What will I learn?

The mission of the doctoral program in special education is to prepare civically-committed scholars who, through rigorous and relevant research and transformational interventions, address significant educational and social problems in ways that advance education, social policy, research, care giving, and public service to enhance the quality of life of persons of all ages with (dis)abilities and their families. Program students and graduates rely on interdisciplinary theoretical knowledge and the full range of methodological approaches to engage, influence, and transform educational and social institutions and their practices to promote learning, equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.

Program graduates are highly-competent, socially-committed educational researchers, leaders, and teacher educators engaged in the design, development, and/or use of educational and social interventions that result in transformational outcomes. Graduates are scholars who steward the profession, working across disciplinary boundaries to address the educational and social challenges of the 21st century. Moreover, as civic professionals, they also engage in stewardship with their communities. Our graduates are scholars who recognize that resolving the great social and education challenges we face requires a sense of collective social purpose among the professions, and that the professions' greatest responsibility is to the people most affected.

The specific principles that define how students will be engaged in learning build upon the idea that doctoral education is a complex process of formation emphasizing development of scholars’ professional identity in all its dimensions, including their recognition of the role the discipline and its scholars are to play in academe and in society. Because such a professional identity requires students to play an active role in its development, the doctoral program is premised on four instructional principles: (a) problem-centered learning focusing on the formulation of significant research questions and specification of corresponding methods of inquiry; (b) apprenticeship with multiple mentors involving intentionality, collective responsibility, recognition, respect, trust, and reciprocity; (c) creating and sustaining a safe and engaging intellectual community/culture in which students feel support among themselves and in collegial relations with faculty; and (d) scholarly integration in which the teaching and research mission of the department and faculty is closely linked.

Every year the doctoral program accepts a cohort of students from throughout the world. Each cohort consists of students with diverse interests and career goals. Underlying this cohort design are weekly seminars, various research and teaching experiences, and an interrelated specialization structure. Each doctoral student chooses an area of specialization and potentially a secondary area of interest as a cognate. Currently, our program has the following areas of specialization: Early Childhood Unified, Disability and Diversity in Education and Society, Instructional Design, Technology, and Innovation, Special Education Policy and Systems Studies, Strengths-Based and Inclusive Approaches to the Education of Adolescents with Extensive and Pervasive Support Needs, Evidence-based Practices: Supporting Students with Intensive Interventions Needs in Tiered Systems.

Which department am I in?

School of Education

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
US$17,123.00 per year
Start date

Expected August 2019

Venue

School of Education

208 Joseph R. Pearson Hall,

1122 West Campus Road,

LAWRENCE,

Kansas,

66045, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Regular admission requires a bachelor's degree and a grade-point average of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) from KU, regionally accredited institution, or foreign university with substantially equivalent bachelor's degree requirements. The bachelor's degree is not acceptable if it contains credit awarded for work experience that was not directly supervised by faculty members of an accredited university or not evaluated in units that identify the academic content. Other English Language Requirements: TOEFL (paper) all part scores at least 53.

For international students

Graduate programs in education are open to students with acceptable baccalaureate and graduate degrees, whose academic records indicate that they can do successful work at the graduate level. Regular admission requires a grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in prior degrees.

Non-native English speakers must demonstrate proof of English proficiency before gaining admission to a graduate program.

TOEFL (iBT) - Reading, Listening, and Writing part scores at least 20

IELTS (Academic) - Minimum overall score 6.0 with no part score below 5.5

PTE - Minimum overall score 55 with no part score below 50

Find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates

There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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