Doctoral Degree: Special Education Concentration

The Special Education doctoral concentration helps students develop advanced foundational knowledge in the area of special education, yet provides the latitude necessary for a program of research that meets the individual research focus of the doctoral student in collaboration with a student’s advisor. Our doctoral students are likely to arrive with an extensive knowledge base at the master’s level of special education, which often exceeds 42 credits. The Ph.D. concentration in Special Education extends this knowledge base by encouraging the development of both breadth and depth in an area of study that will carry students well-beyond the dissertation as they transition into research careers. Special Education meets the criteria established by national and state accrediting boards, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Disciplinary accreditation is critical to national visibility, placing graduates, and developing a national pool of strong applicants.

The goals of the Special Education doctoral study are as follows:

  • to prepare doctoral students who will generate new knowledge and are able to apply this knowledge to the field of special education.
  • to provide a program of study that prepares doctoral students to have a strong and broad-based knowledge of special education which they are able to apply in a variety of diverse school settings.
  • to advance knowledge and research through doctoral education of the learning and development of children who require specialized instruction, educational adaptations, and support for their learning efforts to succeed.
  • to train students who can be critical producers and consumers of both quantitative and qualitative research.

Admission Considerations

Applicants applying for the Ph.D. degree in Special Education should possess a master's degree in special education or a related area (e.g. psychology, school psychology, communication disorders, school counseling, elementary/secondary education, educational administration) and demonstrate they have met the prerequisite competencies in special education which include the foundations of special education (e.g., laws, policies, and beliefs), assessment, curriculum and instruction in special education, and child development. It is preferred that applicants possess a teaching and/or administrative license from an NCATE-approved program in special education or a related area and at least three years of teaching and/or administrative experience.

Applicants will meet criteria for admission to the Graduate School and admission policies of the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Admission decisions are based on multiple sources of information. Graduate Record Examination scores, college transcripts, work experience, interests, and recommendations are considered in the selection process. Quantitative, verbal, and analytic aptitude, motivation to do well, a specific interest in the field of special education, and likely fit are four characteristics that are evaluated in the selection of potential doctoral students.

Students selected from the initial applicant pool will be asked to campus for an interview with the faculty.

All doctoral students in the College of Education must demonstrate competency in five (5) required areas: social issues/justice, pedagogy (instruction), philosophy of education, and research. If these competencies have been met at the master's degree level, doctoral students will not be required to undertake additional course work in these areas upon admission. Elective courses may be used to meet these competencies.

Course completion culminates with the comprehensive exam, the successful completion of which marks the beginning of doctoral candidacy. The doctoral candidates then declare a program of doctoral research which ultimately leads to the Ph.D.

Program of Study

Credits Required: 54 Credits

Course Number

Course Title

Credit Hours

Core Courses: 4 courses required

12

EDUC 822

Seminar in Special Education Research

3

EDUC 884

Social Policy and Disability

3

EDUC 892D

Professional Seminar in Special Education I

3

EDUC 892S

Professional Seminar in Special Education II

3

Research Methods: 4 courses required (courses marked with * are mandatory)

12

EDUC 555

Introduction to Statistics and Computer Analysis I* (mandatory)

3

EDUC 619

Qualitative Research Methods in Education

3

EDUC 632A

Fundamentals of Test Construction

3

EDUC 639

Nonparametric Statistical Analysis in Education and Psychology

3

EDUC 650

Regression Analysis

3

EDUC 652

Mixed Methods Research

3

EDUC 656

Introduction to Statistics and Computer Analysis II* (mandatory)

3

EDUC 661

Educational Research Methods I

3

EDUC 662

Integrated Methods

3

EDUC 663

Single-Subject Research Design in School Psychology

3

EDUC 664

Research in School Psychology and Group Design

3

EDUC 671

Survey Research Methods

3

EDUC 717

Research in Higher Education

3

EDUC 718

Action Research in Schools

3

EDUC 721

Res Meth In Int Educ

3

EDUC 722

Research on Teacher Education

3

EDUC 731

Strctrl Equatn Model

3

EDUC 739

Introduction to Inquiry

3

EDUC 771

Applied Multivariate Statistics I

3

EDUC 772

Applied Multivariate Statistics II

3

EDUC 794D

Discourse Analysis

3

EDUC 797A

Qualitative Data Analysis

3

EDUC 815

Researching Language, Literacy and Culture in Education: Ethnographic Perspectives (2 semesters)

3

EDUC 822

Seminar in Special Education Research

3

EDUC 888

Participatory Action Research Methods

3

Additional courses from outside the College may be counted as research courses if they meet the requirements of a research course and are approved by the doctoral program of study committee

