Online Doctorate

of Education in

Special Education


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. The course description for each required seminar is listed below.

  • Historical and Theoretical Foundations of Disability in Education (EEX 6053)This course is designed to provide students with opportunities to explore current trends in special education within the broader context of history, society, and contemporary education. Students will demonstrate a deepening knowledge of the core principles of special education policies and practices, and initial doctoral level skills in advocating for individuals with disabilities and disseminating information to improve their learning and life outcomes.
  • Introduction to Field of Inquiry in Special Education (EEX 7304)This course introduces research methods commonly used in the field of special education, the conditions under which particular designs are employed, and approaches to the interpretation of data.
  • Inquiry in Special Education: Analysis of the Literature (EEX 7303)This course addresses methods for reviewing and critiquing special education research literature using rigorous systematic review methods. Topics include developing and refining a research question, search resources and techniques, screening and selecting primary studies using explicit and reproducible criteria, information management, choosing a synthesis approach, and interpreting and communicating findings.
  • Inquiry in Special Education: Proposal Development (EEX 6936*)This course prepares the student to develop a sound research proposal. Topics include use of research literature and theoretical frameworks to generate research questions and hypotheses, development of a conceptual framework, and design of the study.
  • Grant Writing (EEX 7256)This course is designed to develop students’ knowledge about local, regional, and national requests for proposals and the skills necessary to successfully compete for those grant funding opportunities. Specific topics will include finding grant funding opportunities, developing logic models, building a highly competitive proposal, and budgeting and management experience.

* EEX 6936 is a temporary course number assigned to these courses.

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.

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