The Best Online Doctorate in Special Education Programs

Rank School Name Relative Cost Location Description
1 Concordia University-Chicago 1/5 River Forest, IL

Concordia has offered quality education to the Chicago area for over 150 years and offers several online degrees. Over 40% of the school's graduate students earn their degrees completely online, and Concordia's virtual graduate programs include a PhD in special education online. Concordia's EdD/PhD in special education leadership is designed for those who want to be educators and scholars, and who want to pursue special education leadership roles in private and public schools. Students in the program can choose between two tracks: the research-heavy PhD concentration and the practice-focused EdD. The curriculum includes courses on special education law and policy, supervision of programs for children with disabilities, community partnerships, and more. The courses are offered in an asynchronous format, making it easy for adult learners to earn a doctorate while maintaining a full-time job. Applicants must have earned a master's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA to be considered.

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2 Hampton University 1/5 Hampton, VA

Hampton University was founded in 1868 in Hampton, Virginia. Today, the school serves more than 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Hampton offers a number of virtual degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level, including online doctoral programs in special education. Hampton's PhD in educational management has four distinct tracks: higher education, pre-K-12 education, STEM leadership, and special education. The curriculum includes courses on diversity and equity in education, policy and politics in education, and more. This accelerated program can be completed in just over two years of study. Students can transfer credit for classes with a C grade or better, and can earn credit for military training, life experience, or credit-by-examination. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA and should reside in one of 27 approved states, or the District of Columbia, to be considered.

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3 Regent University 1/5 Virginia Beach, VA

Regent University is a private Christian university located in Virginia Beach. The university offers over 110 online undergraduate and graduate degrees, including a doctorate in special education online. Regent offers both a PhD and an EdD in special education. The 75-credit hour PhD focuses on special education research and policy, and prepares students for careers in special education administration and university teaching. The 66-credit hour EdD is a great professional development opportunity for candidates pursuing leadership positions in special education and or careers in advocacy, consulting, and policy,. Both the PhD and EdD are delivered mostly online, although they each require a pair of one-week, on-campus residencies. Each curriculum includes a Christian worldview for educators courses, which examines educational trends and cultures through a Christ-focused lens. Most of Regent's online courses are asynchronous, though some classes employ real-time lectures or chats with class members or professors.

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4 University of Northern Colorado 1/5 Greeley, CO

The University of Northern Colorado began as a training site for teachers in Greeley, Colorado. The school offers 4 distinct online education programs through its extended campus. Northern Colorado's PhD in special education is driven by the idea that learning should be an active, independent experience. The program prepares students for a variety of special education jobs in public and private schools, businesses, governments, and more. The curriculum includes courses in special education administration, autism, behavior disorders, learning disabilities, and more. Online courses at Northern Colorado are delivered through Canvas and are asynchronous, although most classes require students to meet strict deadlines when submitting assignments or participating in discussions. The 77-credit degree can be completed in roughly three to five years. Applicants should have a combined GRE score of at least 297, with an analytic score of 3.5 to be considered.

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