Online Degree Programs

Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction — Special Education Online

Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction: Special Education - Early Childhood Education Apply Now
We also offer an online master's degree in special education.


The doctoral program in curriculum and instruction, special education is designed to prepare special education professionals to assume leadership positions in the field.  

This doctoral program is the only online doctoral program in special education that has been approved by the Ohio Council of Graduate Schools and represents a rigorous and challenging program of study that will prepare individuals who wish to assume positions as academic leaders in educational or early intervention systems at the local, regional, state or national level.


The University of Toledo is a 4-year, public, regionally accredited university that has been serving students since 1872. As a student, you will enjoy direct contact with your advisors and interactive faculty to help you achieve your goals. UToledo also has many resources that a large institution offers such as; eTutoring, IT Help Desk, and eLibrary.


Students complete a total of 60-credit hours online in 4-5 years by completing 6 credit hours (2 courses) per semester, including summers. The program of study includes advanced coursework and professional seminars in special education and early intervention as well as an array of research tools (i.e., quantitative methods, qualitative methods, single case design, survey research).

Students also complete engaging and meaningful “virtual” internships that will prepare them for leadership roles across a variety of settings. The dissertation represents a capstone experience that allows doctoral candidates to demonstrate their ability to conduct meaningful research that will support learners with disabilities and their families.

Within this model, doctoral students work closely with faculty members and other doctoral colleagues in a virtual community of practice that includes face-to-face meetings twice a year with their advisor.

Students also have access to national and international leaders in the field of early childhood special education and early intervention through UToledo’s membership in DECIDE: DEC’s Consortium for Innovations in Doctoral Education. For more information, please visit the Judith Herb College of Education, Early Childhood and Special Education web page.


The online Ph.D. in special education will prepare individuals to assume positions in higher education, preparing individuals to meet the needs of learners with disabilities and their families.

The focus of the program is on how to translate research on evidence-based practices to the field in order to maximize outcomes for learners with disabilities and their families.

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Admission Requirements

State Authorization
Last Updated: 7/31/22