Ed.D. in Special Education


INED is NOT currently accepting applications for the Ed.D program.

Program Overview

The Ed.D in Special Education prepares candidates to be leaders in the field of special education. The program will prepare candidates to be knowledgeable of critical issues within the field of special/education, to engage in critical reflection of their positionalities and epistemologies as practitioners, to understand how historical legacies, legislation, and litigation have served to both include and segregate students with disabilities, and to engage in inquiry based learning as both consumer and producer of research.  

Through this program candidates develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to serve as learner-centered specialists engaging in scholarly inquiry and research. Through the cognate and electives they deepen their expertise in a chosen area of study. This program of study thus provides candidates with the skills necessary to synthesize theory and practice through further examination of theoretically-based curriculum development, understanding of global education issues, and inquiry into making education equitable, democratic, humane, and socially just.

Doctoral candidates in Special Education complete 27 core hours of coursework in a common core, which includes 12 hours of research, and 24 hours from within their major. The core courses require application of learner-centered concepts and principles in the content area for which the candidate is certified and must be applied in P-12 settings. In addition, candidates complete 6 hours of electives and 9 hours of dissertation.

Program of Study

Education and Research Core (27 Credit Hours):

  • EDUC 8100: Advanced Study of Learning (3 Credit Hours)*
  • EDUC 8300: Critical Multicultural and Global Education (3 Credit Hours)
  • INED 8760: Curriculum Development for English Learners 
    and Students with Exceptionalities(3 Credit Hours)*
  • EDUC 8150: Critical Analysis of Educational Policies and Change (3 Credit Hours)
  • EDUC 8705: Seminar in Formative Assessment for Learning (3 Credit Hours)*
  • EDRS 8100: Qualitative Research I (3 Credit Hours)*
  • EDRS 8200: Quantitative Research I (3 Credit Hours)*
  • EDRS 9000: Research Seminar: Conceptual Frameworks and Research Design (3 Credit Hours)
  • EDRS 9100: Advanced Qualitative Research Methods (3 Credit Hours) OR EDRS 9200: Advanced Quantitative Research Methods (3 Credit Hours)

Major Requirements (24 Credit Hours):

  • INED 8335: Special Education from a Historical Perspective (3 Credit Hours)*
  • INED 8306: Critical Issues in Special/Education Programs (3 Credit Hours)*
  • INED 8310:  Education Policies: Impact on Special – Education (3 Credit Hours)*
  • INED 8315: Critical Analysis of Collaboration in Schools (3 Credit Hours)*
  • INED 8900: Epistemological Stance and Theoretical Frameworks in Education (3 Credit Hours)
  • INED 8800: Data in Educational Research and Practice (3 Credit Hours)
  • INED 8360: Equitable Education for Diverse Learners (3 Credit Hours)
  • ITEC 7400: 21st Century Teaching and Learning (3 Credit Hours)* 

Guided Electives (6 Credit Hours)  Candidates may select from any 7000, 8000 or 9000 level courses approved by an adviser. 

Dissertation (9 Credit Hours)

TOTAL: 66 Credit Hours

*Courses required for the Ed.S in Special Education.

Admission Requirements

Expected qualifications for applicants to be considered for admission will typically include:

  1. An earned master’s degree in professional education or a related field.
  2. A clear and renewable teaching certificate or departmentally-approved 
equivalent in a service related field in Special Education. 
  3. At least three years of professional experience in teaching, administration, or related field in Special Education.
  4. A competitive Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score and Graduate GPA. The GPA 
and GRE will be utilized with other admission criteria to determine program eligibility. Although no minimum scores are required, candidates are encouraged to prepare and score well since admission to the program is competitive. Please note: The Analytical/Writing score one receives as part of the GRE exam is used competitively in the admission review process. It is strongly encouraged for applicants to do well on this portion of the exam. 

Applicants to both programs must submit the following:

  1. Online Graduate Application
  2. Official Transcripts from EACH college attended, including those institutions where degrees were NOT earned. Official transcripts are those in a university sealed envelope. Your transcripts should reflect at least a Master's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).
  3. Teaching Certificate or a departmentally-approved equivalent.
  4. Professional Resume documenting education, teaching experience, volunteer and service accomplishments and record of leadership activities. Your resume MUST reflect at least three year of professional experience.
  5. Professional Reflection Statement addressing your professional and academic goals identifying areas of research interests that you have.
  6. Official GRE scores.
  7. Two Letters of Recommendation from individuals that reference your academic and professional background.
  8. International applicants only: Please contact 470-578-3002 for all international admission requirements related to your citizenship or visa status OR visit the Graduate International Admissions page.

How do I Apply

The Ed.D program is currently accepting applications for summer enrollment. Click here to begin your application.


April 1 for Summer admission.

Contact Us

For more information please call (470) 578-6043 or Email us at GradEd@kennesaw.edu.