Doctor of Philosophy in Education / Early Childhood Special Education
Walden University

Program Details

Help prepare the next generation of early intervention special needs educators with this PhD in Education focusing on Early Childhood Special Education. The program follows the Council for Exceptional Children’s advanced professional early childhood preparation standards.

Students of this online Special Education degree will explore key research issues including leadership and policy, program development and assessment, collaboration, evidence-based practices, and ethical practice. A special focus identifies and addresses gaps in research that can increase the effectiveness of early childhood special educators. Real-world case studies allow students to problem solve, investigate, and implement research-based strategies.

Classes examine topics including the following:

  • Child development in the critical early years
  • Leading change in special education
  • Special education theory and practice
  • Effective practices in early childhood special education


This program requires four residencies. 

  • Master's degree
  • College transcripts
  • Employment history

Special Accreditation

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

School Accreditation Statement

The Higher Learning Commission

Restricted States

Kentucky, New York, Rhode Island