Ph.D. in Special Education
“I appreciate the creative solutions that faculty commit to building community, collaboration and inclusion throughout the program.”
- Amber Brown Ruiz, Ph.D. ’21 (anticipated)
The Ph.D. in special education is designed to prepare researchers who are ready to assume leadership positions at universities, research centers, state departments of education, or other educational and governmental institutions in the field of special education.
Emphasis in this program is placed on developing in-depth knowledge about research, evidence-based practice, equity and inclusion, personnel development, and critical issues and policies affecting those with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them.
The program is designed to provide a solid research foundation, broad theoretical perspectives and structured opportunities to develop expertise in research, teaching and policy/service.
The conceptual framework for the Ph.D. program is PRACTICE, which stands for Practice, Research, and Academic Coursework in Teaching, Implementation and Community Engagement.
Grounded in core knowledge through focused coursework and an emphasis on both “learning” and “doing,” doctoral students are mentored by senior faculty who are engaged in school-based research and dissemination via research internships, preservice and inservice educator development via teaching internships, and the large-scale transfer of learning and development of 21st century skills via policy/service internships.
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VCU BULLETIN INFO
How to apply: Graduate application
Semester of entry: Summer or fall
Application deadline: Jan. 15
Late part-time applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis
Concentration handbook [PDF]
VCU School of Education Graduate Assistantship Application
Faculty listing: Counseling and Special Education
Faculty areas of interest: Research areas
Resources and Checklists
Application checklist [PDF]
- General admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School
- Master’s degree in an appropriate discipline
- Three letters of recommendation addressing the student’s potential for graduate study in education
- Statement of intent
- Satisfactory scores on the GRE
- Transcripts of all previous college work
- A personal interview and additional writing sample (may be requested)
- Professional vitae/resume
FOR MORE IN-DEPTH INFO
The VCU Holmes Scholars Program is a selective program that provides accepted doctoral students from historically underrepresented groups with resources and professional development to best position them for tenure track faculty positions in high (R2) and very high (R1) research universities. Our cross-disciplinary scholars create a network that leverages the collective and individual strengths of each member to maximize their VCU School of Education program. Learn more about how we live our values through the Holmes program!
Shadow a VCU Student: PhD in Education - Special Education and Disability Leadership
After you learn more about our program and research, email email@example.com if you would like to do any of the following:
- Visit one of our required track classes
- Tour one of our Research Labs in Oliver Hall to see research in action
- Review the collaborative Discourse and Learning research lab page to learn more about current projects and research being done in special education
- Review Dr. Sutherland’s BEST in CLASS grant research page to see our research in action in our local communities
- Review Dr. Xu's RAMS Lab for opportunities to conduct research on the nature and needs of academically diverse learners
- Meet one-on-one with our program coordinator
- Connect with a current Ph.D. student
Alternate contact email for this program: SOEinfo@vcu.edu