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Educational Psychology
250 Education Sciences Bldg
56 East River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Voice: 612-624-6083

Special Education
250 Education Sciences Bldg
56 East River Road
Minneapolis, MN
55455-0364 USA

Tel: 612-626-0367
Fax: 612-624-8241

Doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) in special education

The doctor of philosophy in educational psychology (special education) leads primarily to careers in research, university teaching and service to educational settings in special education.

The program trains graduates to address problems related to the full development of individuals with disabilities and their families. Intensive course-related learning and guided experiences prepare students to assume professional leadership.


Funding for PhD Students

Choosing a specialization

Specializations are available within special education. We recommend that you choose a specialization based on the faculty member whose research is most interesting to you. Please take some time to examine faculty research projects. We encourage you to contact the appropriate faculty member for more information regarding your research interests.

Degree requirements

24 educational psychology core course credits

  • 9 credits in statistics & measurement
  • 9 credits: 3 (in at least two areas):
    • Learning/cognition
    • Social psychology or personality
    • History/Systems
  • 6 credits in research methods — EPSY 8215 and 8706

21 special education course credits

  • 6 credits - EPSY 8701 and 8702
  • 3 credits - EPSY 8694 Special Education Research Methods
  • 3 credits - EPSY 8600 Grant Writing
  • 9 credits - from additional 86xx or 87xx offerings (8707 and 8708 recommended, but not required)

24 thesis credits


Minor requirements for students majoring in other fields

A doctoral minor requires at least 15 credits of graduate-level EPSY courses, of which at least 9 credits must be in 8xxx courses. Course selection is determined in consultation with the Educational Psychology committee member.

Course Descriptions

Career information

More information about the field of special education, the job outlook, and earnings are available from the following sources: Occupational Outlook Handbook (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and ISEEK.

Ph.D. dissertation samples

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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Revised November 27, 2013