods that form the basis for evidence-based practices. In addition, graduates provide consultation and collaboration to their roles within special education. They are current with recent research methodologies in relation to practices presented in the literature and use educational research to improve instructional techniques, intervention strategies, and curriculum.
With approval of a student’s committee, students are able to transfer up to 30 credits of masters level course work and apply those credits towards their doctoral degree. The courses must be in the area of concentration or closely related area from an accredited college or university. Courses older than five years must obtain a waiver to include them in the transfer applicability process.
Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA). Successful applicants must have cumulative GPAs of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) from previous graduate work.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants must take the GRE. The recommended minimum GRE scores for tests taken prior to August 1, 2011 are 482 (55th percentile) for Verbal Reasoning, 620 (55th percentile) for Quantitative Reasoning, and 4.5 for Analytical Writing. For tests taken after August 1, 2011, the recommended minimum scores are 152 (56th percentile) for Verbal Reasoning, 151 (56th percentile) for Quantitative Reasoning, and 4.5 for Analytical Writing. The GRE must be taken within the five years prior to application to the program.
Applicants must indicate that they have worked as a teacher or worked in a closely related field in a school district for a minimum of two years before they can apply to the Special Education EdD program.
All doctoral students shall complete a residency requirement by enrolling in 10 graduate credit hours (12 if funded by a Graduate Assistantship) per semester for two consecutive semesters of study (including summer). Part-time students are not exempt from enrollment requirements to achieve residency. However, full-time UC employees using their tuition remission benefit to complete a part-time doctoral program may request a waiver of this requirement from the Associate Dean of the Graduate School. The residency requirement is to assure that students avail themselves of informal learning through continuous contact with other students and faculty engaged in research, collegiate governance, and academic affairs. Thus, the period of residency is a full-time commitment, which goes beyond registration for a full-time course load. It is highly recommended that students commit at least one year of full-time study during their doctoral program, with no other professional commitments.
International Student Requirements
Applicants must indicate that they have worked as a teacher or worked in a closely related field in a school district for a minimum of two years before they can apply to the Special Education EDD program.
Speakers of English as Second Language. If an applicant’s first language is not English, he or she must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or another comparable test unless he/she has previous degrees from higher education institutions in the United States. The recommended test scores are: 92-93 for Internet-based TOEFL; 237 for Computer-based TOEFL; 580 Paper-based TOEFL; 6.5 for IELTS; and 62-63 for PTE. The test must be taken within two years prior to application to the program.
In order to graduate from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, a student must:
- Complete all required course work and program requirements.
- Obtain at least a 3.0 university grade point average.
- Be in good academic standing; that is, not on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension.
- Meet the college's residency requirement of: Three out of five contiguous semesters of full-time graduate study of at least 10 credits per semester must be completed at the University of Cincinnati after admission to the doctoral program and prior to admission to candidacy. At least one semester must be included. The residency requirement is to assure that students avail themselves of informal learning through continuous contact with other students and faculty engaged in research, collegiate governance, and academic affairs. Thus, the period of residency is a full-time commitment, which goes beyond registration for a full-time course load. It is highly recommended that students commit at least one year of full-time study during their doctoral program, with no other professional commitments.
- File formal application for the degree by the posted semester of graduation deadline.
If you would like to submit an electronic application for the Special Education program, please visit our On-Line Graduate School Application and complete the form.
Make sure to visit the Special Education website or contact the program directly for information about application requirements or to inquire about materials that need to be submitted when applying to this program. Applications are accepted year-round, but priority will be given to applications that are submitted prior to deadlines.
Application deadline for Fall Admission is Dec. 15th with Notification By: Feb. 15th.
Application deadline for Spring Admission is Sept. 1st with Notification By: Oct. 15th
AccreditationThe University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Doctor of Education Degree in Special Education
Full-Time Program Duration
Uptown Campus West
P.O. Box 210014
Cincinnati, OH 45221
Phone: (513) 556-6308
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