Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Special Education

Doctoral Degrees in Special Education

We welcome you as a professional interested in the Doctoral Program in Special Education at Wayne State University. This document is designed to provide you information about the philosophy, requirements, and opportunities for leadership development through this program.

Philosophy. We believe that special education must function as an integral and complementary component of best practices in the education for all students. We support the movement towards inclusive education for students with mild to severe disabilities, and see best instructional practices in general education as supporting the growth and development of students with disabilities. We believe that special educators have important roles to play in building a unified system of schooling that supports learning of all students. Leadership is needed to make these goals a reality. It is the purpose of our program to provide one important avenue of leadership development.

Purpose. First and foremost we seek to provide opportunities for leadership development. We seek to help you gain knowledge, skills, and experiences so that you can make contributions to improving learning and growth for students with disabilities in schools in one or more of the following roles:

  • Teacher-leader
  • Faculty member
  • Researcher
  • Consultant
  • State or federal educational agency staff member
  • And more.

In the doctoral program, you will be provided opportunities to develop and strengthen knowledge and skills in research and inquiry, best instructional practices for inclusive teaching, professional development, leadership, strategies for identifying and promoting innovations, and grant development.

Types of Doctoral Programs. The College of Education at Wayne State University offers two doctoral programs in special education: (1) a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) and (2) Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The plans of work for both these programs are very similar. In general the Doctor of Education program is aimed primarily for practitioners. The Doctor of Philosophy has as greater emphasis on research.