Skip to main content
Skip to main navigation

Special Education

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Special Education is offered by Illinois State University for persons seeking leadership positions in special education. Highly 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.

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
  • provide official scores from the GRE general exam (use institution code 1319)
  • present official transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. Transcripts can be emailed from the university to or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Office of Admissions, 201 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 2200, Normal, IL 61790-2200

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;
  • Scores on the Graduate Record Examination.
  • 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.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Term Application Deadline
Fall  March 31 

Graduate Assistantship Information

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

Cost & 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 continuous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.

Graduate Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Karen Douglas  DeGarmo 515  (309) 438-2350 
2016-08-30T13:46:29.206-05:00 2016