Online Doctorate of Education in Special Education

Program Overview

The online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Special Education at the University of Florida is designed to develop expert practitioners, who can serve as service providers, school leaders, professional development providers, and advocates for individuals with disabilities. Graduates will study their own practice and that of the contexts in which they work, and they will effect change based on evidence in an effort to improve academic and social outcomes for students with disabilities.

Admissions Requirements

Successful applicants must meet minimum requirements related to grade point average (GPA) and applicable test scores (e.g., GRE* and TOEFL). Applicants must also provide additional documentation, including letters of recommendation, curriculum vitae, a statement of professional goals, and an academic writing sample. Finally, applicants must 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.

For complete information on the admissions process, please visit our Admissions Page.

*Due to COVID-19, the GRE has been waived for admission for the Fall 2021 semester.

Fall 2021 admissions are closed.

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.

For complete information on the admissions process, please visit our Admissions Page.


Visit our Curriculum section for detailed information on required courses, research requirements, and specialization areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on the Special Education Online Ed.D. Program.

Questions? Contact us!
“The online Ed.D. program is designed in such a way that I feel I am receiving the same attention, support, and level of instruction I would expect from in person coursework, but with the flexibility to complete assignments around my work schedule. It is the perfect program for a working professional who wants to improve and refine their practice, increase their body of knowledge, and grow into a leader in their field.”
Colleen Pollett, M.Ed.
Partnership Facilitator, James Patterson Literacy Challenge
Current Ed.D. student

Contact us!

For more information about our Online Ed.D. in Special Education contact our program coordinator, Dr. Lindsey Chapman.

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Completion of a sequence of five doctoral seminars is required of all doctoral students in the Special Education program area. These courses are designed to provide the foundational knowledge required of leaders in the field.

  • Historical and Theoretical Foundations of Disability in Education
  • Inquiry in Special Education
  • School Improvement
  • Collaborative Practice in Inclusive Schools
  • Instructional Coaching
  • Proposal Development

A grade of B or higher must be earned in all required coursework. An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher in all work attempted must also be maintained. See the Graduate Student Handbook for more information about these requirements.

All doctoral students in the College of Education must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of research methodology coursework to meet the college-wide requirement for preparation in research methodology.

Programs and supervisory committees have the discretion to require more than 12 hours of research methodology courses. The courses used to meet these additional requirements are not subject to review by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.

All students admitted to the online Ed.D. program will select an area of specialization. Areas of specialization may include dyslexia, autism, disability in society, and others. Students will choose a specialization area in collaboration with their advisor.


Frequently Asked Questions

If you aim to be a special education leader who applies research-based knowledge to facilitate change that improves educational opportunities and outcomes for students with disabilities, the online Ed.D. in Special Education at the University of Florida may be for you!

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.

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 designed to prepare expert practitioners and educational leaders. Both programs offer students opportunities to work with and learn from our world-class faculty.

While the all of your coursework will be completed online, students are required to be on campus for qualifying exams and dissertation defense.

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 found here.

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

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

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.