Online PhD Special Education
Credit Hours
Years (Avg.)
Class Type
100% online, 8-week courses
Transfer Credits
Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total
Next Start Date
Jan 15, 2024
Liberty University is accredited by SACSCOC

Learn How to Meet Your Students’ Unique Needs with a PhD in Special Education Online

You are an education professional seeking a terminal degree. You love working directly in the classroom and equipping your students for success. You are passionate about helping students with special needs learn, grow, and thrive.

If that sounds like you, Liberty University’s PhD in Education – Special Education can help. Our program provides an in-depth look at learning theory and research methods with the goal of helping you bolster your effectiveness as an educator. You can learn how to help all of your students — including those with disabilities — excel at every level of education, from kindergarten through college.

Explore methods for making effective, data-driven decisions and implementing evidence-based practices in the classroom. This doctorate in special education online program can help equip you to work as a school leader at public and private institutions. Partner with us and prepare to serve as a Champion for Christ in the education field — and beyond.

What are the benefits of earning a PhD in special education?

How long does it take to complete a PhD in special education?

What is the difference between an EdD and a PhD in special education?

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Why Choose Liberty University’s PhD Program in Special Education?

Are you worried that school will get in the way of your other commitments and priorities? If so, we have just what you need! Our PhD in special education is offered 100% online, so you can complete your coursework from the comfort of your home and easily access your materials whenever you need them. Most importantly, you can stay invested in your family and career while furthering your education.

In this online doctoral degree program in special education, you’ll study under professors who have years of experience in research, teaching, and academia. With their guidance, you can gain the tools you need to help your students succeed.

We don’t just train educators — we equip qualified professionals who seek to use their skills in service to God and others. At Liberty, you will analyze education practices through the lens of a biblical worldview. Our faculty are grounded in the Christian faith and are committed to helping you lead with excellence and integrity in the education field.

Military Tuition Discount

Lead your field with the doctoral degree you want — at a price you’ve earned. As a thank-you for your military service, Liberty University offers current and former service members like you or your spouse multiple pathways to earn a doctoral degree for only $300/credit hour. Find out how you can take advantage of this unique opportunity and reach the pinnacle of your profession — for less.

What Will You Learn in Our Online PhD Program in Special Education?

Explore special education teaching philosophy and learn how to help students with disabilities thrive in their academic, professional, and personal life.

This special education doctoral program online is broken down into 4 main parts: core education courses, research classes, a dissertation project, and the special education concentration. You can gain foundational skills in the theoretical, historical, and philosophical aspects of education. Additionally, you can explore current trends in educational technology, allowing you to stay knowledgeable about the most cutting-edge research in the industry.

Our PhD in special education online courses can help prepare you to meet the needs of students with physical impairments, behavioral disorders, and learning disabilities. In particular, you can learn how to collaborate with families, service providers, and school administrators in helping these students set and achieve academic goals.

Every student is unique, so our courses can help train you to evaluate the needs of individual students and help them reach their full potential. Upon graduation, you could work directly in the classroom or as the director of a special education program. Whether you want to work in early childhood education or at post-secondary institutions, our online PhD in special education can help you pursue your career goals.

This program contains several research methods courses, culminating in an extensive final dissertation project. You’ll have the opportunity to conduct original research and contribute to the base of knowledge in your field.

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PhD in Special Education Online Degree Information

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What Can You Do with a PhD in Special Education?

By earning your Doctor of Philosophy in special education, you can pursue a variety of job opportunities in the field of education. Some of the roles you may qualify for include:

  • Educational consultant
  • K-12 special education teacher*
  • Principal
  • Rehabilitation facility director
  • School superintendent
  • Special education director
  • Survey researcher
  • Training and development specialist
  • University administrator
  • University professor

*This career may require a teaching license.

Admission Requirements for Liberty’s Doctor of Philosophy in Education Program

Applicants must have a regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or above for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions-related information.

All applicants must submit the following:

  • Admission application
  • Application fee*
  • Official college transcripts
  • Proof of English proficiency (for applicants whose native language is other than English)

*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses — documentation verifying military status is required.

Highlights of Liberty’s Online Doctorate in Special Education

  • We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility. Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of’s best online schools in America. Earning your online PhD in special education from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
  • Your success is our success, which is why we’re committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we’ve frozen tuition rates for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years — and counting.
  • Liberty’s online PhD program contains an integrated dissertation process, allowing you to work toward your final research project while completing your regular classes.
  • You can complete this online doctoral program in special education in as little as 3 years.
  • Completing your PhD gives you a terminal educational credential that shows employers you have reached the pinnacle of achievement in your field.
  • As a doctoral student, you can access a wealth of resources through our top-notch research portal while completing your PhD in Education at Liberty University.
  • If you’re a full-time parent or working professional, we provide the flexibility you need to take the next step in your academic journey.