PhD in Special Education

Admission Contact Information

Caitlin Rosbach (
303 Townsend Hall; Columbia, MO 65211

Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: January 15
Spring deadline: August 15

Minimum GPA: 3.5/4.0
Minimum TOEFL scores:

Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
80 550

Minimum preferred GRE scores:

When did you take the GRE? Verbal + Quantitative
On or After August 1, 2011 297+ (V153 +Q144) / Analytic Writing 4.0

Faculty selection committees review applications for admission into the various graduate programs. Factors considered in the graduate student review process include previous academic course work and performance, GRE scores, letters of recommendation from professors or professional supervisors and relevant professional work experiences. The letter of intent is evaluated for advising purposes and is an indication of the applicant’s motivation, professionalism and writing competencies. Interviews with faculty are often arranged as part of the admissions review process.

Required Application Materials

To the Office of Graduate Studies:
All required Graduate Studies documents

To the Special Education Program:
Departmental application
Letter of intent and professional goals
3 letters of recommendation (submitted confidentially and electronically through our online application system)
GRE score report

Financial Aid from the Program

Some programs require an extra form or statement from those who wish to be considered for internal assistantships, fellowships or other funding packages. Check the program Web site or ask the program contact for details.

Emphasis Areas

For the doctorate’s specializations, see Degrees Offered.

Plan of Study

The PhD program requires 72 hours beyond the requirements of the master’s degree.

Qualifying Exam

Doctoral students must successfully pass a qualifying exam. This is given to assess the student’s current knowledge of the field, their ability to synthesize professional literature, engage in professional writing practices, and orally present/discuss key issues within the field. This process is conducted by three faculty members and may be used to help define the student’s plan of study.

Comprehensive Exam and Dissertation

Doctoral students must complete comprehensive exams, which have a written and oral component, which is constructed and evaluated by the student’s doctoral committee in order to advance to “candidacy” status. A minimum of six hours of 9090 Research is required for the doctoral program in completion of the dissertation.

Satisfactory Progress

For information on general progress guidelines and the dismissal policy, see the Special Education site.

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