General Information

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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.

College of Education  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Cecilia Carlon
Graduate Program Coordinator
Cecilia Carlon
Director of Graduate Studies
Linda R Shaw
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Lori D'Anna
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

Degree Specifics

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 77%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 4.50
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 11%
Enrollment Percent Female 89%
Enrollment Percent International 8%
Enrollment Percent URM 16%

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Last revised 11 Sep 2017