Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education with emphasis in Special Education

The online doctoral program in special education is comprehensive and places emphasis on teacher education, research, and community services. Recognizing the importance of student interaction and faculty-student connections, our faculty are committed to providing quality instruction in an online format, consisting primarily of synchronous classes. Individualized program plans are formalized by candidates and the graduate coordinator following the successful completion of the qualifying examinations. Then each year candidates are evaluated on productivity in these areas during the Annual Doctoral Review as well as information gathered from written qualifying and comprehensive examinations.

The doctoral program requires a minimum of 54-69 hours (plus dissertation) past the master's degree or 33 hours (plus dissertation) beyond the Ed.S. in Special Education from The University of Southern Mississippi. The doctoral program also requires a residency comprised of one of the following: (a) two consecutive terms of twelve (12) hours each, (b) two consecutive summer terms of twelve (12) hours each with continuous enrollment during intervening terms, (c) three consecutive terms of nine (9) hours each, or (d) four consecutive terms of six (6) hours each.

Applications are accepted for fall, spring, and summer admission and should be completed at least eight weeks prior to the desired start date.  Applicants are encouraged to apply for fall admission unless pre-requisites, typically taken in summer semester, are needed. A comprehensive examination will be taken during or after the last semester of coursework and must be passed before presenting a dissertation proposal.

Degree requirements may be viewed at Graduate Bulletin

For more information, please contact Dr. Audra Classen at