 

Elective Courses: minimum of 4 courses (electives also may be research courses from above)

12

EDUC 602

Curriculum Models in Early Childhood Education

3

EDUC 603

Computer Mediated Communication

3

EDUC 604

Technology & Educational Change

3

EDUC 605

Theories and Procedures of Counseling Psychology I

3

EDUC 606

Theories & Procedures Counseling Psych II

3

EDUC 610

Investigating Science Classrooms

3

EDUC 611

Testing, Assessment and Evaluation in Bilingual & ESL Education

3

EDUC 612

Educational Web Design: Creation & Evaluation

3

EDUC 616

Principles of Second Language Learning & Teaching

3

EDUC 618

Law for School Leaders

3

EDUC 620

Supporting L2 Literacy Development

3

EDUC 621

Managing Higher Education

3

EDUC 622

Theories of Educational Equity

3

EDUC 623

Project Planning & Proposal Development for Non-Formal Education

3

EDUC 624

Contemporary & Historical Constructions of Social Justice Education

3

EDUC 625

Classroom Assessment

3

EDUC 626

Social Theories In Education

3

EDUC 627

Curriculum Design & Instruction For Social Justice Education

3

EDUC 628

Prevention and School Psychology: Foundations, Methods, and Applications

3

EDUC 629

Policy Issues in International Education

3

EDUC 632

Prin of Educational & Psychological Testing

3

EDUC 633

Education and Public Policy

3

EDUC 635

Iss Literacy Prog Dv

3

EDUC 636

Professional Seminar in Educational Administration I

3

EDUC 638

Collaboration for Student Achievement

3

EDUC 639

School Counseling Curriculum: Development & Implementation

3

EDUC 640

Material Devlpmnts Formal Non-Formal Ed

3

EDUC 645

Inquiry Into Children's Schooling

3

EDUC 646

Leadership for Curriculum and Instruction

3

EDUC 647

Methods and Materials in Special Education

3

EDUC 648

Oppression & Education

3

EDUC 651

Teaching Mathematical Problem Solving

3

EDUC 653

Collaborative and Integrative Teaching Strategies in Special Education

3

EDUC 654

Policy Studies In Educational Administration

3

EDUC 655

Advanced Strategies for Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

3

EDUC 657

Introduction to Urban Education

3

EDUC 659

School Management

3

EDUC 660

Language and Literacy Instruction for Students with Disabilities

3

EDUC 665

Organization for Curriculum Development: Basic Principles in Curriculum and Instruction

