Graduate Programs


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Special Education

The mission of the Special Education Doctoral Program at Purdue University is to prepare scholars for faculty positions in higher education. This full time, competency-based program is designed to prepare students to conduct rigorous scientific and applied research, to teach at the university level, and to become leaders who strive to improve educational outcomes and quality of life for individuals with special needs. Our mission is accomplished through challenging coursework, competency-based faculty mentorship, and active student involvement in applied research.

April 1st is the deadline for consideration for Fall admission.

December 1st is the deadline for consideration for College and University Funding.

Incomplete applications are not reviewed.



How to Apply


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Program Requirements

View Requirements

The Special Education doctoral program includes 45 credits in Special Education coursework, 15 credits in statistics and research design coursework, 9 credits in coursework for a cognate area outside of, but related to Special Education (e.g. educational policy, child development, social justice, etc), and approximately 21 credits in core competencies of research, grant writing, university teaching, and professional engagement.

Statistics and Research Methods Courses

  • Statistics and Research Methods (minimum of 9 credits required):
      • EDPS 55600 and 55700
      • STAT 50100 and 50200
      • EDPS 53300
    • Single Subject Research (3 credits req.)
      • EDPS 58800
    • Dept. Adv. Research Methods Course (3 credits required)
      • EDPS 63000 (EDPS 53300 or equivalent as prerequisite)

Core Special Education Courses

  • EDPS 65000 – Critical Issues in Special Education
  • EDPS 66100 – Review and Implications of Research in Special Education
  • EDPS 66400 – Research Seminar in Special Education (students register for rotating topics each fall until they pass prelims)


Such course work may be from other education programs or may include audiology and speech, language pathology, language development, instructional development, child development and family studies, psychology, etc. The Plan of Study must have at least one related area primarily outside of Special Education (in another program or Department, or combination of programs or Departments). The minimum requirement for the cognate is 9 credits.

Signature Areas

Research is an important and integral part of each doctoral student’s program at Purdue. The specific course requirements for the major emphasis will be determined by the student, the advisor, and the advisory committee, subject to approval by the Graduate School.

The Ph.D. program in Special Education offers four signature areas for students to conduct research:

  • Autism and Developmental Disabilities
  • Challenging Behavior Assessment and Intervention
  • Disproportionality in Identification, Placement, and Discipline
  • Mathematics Instruction and Learning Disabilities/Difficulties


View Faculty
Assistant Professor of Special Education Special EducationEducational Studies
Website: Vita
Associate Professor Coordinator Applied Behavior Analysis Programs, Special EducationEducational Studies
Work Phone: (765) 494-7238 Website: Vita Website: Autism Behavior Intervention Lab
Professor Special EducationEducational Studies
Work Phone: (765) 494-0870 Website: Vita
Associate Professor Special EducationEducational Studies
Work Phone: (765) 494-7237
Clinical Instructor Special EducationEducational Studies
Work Phone: (765) 494-7335
Clinical Assistant Professor Special EducationEducational Studies


Course Registration, payment, drops/withdraws, and removing holds:
Career accounts:
ITaP (765) 494-4000