Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this program for?

Our program is designed for working professionals in special education and related disciplines who want to learn how to use research and inquiry schools to enact change in your local context. Ideal candidates are proven and experienced leaders in their professional context who are committed to staying in and improving practice after graduation. This program is not designed to prepare students for tenure-track and/or research-intensive positions in higher education.

What are the admissions requirements?

Successful applicants are established special education professionals and leaders who are committed to enacting change within their local context. Applicants must provide three letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae, and an academic writing sample. Applicants must also complete a Structured Statement of Purpose via Qualtrics. Finally, applicants may be asked to participate in an admission interview, which may be held in person or via teleconference. An admissions committee reviews all application materials to determine whether the applicant is a good match for the program’s goal and purpose. The GRE is no longer required for this program.

For complete information on the admissions process, please visit the program’s Application Instructions.

When is the next cohort?

The Online Ed.D. only accepts students for Fall semesters. Applications are made online through the UF Graduate School. Program faculty review applications and make admissions decisions based on the degree to which applicants’ qualifications and educational goals match our mission. Applications for the Fall 2023 cohort will be open from November 1, 2022 to February 1, 2024. All applications will be reviewed in February 2023 regardless of when it is submitted. Only completed applications will be reviewed.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The Online Ed.D. in Special Education is designed as a part-time degree program for practicing educators so that participants are able to balance a full-time work schedule with graduate school. Most of our students complete their degree in approximately four years, although programs may vary in duration. Our courses provide both structure and flexibility that allow you to study and meet deadlines in a time frame that works for you.

What is the difference between the Ed.D. and the Ph.D. in Special Education?

The campus-based Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program is designed for those preparing to be college and university faculty and researchers in other contexts. The online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program is a part-time, CPED-influenced professional practice doctorate designed to prepare scholarly practitioners and educational leaders. Both programs offer students opportunities to work with and learn from our world-class faculty. Both programs require a dissertation though the form and function differs between the two programs.

Are there times I will need to travel to UF?

At this time, UF no longer requires students to come to campus for qualifying exams or dissertation defense. Students do have the option of attending the Doctoral Student Graduation face-to-face in Gainesville, FL, which includes the traditional doctoral “hooding” ceremony. This is not required, but many students opt for this special experience.

How much does it cost?

Participants will be responsible for tuition, books, travel, housing (for on-campus obligations), and application fees (including GRE testing). Students can anticipate taking a minimum of 60 credit hours for program completion. Tuition costs per credit hour can be foundhere.

Is financial aid available?

Federal financial aid may be available in the form of grants and loans. Please visit UF’s Student Financial Aid  for more information on how to apply.

What are the course requirements?

The Special Education a four-year program requiring a minimum of 90 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree (up to 30 credits of previous relevant coursework may apply).

Students must complete the five required special education courses, the required research methodology courses, and coursework in the student’s area(s) of specialization.

Special Education core courses: 15 credits
Research methodology: Minimum of 12 credits
Area of specialization: Minimum of 12 credits (depending on the area of specialization)
Dissertation work: 20 credits

Can I transfer credits from another university?

The Graduate School at the University of Florida allows up to 30 graduate credit hours taken at other universities within the last seven years to count toward your UF degree at the discretion of the supervisory committee.

Is the GRE required for admission?

Beginning with the Fall 2021 cohort, the online Ed.D. in Special Education no longer requires the GRE for admission.

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