General Information

Request Information
Special Education (PHD) 
Program Description

The purpose of the doctoral program in special education is to prepare national leaders who wish to do research and prepare personnel at colleges and universities. The program is designed to develop the expertise needed to develop, examine and disseminate sustainable practices that result in high achievement and successful independent living for children and adolescents with special needs. We expect to prepare individuals to become faculty members who can:


While completing the doctoral program of study, doctoral students develop knowledge and skills in four major areas

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Dept of Disability & Psychoeducational Studies -

The Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies is committed to research about and teaching of students with disabilities and special abilities. The department’s research, teaching, and service address current issues in special education, rehabilitation, school psychology, and deaf studies.

The Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies (DPS) is dedicated to advancing human and economic development through the empowerment and effective inclusion of culturally diverse individuals with disabilities and special abilities of all ages. This is accomplished by conducting research to further knowledge and understanding of abilities, disabilities, adaptations, interventions, and support systems; preparing professionals to educate and facilitate the development of individuals with disabilities and special abilities; and providing leadership at the local, state, national, and international levels. To accomplish our mission, the department offers nationally recognized undergraduate, master's, educational specialist, and doctoral-level degrees to prepare teachers, counselors, specialists, administrators, school psychologists, school counselors, and researchers and educators in special education, rehabilitation, school psychology, gifted education, sign language and deaf studies, and educational interpreting.

The Graduate College requires an Application for Admission submitted online, along with an application fee.

The department requires the following documents to be submitted through your online application:

·      One Official Transcripts of all previous college work from each college or university previously attended being sent Attention: Cecilia Carlon at the College of Education at P.O. Box 210069, Tucson, AZ 85721-0069.  You are also welcome to bring official copies to Room 414 at the College of Education.

·          International students must provide a TOEFL score of minimum 79, and scores cannot be older than two years. The institutional code for the University of Arizona is 4832.

·         Three letters of recommendation from persons who have direct knowledge of your academic and/or professional performance and potential for graduate study. These letters should be recent. It is preferable to have letters of recommendation that are specific to admission to our program and your recommenders will be able to upload letters through this venue. (Look for instructions below)

Your application will be considered once you have submitted all required documentation. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed and will be automatically denied. Once your application has been submitted, you may check the status of your application at any time by logging in to this account and opening this application. Please do not call the department regarding the status of your application. You will be notified via email as soon as a decision has been reached.



College of Education  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Cecilia Carlon
Graduate Program Coordinator
Cecilia Carlon
Director of Graduate Studies
Carl J Liaupsin
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Lauren Joiner
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

1. A graduate GPA of 3.5, or above.

2. GRE or MAT scores (TOEFL When Appropriate) that are at most two (2) years old. GRE

must include Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytic sections.

3. Three letters of recommendation, including statements regarding ability to pursue advanced graduate study in student's preferred specialization area.

4. Personal interview (in person or via telephone or tape)

5. Relevant experience (3 years recommended).

6. A master's degree in special education, rehabilitation, or a related discipline.


Standardized Tests

Required GRE Subject tests:

Recommended GRE Subject tests:
GRE Verbal:
GRE Quantitative:
GRE Written:

International Students Only
Minimum TOEFL: 79 (IBT) 550 (PB) or
Minimum IELTS: Composite score of 7 (no subject area below a 6)

Please review our English Proficiency Requirement list to verify your need to submit an English proficiency test.

Financial Aid

Contact your advisor or faculty in your program for information by visiting the department web site.

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: December 1
  • Spring: September 1

International Applicants:

  • Fall: October 1
  • Spring:  June 1
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 3406 for Major

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

For program Requirements please go to:


Minor Requirements

Students Seeking a Minor in the SERSP Department:

A student from outside the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and School Psychology wishing to complete a Minor in the Department will be required to complete a minimum of 12 units, including SERP 595d Recent Advances in Special Education and Rehabilitation.

Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 83%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 4.00
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 11%
Enrollment Percent Female 89%
Enrollment Percent International 7%
Enrollment Percent URM 20%

Back to statistics
Persistent link:
Last revised 11 Sep 2017