College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Special education PhD

Become a leader in special education research and train future educators

As a PhD student in the special education program, you'll receive the training to find solutions to problems that help individuals with disabilities learn and grow. The program’s rigorous coursework and faculty-guided experiences will prepare you for a leadership role in special education.

A member of the NCLII Consortium

The University of Minnesota's special education program is one of only seven in the U.S. included in the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention (NCLII-2) consortium. NCLII-2 is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to prepare special education leaders to become experts in research on intensive intervention for students with disabilities who have co-occurring, persistent, and severe academic (e.g., reading and math) and behavioral difficulties.


Graduates with their doctorate in special education conduct research, teach in universities, and work in other educational settings in special education.

Tuition, funding, and financial aid

    Visit the College of Education and Human Development's Tuition and Financial Aid page for information on tuition.

    Visit OneStop Student Services for more information on available financial aid.


    M.Y. Savana Bak

    Assistant professor

    Anne Foegen

    Professor and department chair

    Debbie Golos

    Associate professor

    LeAnne Johnson

    Associate professor and special education program coordinator

    Jennifer McComas

    Professor and head of special education MA with emphasis in ABA 

    Kristen McMaster

    Professor and Guy Bond Chair in Reading

    Frank Symons

    Emma Birkmaier Education Leadership Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Policy, Distinguished McKnight University Professor

    Jason Wolff

    William Harris Professor in Child Development, associate professor, Director of Graduate Studies