Overview

Special Education Graduate Programs

The Department of Special Education offers graduate education for students interested in teaching, research, and professional service related to children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and their families. Since the 1970s, the department’s master’s and doctoral programs have received national and international recognition. The faculty is known for its field leadership and commitment to high-quality education for children and youth with disabilities, innovative field-based research, and preparation of highly effective program graduates. The annual U.S. News and World Report graduate program survey consistently ranks KU at the top when compared to more than 200 graduate programs in this field. As one of the most comprehensive special education preparation programs in the country, the department attracts students from many states and countries.

Graduate degrees associated with the department’s programs include the Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Students may pursue a master’s degree emphasizing teaching in one of 6 areas:

  1. High-incidence disabilities
  2. Autism spectrum disorders
  3. Early childhood unified (birth through kindergarten)
  4. Low-incidence disabilities/ significant intellectual disabilities
  5. Secondary transition education and services

Students seeking Kansas State Department of Education teaching licensure can complete requirements for special education endorsement in the following areas:

  1. Adaptive (high-incidence)
  2. Functional (low-incidence/significant intellectual)
  3. Early childhood unified (ECU, birth through kindergarten)

With the exception of ECU, all endorsement areas require current Kansas licensure in elementary, secondary, or early childhood education.

The doctoral program prepares experienced professionals for leadership roles as university faculty, researchers, and policymakers/administrators. Course work and field experience facilitate the development of advanced knowledge and skills in leadership, teacher education, research and scholarly writing, and disability advocacy. The following areas of specialization are offered:

  • Policy analysis and research
  • Teacher education (e.g., high-incidence disabilities, early childhood unified education, secondary special education transition, and low-incidence disabilities)
  • Families and disability
  • Educational technology

Graduate classes are taught on the main campus in Lawrence, the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park in suburban Kansas City about 40 miles from Lawrence, and online and/or hybrid. Master’s students can expect to complete some graduate work on each campus. The Secondary/Transistion master/s program is fully online.

Contact Info

School of Education

Welcome Center, Joseph R. Pearson Hall
1122 West Campus Road, Room 208
Lawrence, KS 66045-3101
785-864-3726
785-864-5076
soe@ku.edu
http://www.soe.ku.edu/
Rick Ginsberg, Dean
785-864-4297
Lon Dehnert, Assistant Dean, Academic Services
785-864-9603

School of Education

Welcome Center, Joseph R. Pearson Hall
1122 West Campus Road, Room 208
Lawrence, KS 66045-3101
785-864-3726
soe@ku.edu
http://www.soe.ku.edu/
Sally Roberts, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs
785-864-0553

School of Education

Welcome Center, Joseph R. Pearson Hall
1122 West Campus Road, Room 208
Lawrence, KS 66045-3101
785-864-3726
soe@ku.edu
http://www.soe.ku.edu/
James Lichtenberg, Associate Dean, Graduate Programs and Research
785-864-9656
Why KU
  • One of 34 public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • 2nd in the nation for prestigious faculty Fulbright awards
  • 26 Rhodes scholars
  • Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
  • One of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs. U.S. News and World Report