3

EDUC 666

The River that Connects Us: Environmentally Based Education

3

EDUC 667

Thry Dscvr Lrn Sc Ed

3

EDUC 668

Learning Disabilities in Children and Youth

3

EDUC 669

Policy & Legal Perspectives in Special Education

3

EDUC 670

Lang & Lang Lrng

3

EDUC 672

Teaching Math to Students with Disabilities

3

EDUC 673

Adv Child Developmnt

3

EDUC 674

Leading Higher Education

3

EDUC 677

Fnd Bil Esl Multi Ed

3

EDUC 678

Cultural Studies & International Development

3

EDUC 679

Assessment of Special Needs Children & Youth

3

EDUC 681

Teaching of Reading and Writing for Content and Language Learning

3

EDUC 683

Women in Higher Education

3

EDUC 684

Rdg,Wrt,LangThinkng

3

EDUC 685

Developmental Psychopathology

3

EDUC 686

Making Sense of School Data

3

EDUC 687

Language Development and Literacy

3

EDUC 688

Multicultural Counseling In Schools

3

EDUC 689

The Academic Profession

3

EDUC 692F

Behavior and Disability: Etiologies

3

EDUC 693Q

S-Family Special Needs Child

3

EDUC 696

Independent Study

3

EDUC 702

School-Based Consultation

3

EDUC 703

Adm Guid&Psy/SchCom

3

EDUC 704

Issues of Gender in Science and Science Education

3

EDUC 705

School Psych Educ Assessment

3

EDUC 706

Wrkshp In Science Ed

3

EDUC 707

Generalizability Theory: Principles and Applications

3

EDUC 708

School Psychology Cognitive Assessment

3

EDUC 709

Seminar In Reading

3

EDUC 710

Sem in Math Ed

3

EDUC 711

Recent Developments Sec Math

3

EDUC 712

Adv Methods in English

3

EDUC 713

Developmental Foundations of Social Justice Education

3

EDUC 716

Remedial Reading

3

EDUC 719

ThryPrc Non-Frml Ed

3

EDUC 720

Theories of International Development for Educators

3

EDUC 723

Organizing Higher Education

3

EDUC 724

Lang Tchng Of Writng

3

EDUC 725

Recent Developments in Secondary Science

3

EDUC 726

Introduction to School Leadership

3

EDUC 727

Scale and Instrument Development

3

EDUC 728

Intervention with Infants and Toddlers and their Families

3

EDUC 729

Public Schl Finance

3

EDUC 732

Behavior Analysis in Applied Settings: Theory, Research and Practice

3

EDUC 733

Sem In Internatnl Ed

3

EDUC 734

Understanding Research in Language, Literacy & Culture

3

EDUC 737

Educational Media Theory

3

EDUC 738

Survey of Mathematics and Science Education Research

3

EDUC 740

Monitoring & Evaluation in International Contexts

3

EDUC 741

Principles & Practices in School Psychology

3

EDUC 742

Leadership Skills That Matter

3

EDUC 743

History, Culture, and the Social Studies

3

EDUC 744

NGOs in International Development

3

EDUC 746

Social Justice Education (SJE) in Schools

3

EDUC 747

Programming for Psychometric and Statistical Modeling

3

EDUC 748

Community Colleges in America

3

EDUC 749

Multilingualism & Society

3

EDUC 750

Apprenticing to Research in Language, Literacy, and Culture

3

EDUC 751

Scaling Methods for Behavioral Science

3

EDUC 752

Gender Issues in International Education

3

EDUC 753

Professional Seminar in Educational Research and Evaluation Methods

3

EDUC 755

Curr Methods Progs in Urban Ed

3

EDUC 756

Advanced Measurement Seminar

3

EDUC 758

School Personnel Adm

3

EDUC 760

Special Education Organization & Management

3

EDUC 762

School Psychology Social and Behavioral Assessment

3

EDUC 766

Multicultural Organization Development

3

EDUC 767

Researching New Literacies: Multimodal Media Production and Social Justice

3

EDUC 773

Planning for Policy Success

3

EDUC 775

Historical Foundations of Psychology & Education

3

EDUC 776

Thry Of Comm Bil Ed

3

EDUC 777

Advanced Principles and Methods of Teaching Science in the Middle and High School

3

EDUC 781

Politics in Education

3

EDUC 782

Teacher Education In Developing Countries

3

EDUC 783

Diag Reading Diff

3

EDUC 784

Issues In Child Lit

3

EDUC 789

Intrvwng Qualitv Res

3

EDUC 804

Cultural Perspectives On Educational Management

3

EDUC 807

Seminar Group Counseling

3

EDUC 808

Program Planning, Implementation and Evaluation in Special Education

3

EDUC 815

Researching Language, Literacy and Culture

3

EDUC 817

Ed Plan For Dev Coun

3

EDUC 818

Alternative Approaches to Education

3

EDUC 819

Alt Res Meth Intl Ed

3

EDUC 821

Advanced Validity Theory & Test Validation

3

EDUC 824

Strategies for Institutional Change I

3

EDUC 837

The Influence of the Social Context of Schools and the Politics of Reform […]

3

EDUC 838

Seminar Science Educ

3

EDUC 844

Hist Of Hi Ed In Am

3

EDUC 845

Current Issues in Higher Education

3

EDUC 851

Principles Supervisn

3

EDUC 862

Educ Planning and Evaluation

3

EDUC 863

Thry/Rsrch Ed Ldrshp

3

EDUC 865

Adv Sem Cur Org Thry

3

EDUC 866

Eval Curric Programs

3

EDUC 868

Special Problems in International Education

3

EDUC 871

Design & Evaluation of Educational Programs

3

EDUC 873

Sem-Resource Personl

3

EDUC 880

Current Issues Facing Special Education Administrators

3

EDUC 881

Comparative Educ

3

EDUC 886

Group Counseling in Schools

3

EDUC 887

Hist Of Amer Educ

3

Additional courses from outside the College may be counted as research courses if they meet the requirements of a research course and are approved by the doctoral program of study committee

 

Dissertation Credits

18

Minimum Total Credits

54

 

Additional Information

As part of ongoing student mentoring by faculty each doctoral student is expected to engage in professional development activities in the following three areas, that we have termed Doctoral Program Professional Development Activities:

  • College Teaching and Practicum Supervision Experiences
  • Professional Writing for Refereed Journals, Grants, and Conference Presentations
  • Service to the Profession

Contact Information

Concentration Coordinator: Michael Krezmien (Associate Professor)

Associated Faculty

John Hosp (Professor and Chair, Department of Student Development), Michelle Hosp (Assistant Professor), Michael Krezmien (Associate Professor), Alexandra Lauterbach (Assistant Professor)