Special education image

Lead the way in special education

Prepare for leadership roles with schools, agencies, and non-profit organizations

Special Education (Doctor of Education)

Offered by: Special Education

The Doctor in Special Education at SRU prepares educators and human service agency workers for leadership positions in the field of Special Education. This program includes special education, content learning, and leadership classes designed to train professionals to enter public schools, agencies, and non-profit organizations.


In the United States today, there is a shortage of:

  • qualified school administrators with expertise in special education
  • candidates for positions in special education teacher preparation programs at colleges and universities
  • leaders to manage human service agencies focused on helping children and adults with disabilities in community settings

The SRU Doctor of Education in Special Education program aims to address these shortages and create tomorrow's leaders in special education. Drawing from the expertise of one of the oldest and most respected Special Education departments in the country, the EdD in Special Education at Slippery Rock University is preparing tomorrow's leaders to excel in high-demand areas.


SRU's Ed.D. in Special Education offers:

  • Convenient, student-centered blend of online courses (synchronous and asynchronous) in the fall, winter and spring semesters, with weekend face-to-face teaching during the summer
  • Cohort program begins each spring term and is intended to be completed in three years, taking an average of two classes each fall, spring, and summer
  • Ability to apply 12 master's degree credits towards the doctoral degree
  • Competitive curriculum that focuses on special education, content learning, and leadership classes designed to prepare higher education faculty to teach future special education leaders to enter public schools, agencies, and non-profit organizations
  • Experienced faculty with practical knowledge


  • Online Application
  • Application Fee
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (References who can articulate the applicant's academic background) *Electronic forms are Not Acceptable.
  • Copy of Teacher Certification or Licensure (optional)
  • 300-500 Word Essay (Indicating the applicant's personal and professional goals)
  • Official Transcripts- bachelor's and master's degree transcripts, doctorate if applicable (Official transcripts must be sent by institution via electronic transcript e-share to graduate.admissions@sru.edu or via mail- faxed copies will not be considered official) 
  • GPA requirements - undergraduate GPA of a 3.0, and graduate degree with a 3.5 or higher
  • Candidate must have an earned undergraduate degree in elementary education, special education early childhood education, or a secondary content specific discipline such as English, social studies, science, or psychology, business or a related area.

Please note: We are accepting applications for the Ed. D. spring 2021 cohort.

*Applicants may submit supplemental application materials as a PDF or JPEG file via email (graduate.admissions@sru.edu), fax (724.738.2146), or mail. 

* If you are not a resident of Pennsylvania, please check the list of most recent states approved for online classes and internships by clicking here to see if SRU is authorized to offer distance education and/or field experiences in your state of residency. Please contact the Department of Education in your state for information regarding certification.