Counseling and Special Education

Special education academic programs

Department chair Colleen Thoma and students in front of the Capitol Building

Our programs prepare scholars for faculty and leadership roles, advanced practitioners for current needs, and aspiring educators for early intervention, school age and transition services:

We currently offer programs of study at the doctoral, master’s and certificate level, as well as endorsement options for students not looking for a full degree program. For more information about any of our programs, including admission requirements, please select the appropriate link below:

Degree/certificate programs

Licensure endorsement options

About our programs

Doctoral programs

Our Ph.D. program, which prepares researchers for leadership positions in universities, research centers, nonprofits and government agencies, is part of the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention.

Our doctoral students have opportunities for expanded development through the Preparing Future Faculty Program, and externships in state and national arenas. Both master’s and doctoral students can take advantage of coursework and field experiences available through Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND).

Master’s programs

Our unique master’s degree programs use a range of delivery methods to meet the demand for well-trained special educators across Virginia. Within our M.Ed. program, our concentration in early childhood special education is a hybrid program, the general education track offers an online option or the unique Richmond Teacher Residency parternship with Richmond Public Schools, and the severe disabilities concentration is part of a statewide consortium with five other universities in the commonwealth.


Financial assistance is available for highly qualified students accepted into our programs.