2023 Best Online Doctorate in Special Education Programs

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Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student/teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.

Do you want to acquire an online doctorate degree in special education, but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best online doctorate in special education programs.

What institution did we forget? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

  1. Concordia University–Chicago, River Forest, IL

Concordia-Chicago learners earning their doctorate in special education online select either an EdD a PhD degree program. The degree programs require 61 and 67 credits, respectively, and each program requires a dissertation and a holistic exam. Curricula for programs consist of classes in special education law and policy, current issues in special education, and assistive technology for learners with disabilities.

Concordia-Chicago delivers online classwork asynchronously, and the online doctoral programs in special education require only one campus visit to finish a dissertation defense. Concordia University Chicago is regionally sanctioned by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The institution’s education programs are nationally sanctioned by the Council for the Accrediting Body of Educator Preparation.

  1. Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Drexel is a private research institution that has online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, including an EdD in educational leadership and management with a concentration in special education leadership. The EdD in special education entails 60.5 to 61.5 quarter credits and contains no campus visits. Learners finish classwork in school law and policy, instructional and coursework leadership, and organization and administration.

Drexel’s quarter system enables learners to finish the degree program swiftly. The degree program is available in a part-time, cohort-based format that takes three years to finish, and in a one-class-per-term model that takes five years. Drexel delivers most online classes synchronously. Candidates should have earned a master’s degree in education with a minimum 3.5 GPA and should have at least three years of relevant professional experience.

  1. Hampton University, Hampton, VA

Hampton has an online PhD in educational management with a concentration in special education. The accelerated coursework comprises 66 credit hours and couples theory with leadership training. Each class lasts nine weeks, and most learners finish the PhD in special education online in 30 months. The coursework contains a dissertation, an internship, and a holistic examination.

To qualify for non-provisional admission, candidates should have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and a GRE score of at least 150. Candidates who do not meet these thresholds can receive provisional admission by submitting a writing sample. Provisionally admitted learners must receive at least a 3.0 GPA during their first six credit hours. Program officials interview each qualifying applicant.

  1. Liberty University Online, Lynchburg, VA

Liberty is a non-denominational Christian institution that grants admission to 110,000 learners, many of whom study online. Liberty has an online EdD in special education with adaptable coursework. The degree program entails 60 credit hours, and transfer learners can apply a maximum of 15 previous credit hours toward the degree. Liberty learners in the EdD degree program can apply a maximum of 24 credit hours toward Liberty’s EdS degree. EdD learners finish classwork in behavior management and education assessment for special needs children. The degree program culminates in a dissertation.

  1. Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA

Established by celebrity minister Pat Robertson, Regent University has an array of online programs, including an online PhD in education with a concentration in special education. The degree program entails 75 credits, and learners earning the PhD in special education online attend a four-day residency during each summer term. The coursework contains classes in data analysis, the history of special education, and the Christian worldview for educators. The degree program culminates in a dissertation.

The degree program uses a cohort model and accepts learners for the spring term. Candidates should have a master’s degree in education and must submit transcripts and GRE scores. Program staff interview all qualifying candidates.

  1. Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA

Slippery Rock is a state institution that has exclusively graduate programs, including one of the most respected online doctoral programs in special education. The degree program couples synchronous and asynchronous online classwork during the fall and spring terms with face-to-face weekend classes during summer. The 60-credit coursework comprises a research core, a leadership core, a special education core, and a dissertation. Learners take classes, including research methods for teacher leadership, instructional leadership, and positive classroom interventions.

Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as elementary or special education, and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Candidates must also have earned a graduate degree with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Learners can apply 12 master’s credits toward the doctoral degree.

  1. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Texas Tech has an online PhD in special education. The degree program entails 90 credit hours, and learners may apply a maximum of 30 transfer hours toward the degree. Learners in the blended degree program finish the majority of required classes online in an asynchronous format. However, learners must spend consecutive fall and spring terms on campus, along with portions of summer terms.

The coursework contains classwork in writing grant proposals, research, degree program evaluation, and leadership. Learners finish standard doctoral prerequisites, including a qualifying examination, a dissertation, and an internship. Candidates must submit a resume, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.

  1. University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO

The University of Northern Colorado has an adaptable PhD in special education. Learners earning the doctorate in special education online finish classwork asynchronously and can enroll during any term. Most part-time learners finish the 77 required credit hours in three to five years. The coursework contains a dissertation, along with classwork in concepts of exceptionality and statistical methods. Learners finish a 180-hour externship connected to exceptionalities.

Candidates should have a combined GRE score of at least 297, a master’s degree, and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Learners must finish at least 40 doctoral credits through UNC.

  1.  University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

The University of Toledo has a PhD in coursework and instruction in special education. The 70-credit coursework caters to part-time learners and is perfect for working adults. Learners finish six credits per term and graduate in four to five years. The coursework’s defining feature is a virtual internship during which learners finish professional experiences online via video conferencing and asynchronous work. The degree program’s dissertation pairs learners with professors, fostering research partnerships. Learners meet with advisors in person twice during the dissertation process.

Candidates should have a master’s degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. The institution evaluates transfer credits on an individual basis. The PhD in special education online degree program is not currently available to learners in California.

  1. West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

West Virginia University has an online EdD in special education that entails 74 credit hours. Learners finish a dissertation, a holistic examination, and classwork in areas including policy, research, grant writing, and leadership. Candidates must also have a cumulative GRE score of at least 300 and at least two years of relevant professional experience.

West Virginia University is regionally sanctioned by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The degree program holds national accreditation from the National Council for Accrediting Body of Teacher Education and meets the standards defined by the Council for Exceptional Children.

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