Doctor of Philosophy in Education / Special Education
Northcentral University

Program Details

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD-Ed) program is suitable for students who want to combine a strong base of theoretical knowledge with an individualized focus to conduct research in and about PK-12, postsecondary and adult learning environments. 

PhDs in Education are found in many different roles in academia, industry and not-for-profit organizations, including educational consultant, academic researcher, policy maker, educational theorist, and faculty member or administrator in a higher education or organizational setting. Students pursuing the PhD in Education have the opportunity to customize and focus their program through their coursework, doctoral research courses and the doctoral dissertation.

The PhD in Education with a specialization in Special Education will provide you with the knowledge and skills to implement the six pillars of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA). You will investigate specific court and legal cases, federal mandates, case studies, and application opportunities, with an emphasis on case law and research that addresses course-based concepts. 

You will also advance your knowledge and skills in student placement, service delivery requirements, discipline, appropriate educational decisions, family rights, and privacy issues, and the skills to interact with special education administrators from a local district or university. As a PhD in Special Education graduate, you will be prepared to pursue positions as school district administrator of special education programs or university positions where you will prepare special education students at initial certification or advanced levels.


  • Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Education program requires a conferred post-baccalaureate master’s degree and/or doctoral degree from a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution
  • Send your official transcripts from other schools you attended

School Accreditation Statement

NCU is a WSCUC accredited institution. WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001, WSCUC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Geographic Restrictions

This program is not authorized for residents of Arkansas.