The Ph.D. in Special Education builds on the theoretical and practical knowledge of candidates, while preparing them with the skills to attain positions in research and leadership in higher level educational institutions.

Candidates in the program study and practice extensively in their area of interest in special education. Our Ph.D. program builds on the theoretical and practical knowledge of our candidates, while preparing them with the necessary research skills to attain positions in research and leadership in higher level educational institutions.

Application Deadline

  • Fall Semester—July 15 (April 15 for international students) 
  • Spring Semester—December 1 (October 1 for international students) 
  • Summer Session—April 15 (March 1 for international students) 

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions
  • Cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.50 or better on a four-point scale is preferred
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General test (verbal and quantitative) combined score of at least 300 (preferred)
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must score at least 100 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (English Proficiency Requirements)
  • Experience and/or teaching licensure/certification
  • For students without an M.A. thesis, an equivalent project must be completed
  • An interview may be requested

Final admission decisions are made by the Special Education Graduate Admissions Committee and are based on a composite analysis of the candidate's likelihood for success in the program.

Application Procedure

  1. Create an application account to begin the application process.
  2. Submit the online application to the Graduate College and pay the $60 application fee by credit card ($100 for international applicants).
  3. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive email instructions on how to establish your HawkID and password which you will use to access MyUI, our online service center for students and applicants.
  4. You will use your Admissions Profile on MyUI to upload required supplemental materials.

Required Supplemental Materials

  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  • Official GRE scores from Educational Testing Service (the University’s institutional code is 6681)
  • Official TOEFL scores may be required for some non-native speakers of English
  • Evidence of experience and/or teacher licensure/certification
  • A statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation*

* You will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders, including their email, on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.

Contacts

Application questions can be directed to: Sue Cline in the Office of Student Services, 319/335-5260, sue-cline@uiowa.edu.

We look forward to receiving your application!

The Doctor of Philosophy program in special education requires a minimum of 90 s.h. of graduate credit. The program prepares students for teaching and research positions in higher education, and for curriculum, supervisory, and research positions in state and local education agencies. The program permits students to study and practice extensively in their special education interest area and in an interest area outside of special education.

The Ph.D. curriculum includes an emphasis on research skills, all facets of special education, an approved cognate area, and at least one specialization area.

Program requirements for the Ph.D. in Special Education are available in the General Catalog.

Employment Opportunities
  • Higher education research and teaching
  • Curriculum development
  • Supervision
  • Administration in state and local education agencies
Application Deadlines
  • Fall Semester—July 15 (April 15 for international students) 
  • Spring Semester—December 1 (October 1 for international students) 
  • Summer Session—April 15 (March 1 for international students) 
Application Questions