1. K-State home
  2. »College of Education
  3. »Academic Programs
  4. »Graduate Degree Programs
  5. »Special Education Doctorate (Ed.D.)

College of Education

College of Education
006 Bluemont Hall
1114 Mid-Campus Drive North
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-7304 fax

Special Education Doctorate (Ed.D.)


request information button

Course Delivery: Manhattan Campus; some courses available Online
Credits: 90
Tuition Information: See the Cashiers and Student Accounts website for tuition and fee schedules.

Start the Application Process

For more information about the program, call 785-532-5541 or email cjwalker@k-state.edu.

Additional  Information

Program Requirements

A minimum of 90 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree is required. Up to 30 graduate hours earned as part of a Master’s degree may be used to satisfy the following requirements with the approval of the student’s supervisory committee and the Graduate School.

Each student’s program of study is individualized with the approval of the major professor and the supervisory committee to optimize the student’s interests, expertise, and professional goals.

  • Area of Emphasis
    • (48 credits)
  • Foundations (12 credits)
    • For each category, take the course listed or its equivalent:
    • Techniques and Interpretation of Educational Research:
      EDCEP 816 – Research Methods in Education
    • Historical and Philosophical Analysis of Leadership in Education:
      EDLEA 810 – Historical and Philosophical Analysis of Leadership in Education
    • Social Science Explorations of Educating a Diverse Society:
      EDCI 910 – Multicultural Curriculum Programming
    • Behavioral Bases of Educational Thought and Practice:
      EDCEP 912 – Psychological Bases of Educational Thought and Practice
  • Research Courses (6 credits minimum)
    • Research courses concerning methodology consistent with the required for the dissertation. Two courses typically used to meet research expectations include:
      • EDCEP 817 – Statistical Methods in Education
      • EDCEP 917 – Experimental Design in Educational Research
  • Clinical Experience (12 credits)
    • The clinical experience is designed to enhance one’s professional development by providing field-based exposure to the process of administration and supervision of special education programs and personnel. Objectives, activities, and outcomes for this clinical experience/internship are commonly determined by the major professor (advisor), in consultation with the student and the supervisory committee.
  • Dissertation Research (12 credits)
    • Completion of a dissertation which treats an important topic of professional education practice using a systematic methodology consistent with accepted research paradigms. The dissertation must be successfully defended in a public, oral defense. The dissertation work is closely supervised by the major professor, with the guidance of the supervisory committee.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to graduate study is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the faculty in the graduate program. Applicants seeking admission to this master’s degree program must submit the information noted below. Before starting the online application, gather all information and documents for all of the admission requirements so that they can be uploaded into the application system. All materials must be received before review will begin.

  • A completed online Graduate School Application
    • Go to the Kansas State University Graduate School application for admission page. Follow the prompts for completing the application process.
    • Application Deadlines:
      • U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents – Applications are accepted throughout the year.
      • International Students – The online application, application fee, test scores, transcripts, financial documents, and all required application materials need to be submitted by the following dates:
        • January 1 for fall (August) enrollment
        • August 1 for spring (January) enrollment
        • December 1 for summer (June) enrollment
  • Graduate School Application Fee
    • Domestic Students – A $65 application fee is required for all domestic students; the application will not be processed without this fee. The fee can be paid by credit card when completing the online application.
    • International Students – A $75 application fee is required; the application will not be processed without this fee. The fee can be paid by credit card when completing the online application.
  • Official Transcripts
    • You must upload into the online application system a scanned copy (PDF preferred) of the official transcript(s) from each college or university where you received your bachelor's degree(s) and completed any post baccalaureate course work or degrees. Transcripts become part of your records at Kansas State University and cannot be returned. Please be aware that printouts from university student portals are not considered a copy of your official transcript. If you are admitted, you will be required to submit an official transcript for GPA and degree conferral verification from the institution(s) where you received your degree(s) and completed any post-baccalaureate credits. Students whose transcripts are not in English must furnish a translation by an appropriate authority. Failure to list any colleges or universities attended may result in dismissal from the university.
  • Statement of Goals and Professional Experience
    • You must upload into the online application system a 1-2 page statement that includes the following information:
      • Career and professional goals and aspirations, and how being accepted to the program will benefit your goals and aspirations;
      • Any research interests;
      • Past and present employment work experience within education or a related field;
      • Future profesional plans (e.g., Upon completion of the degree, do you plan to stay in your current position? If not, what type of position would you like to seek?);
      • If you have a request for a certain advisor, indicate that preference in the statement.
  • Scholarly Writing Sample (Replaces the GRE Requirement)
    • An important aspect of doctoral work is to advance and apply scholarship on educational issues within the context of the academic program. For the purpose of this application, please consider a complex issue related to special education that you find important and compelling, and develop a scholarly essay (approximately 5-8 pages) which includes:

      • an overview of the issue you’ve chosen to explore,
      • a presentation of the current state of knowledge in the literature related to the issue (citing sources as appropriate), and,
      • conclude with a possible interpretation of the critical issue from at least two different perspectives, including a first stab at the potential for future research on the topic. How could you further study this issue?
    • The essay should be uploaded as a MS Word document or PDF file, double-spaced, formatted in APA (7th ed.) style, and include a minimum of 5 scholarly (peer-reviewed) sources. The essay will be assessed according to the following elements: overview of the issue, incorporation of existing literature, interpretation of the critical issue, articulation of future research ideas, and overall coherence and readability.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • Three letters of recommendation are needed from college or university educators and/or colleagues or supervisors who are qualified to address your professional skills and your potential for success in the graduate program. Enter the names and email addresses of the recommenders into the appropriate area in the online application.
  • An Interview
    • Once all application materials have been received, the department will contact the applicant to schedule an interview. Interviews are conducted to learn about the applicant's interest and compatibility with the degree program.
  • English Language Proficiency
    • To demonstrate competence in the English language, an official report of scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System - academic exam (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE) must be sent to Kansas State University for all applicants whose primary language is not English. Enter your scores in the online application and upload the report of your scores.
    • Learn more about English proficiency requirements at: http://www.k-state.edu/grad/admissions/application-process/international/ 

International applicants must meet the same academic standards for admission as those required of domestic students. When applying for admission, international applicants must provide an Affidavit of Financial Support and documentation of English language proficiency. Detailed information about these issues is provided at the Graduate School Application Process for International Students website.