Overview of the Special Education Ph.D. program in the Neag School of Education
Ph.D. students in Special Education engage in a highly individualized program of study that includes coursework and applied competencies in four broad areas: a) Knowledge and Content, b) Research and Scholarship, c) University Teaching and Professional Development, and d) Service.
- Ph.D. students focus their studies in one of four primary areas of emphasis:
Literacy Supports (Reading & Writing)
Ph.D. students focusing on Literacy Supports collaborate with faculty on research and study related to theoretical perspectives of reading and writing development, designing and evaluating effective instruction and intervention for students experiencing literacy difficulties, and supporting school and state efforts to implement effective reading and writing practices
Positive Behavior Supports
Ph.D. students focusing on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports collaborate with faculty on research and study related to behavioral theory, designing and evaluating effective instruction and intervention for students experiencing behavioral difficulties, developing and implementing effective classroom management supports for teachers, and supporting school, state, and regional efforts to implement effective multi-tiered systems of support for behavior.
Ph.D. students focusing on Postsecondary Transition engage in research and practice related to effectively supporting students with disabilities in their transition to, and success in, post-secondary life. Coursework and research experiences emphasize collaboration between secondary schools and postsecondary institutions and between Offices for Students with Disabilities and other campus services. The program also emphasizes person- centered planning, self-determination, the legal aspects of postsecondary services and secondary transition, and assistive technology.
Ph.D. students focusing on Early Childhood Intervention engage in study, research, and practice related to effectively supporting infants, toddlers and preschoolers with disabilities and their families. To this end, students participate in doctoral coursework, interdisciplinary seminars, supervised and individual research opportunities, individual mentorship, and internships in federally funded centers including the A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Research, Education and Service (UCEDD). Areas of emphasis include personnel preparation, research, scholarship, policy application, and community engagement.
Our commitment to doctoral education is to inspire and prepare professionals in special education to create and broaden opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Students are encouraged to develop their interests in educating learners at risk across a wide range of disabilities incorporating a lifespan perspective. The Doctoral Program is designed to enhance independent thinking and leadership qualities through an individualized program embedded in a thorough knowledge of theory and the existing literature and culminating in active research to guide, direct, and inform the field.
To Learn More
- Email Dr. Natalie Olinghouse, Ph.D. Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information - or to set up a time to talk with a special education faculty member
- Connect with a current Ph.D. candidate to get a student perspective of the doctoral program
- Visit the UConn Graduate School website for information about how to apply and financial aid
- Review the Ph.D. Handbook