Ph.D. LCID Specialization in Special Education

Program Details

Area(s) of Study:
  • Special Education
Associated Degree:
  • Ph.D.
  • On-Campus
Program Level:
  • Doctoral
Program Type:
  • Degree


The specialization in Special Education within the Learning, Cognition, Instruction, and Development concentration prepares students to conduct high-quality research on critical issues regarding students at risk for, or receiving services in special education. As special education issues can be viewed through cultural, systemic, transactional, behavioral, developmental, structural, and other lenses, students are encouraged to examine the field from multiple theoretical and research perspectives.

Faculty in this specialization are interested in: academic and social-emotional-behavioral prevention and intervention, interdisciplinary collaboration, special education policy, evidenced-based standards, and quantitative methodological approaches to assessment, inquiry, curriculum, and learning. Our students explore the interrelationships between these areas as they play out in the everyday realities of classrooms, schools, and communities.


Please visit to apply. (Online applications are required.)

Applications are due by December 1 for fall admission.

Students applying to this program will need:

  • Transcripts from their undergraduate program and for any other degree they have received.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • GRE scores (from within the last five years) -verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing are necessary. For more information on the GRE, please go to
  • A personal statement that describes why you are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Education at Rutgers, what you would like to study and research, and what qualities and experiences you would bring to the Rutgers GSE—In more than 1,000 words total, we ask you to address the following questions:


    • Why do you want to earn a Ph.D. in Education, and what are your long-term goals?
    • What are your research interests within the field of education?
    • What do you bring to the program that will help you succeed as a researcher and professional colleague?
    • Why is the Rutgers GSE an appropriate doctoral program in which to pursue your research interests? Please describe your interests in specific concentrations/areas of study and/or your interest in working with a certain faculty member(s).

Please refer to the GSE website for details about programs, faculty, admissions criteria, financial aid, and tuition. Questions about admissions procedures are answered by Graduate and Professional Admissions at the website listed above.


Proseminars (6 credits)
Methodology (12 credits)
Additional Quantitative or Qualitative Courses (6 credits)
Special Education Core (6 credits)
OR equivalent courses approved by advisor
Prethesis (6 credits)
Courses in specialty area (12 credits) Cognate Courses (6 Credits)
Dissertation (24 credits)  

Program Requirements

The Ph.D. in Education requires 48 credits of coursework and 24 credits of dissertation research. All students in the Learning, Cognition, Instruction, and Development concentration take a common set of courses, accumulating 18 credits within the concentration, of which 6 credits must be classes within the concentration but outside the faculty adviser’s specialty.

A complete listing of degree requirements is available for download or at the Office of Student and Academic Services.

If you have more specific questions about this concentration, please contact Dake Zhang.