Online Doctoral Degrees in Special Education

An online doctoral degree in special education may prepare individuals to develop and lead special education programs and curriculum. In this three to five-year program, students may learn how to understand the proper laws pertaining to special education, administer and evaluate teacher assessments, and foster leadership skills through the use of special education case studies. Program coursework may include statistical and dissertation courses as well as core special education classes including issues in special education administration, special education law, and curriculum development.

Upon graduation, students may seek entry to upper-level employment. Doctoral-level graduates may gain employment in government programs, state education departments, public school systems, private schools, and local special education programs.

Program Overview

  • Prerequisite: Bachelor’s Degree at minimum
  • Program Length: Three to five years to complete
  • Post-Grad Options: Employment
  • Projected Employment Growth: 17% (2010-2020)*

Program Coursework

The curriculum for doctoral-level special education degree programs may include dissertation preparatory courses alongside core special education classes. These classes may teach individuals how to develop, implement, and evaluate effective special education programs. Core special education classes may include the following:

  • Special Education Law and Policy
  • Administration of Special Education Programs
  • Issues in Special Education Administration
  • Curriculum and Program Development
  • Multicultural Issues in Special Education
  • Behavioral Principles and Concepts
  • Functional Behavior Assessment

Career Options

Doctoral-level graduates in special education may explore career opportunities in public schools, private schools, district special education departments, federal special education programs, and private tutoring programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in special education are projected to increase by 17% from 2010-2020.*

Possible careers include:

  • Special Education Administrator
  • School Principal
  • University Professor
  • Instructional Coordinator
  • Curriculum and Instruction Director

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

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Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.  We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.



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