Judith Herb College of Education

Doctoral Degrees in the Department of Early Childhood and Special Education

In collaboration with the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, the following doctoral degrees are available:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction: Early Childhood Education
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction: Special Education
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction: Gifted Education

The PhD is the rigorous preparation of educational researchers who have the knowledge and skills needed to design, conduct, and disseminate high-quality scholarship, and who have a strong foundation in one or more areas of specialization. Courses provide critical training in the intellectual pursuit of advanced knowledge. A Ph.D. degree prepares the graduate for academic and administrative positions in educational institutions and social service agencies.

Program Overview

I. Professional Seminars 6 hours
II. Research Tools 12 hours (min)
III. Interdisciplinary Area of Concentration   33 hours (min)
IV. Dissertation 9 hours (min)


Admission Criteria

Individuals interested in doctoral study in the C&I program with specialization in areas of Early Childhood Education or Special Education must meet the admission requirements described below. Application should be made to the College of Graduate Studies of the University of Toledo. The admission process begins with the submission of the following documents to the Graduate School.

  1. A complete Application for Graduate School Admission
  2. Copies of all official undergraduate/graduate transcripts, including credits and degrees earned.  The transcripts will be evaluated for the following information:
    • A professional (Masters’) degree granted by an accredited institution with prerequisite academic work that gives evidence that the applicant should be able to pursue effectively the doctoral-level work in the department in which specialization is desired and
    • A minimum 3.25 cumulative GPA, using a 4.0 scale, on all previous graduate academic work with a completed master's degree

3. Three (3) letters of reference, one from a faculty who can attest to your academic skills, describing the applicant’s potential for successfully completing a doctoral program.

4. GRE scores: GRE is NOT required for applicants with a master’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university AND a master’s GPA of 3.5 or higher; GRE IS required for applicants without a master’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university OR with a master’s GPA of less than 3.5 (GRE scores with 144 in both the verbal and quantitative sections and a 3.0 writing score or above preferred)

5. A three to five page personal statement that describes why the applicant wishes to pursue the selected doctoral program. This sketch should also include information on previous educational experiences, professional accomplishments, immediate and future professional goals, a proposed time schedule for completing the degree, and any other information that the applicant believes is relevant for admission into the desired program.

6. Evidence of research and writing ability. Such evidence may include a master’s thesis, a written research report, one or more reprints of publications, a paper presented to a professional society, proctored writing sample, or similar evidence of competence in this respect. If you have no prior evidence to submit, you will be asked to write a paper before being admitted into the program.

 7. Evidence of a minimum of two years of successful teaching or direct working experience with children (for an applicant who expects to continue working in teacher education). An applicant without teaching experience may be admitted to doctoral study in the absence of such experience upon the approval of the program in which applicant wishes to concentrate.


Additional Requirements for International Students

8. International students from non-English speaking countries must achieve satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

9. All International students are required to complete a Financial Statement (see Graduate School website for the form) and provide supporting documentation that they have adequate financial resources to support their graduate education.



Deadlines for submission of admission materials: Prospective students can apply any time during the year. However, application materials have to be submitted by March 1st for fall semester and by August 1st for spring semester.



[1] Admission to all doctoral programs is competitive and fulfillment of the minimum criteria does not guarantee admission.

Last Updated: 2/9/21