Special Education

Doctoral Students in the Special Education program develop a coherent and integrated program of study in collaboration with a faculty advisor in specialization areas such as teaching and learning among students with mild-moderate or severe disabilities or policy and program administration for students with disabilities. Additionally some students may also apply to and are admitted to the BU School of Social Work, to enroll in our dual degree program. In this program students simultaneously pursue an MSW in Social Work and an EdD in Special Education.

Graduates pursue careers as teachers and scholars in colleges or universities, program directors in schools, government agencies, and community organization leaders.

The doctoral program in Special Education includes coursework from within the Special Education program throughout the School of Education, and throughout Boston University in related schools and colleges. Among these are the College of  Arts & Sciences, the College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, Sargent College, the School of Management, the School of Law, and the School of Social Work.

All students must complete a residency requirement. Residence is defined as registration for a minimum of 12 credit hours at the University, during each of two consecutive semesters. The residency requirement can be fulfilled during any period of the student’s matriculation (e.g. Fall/Spring; Spring/Summer; or Summer Fall). Twelve of more credits earned in two summer sessions constitute a summer semester.

Most students also work closely with SED faculty as research, teaching, and/or graduate assistants as they work to augment their knowledge and skills through these experiences. Each doctoral student completes comprehensive examinations to demonstrate their depth and breadth of understanding of the field and successful students continue on to conduct dissertation research as the culminating degree requirement.

Program Fast Facts

  • Program Requirements: For a listing of program requirements and coursework information, please visit the Boston University Bulletin for the EdD in Special Education.
  • Residency Requirement: Residence is defined as registration for a minimum of 12 credit hours during each of two consecutive semesters. This can be fulfilled during any period of the student’s matriculation (e.g. Fall/Spring; Spring/Summer; Summer/Fall). Twelve or more credits earned in two summer sessions constitue a summer semester
  • Program Duration: Two academic years (average) of course work. Time to complete the comprehensive examination and dissertation research varies. Duration for part-time students varies.
  • Start Term: Students may begin the program in summer, fall, or spring.
  • Licensure: Courses related to licensure can be included, on consultation with program advisor.
  • Prerequisites: This program requires a Masters degree or an international equivalent.
  • Faculty Contact Information: Professor Donna H. Lehr, busped@bu.edu, 617-353-3240
  • Graduate Admissions Contact Information: sedgrad@bu.edu, 617-353-4237

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students at the School of Education benefit from the community feel of a small school along with the resources of a large university. Our students are in the field in both urban and suburban schools as early as their first year at SED.

Graduate Students

Talented graduate students from around the world prepare to become teachers, counselors, administrators, and more in as little as one year at the School of Education. Our students engage in diverse aspects of education both in the classroom and the field.