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    Columbia Campus
  Jun 12, 2024
2009-2010 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) 
2009-2010 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Special Education, Ph.D.

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Program Description Department of Educational Studies 
Admission College of Education 
Program of Study  

Tracks: 1) university teaching and research, and 2) special education leadership

Program Description

The Ph.D. program in special education focuses on preparing special education professionals with emphasis on either teacher education and research or administration and leadership. The Ph.D. program prepares its graduates to become successful and productive special education faculty members or administrators through an intensive course of advanced study. Courses include both seminars and experiential learning.


  1. In addition to The Graduate School’s application requirements, applicants must have the following materials on file at The Graduate School, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, by the deadline of February 14. Students applying for grant positions must have all materials on file prior to faculty interview.
  • a supplemental application form for the Ph.D. in Special Education, and a letter of intent
  • evidence that the applicant holds a professional certification in education or a related field (e.g., speech/language pathology, school psychology)
  • evidence of five years of direct educational experience, which may include working with exceptional individuals in school, clinic, or residential settings.
  1. Upon verification of the above requirements the applicant will interview with the Programs in Special Education Admissions Committee and participate in an extemporaneous writing sample.

Program of Study

Doctoral students must complete residency requirements, a program of study, a qualifying examination, a comprehensive (written and oral) examination, a foreign language requirement, an internship, and a dissertation. Course work includes doctoral-level seminars and internships in special education, strands of either educational leadership courses or educational research courses, and a cognate outside of the programs in special education. Both Ph.D. tracks require 63-66 hours, including a sequence of education and special education research courses (number of hours varies), 9-12 cognate hours, and 12 hours of dissertation credit. Students typically complete their Ph.D. in three to eight years.

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