The Doctorate of Education (Ed.D) in Special Education program is designed to prepare expert educators,educational leaders, and/or university faculty to enhance special education services and special educator preparation. Individualized programs based on the student's education, professional experience and career plans are offered and include formal coursework, independent study, professional practice, and a dissertation.
Point of Pride
The Department of Special Education is one of the largest special education teacher preparation programs in the country. It has strong partnerships with school districts across the state, providing a wide range of clinical placements and collaborative opportunities.
Dr. Yun-Ching Chung
Schedule a Visit
Discover what life as an Illinois State graduate student is like.
How to Apply
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a doctoral program must:
- have earned a master's degree or equivalent in a discipline appropriate to the specific doctoral program
- have a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a scale in which an A is a 4.0) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work (approximately the junior and senior years)
- have a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a scale in which an A is a 4.0) for all graduate-level coursework
- provide three letters of recommendation
- present unofficial transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. The unofficial transcript should be easily readable and clearly indicate degree(s) awarded, courses and course grades for each term. If accepted, official transcripts can be emailed from the university to GraduateAdmissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Illinois State University, Graduate School, 209 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 4040, Normal, IL 61790-4040.
International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
Admission to the program is competitive and requires possession of the master's degree and professional experience relevant to the education of exceptional children and youth. The decision regarding admission to the graduate program is based on several factors:
- Acceptance into the University;
- Prior academic record (undergraduate and master's degree transcripts);
- Record of professional experiences and accomplishments;
- The degree of consistency between the applicant's future goals and the program's mission (as demonstrated in two brief essays);
- Professional writing skills (as demonstrated in brief essays on the applicant's career goals and research interests);
- Professional recommendations with the Letter of Recommendations form;
- The GRE is will be waived for 2022 applicants and will not be used to evaluate applicants
- submit names and email addresses of three references for letters of recommendation within the online application
Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years of professional experience centering on education or services for persons with disabilities.
Applicants must also posses a master's degree in Special Education or a related field.
Review of your application materials may take six to eight weeks.
Global Access to Online Degree Programs
When applying, international students applying to a fully online program must agree to our international online and hybrid programs disclosure and disclaimer statements. Due to limited on-campus courses, immigration documentation cannot be issued for students seeking F-1 or J-1 status.
- Fall Term — Next cohort begins Fall 2024. Applications will open in Fall 2023.
The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.
To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,
- be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
- be in good-standing
- be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).
Graduate assistants receive
- monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
- a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
- a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment
Costs & Funding
See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from contiguous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.
I Want to Learn More
Request Information Form