Special Education

Boston University’s Doctor of Education (EdD) program for Special Education is designed to increase and expand the knowledge and skills of enrolled graduate students to assume roles as leaders in the field as teacher educators, program administrators, and researchers. We are a program dedicated to learning about the nature of disabilities and the ways in which individuals, families, schools, and local, state, and federal agencies work to improve the quality of life and outcomes for individuals with disabilities in school, employment, recreational, and residential settings. We recognize that for our graduates to assume these roles, they require a rigorous course of study, including coursework in a specific content area and in research design, methods, and data analysis.  This, along with active immersion in the community of student and faculty scholars within the program and throughout the School of Education, the University, and the profession, provides excellent opportunities for our students to meet their goals and ours for developing leaders in Special Education.

Doctoral students enrolled in our program pursue one of three specializations: Teaching and Learning, focused on individuals with moderate or severe disabilities;  Student Support Specialization, focused on students with emotional/behavioral disorders or social work and disability; we offer a final specialization in Policy and Program Administration for individuals with disabilities.

We also offer interested students the option of a dual degree program for a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) through the School of Social Work (SSW) while simultaneously accomplishing their EdD in Special Education. The dual degree programs are designed to give students knowledge and skills across both disciplines, and they prepare leaders who have a rich understanding of working with families and can also design and administer creative programmatic responses to the changing needs of schools and communities. Applicants may apply to both programs simultaneously, or to either school first and then to the second school during the first semester of matriculation.

Our academic advisors work closely with all students to support and guide them in course selection to develop individualized programs of study that best reflect each student’s background, interests, and professional goals. Our students work closely with SED faculty as research, teaching, and/or graduate assistants, as they work to augment their knowledge and skills through their coursework, residency, and research.

Our program:

  • Is led by a collaborative and supportive faculty that works closely with students in a variety of capacities.
  • Offers three specializations: Teaching and Learning; Student Support; and Policy and Program Administration.
  • Encourages students to pursue the dual degree of Master of Social Work through the School of Social Work.
  • Is individualized to best address each student’s background, interests, and professional goals.
  • Prepares students for a variety of professional futures.

Faculty Contact Information: Dr. Donna Lehr, busped@bu.edu, 617-353-3240
Graduate Admissions: sedgrad@bu.edu, 617-353-4237

For program requirements and additional details, please visit the BU Bulletin.

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.