Disability and Special Education Programs
The professional programs in special education are designed to provide individuals with skills in policy development and/or expanded knowledge in one of four specific disability areas: early childhood special education, behavior disorders, learning disabilities or intellectual disability.
Possible career paths include curriculum coordinator, teacher educator, educational outreach coordinator, nonprofit specialist, special educator and adult educator.
Master of Arts
The M.A. program requires 32 credit hours, including at least six credit hours of research consisting of EDR-540: Qualitative Research Methods and either EDR-560: General Research Methods for Educators or EDR-510: Introduction to Inferential Statistics for Educators.
At the end of the program, students, in consultation with their advisor, will prepare a theme paper on a topic related to the their course work and complete a one-hour oral examination based on the theme paper and completed course work. Additional credit hours are determined by the individual program and may not include more than six credit hours from outside the School of Education, six credit hours of transfer credit, six credit hours of graduate readings or 10 credit hours of 400-level courses.
Doctor of Philosophy
The Ph.D. program in special education emphasizes the tools of research and the interplay of theory and practice in special education. Students take a minimum of 42 credit hours beyond the master's degree, including 12 credit hours of dissertation research and three advanced research courses. Two successive semesters of residency are arranged with the advisor on a contract basis to cover professional development. At the end of the course credit hours, students complete written and oral exams and then take 12 credit hours of dissertation research. A public oral defense of a dissertation proposal and a final dissertation are required to complete the program.