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    Sep 22, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Education, PhD

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Admission process/requirements for master’s and doctoral applications

Applying to a graduate program in the Department of Educational Psychology is a two-step process.

Step 1: Toulouse Graduate School application

Apply through the Toulouse Graduate School at See the Admission  section of this catalog for Toulouse Graduate School application and admission requirements, or go to the graduate school web site at

All requirements, including GPA, must be met before the department can begin reviewing an application.

Step 2: Departmental application requirements

  1. Submission of official GRE scores is required: verbal, quantitative and analytical writing sections. The department views high GRE scores as positive indicators of potential success in the programs, within a competitive holistic framework for evaluating the applicants. Applicants are encouraged to aim for at least the 50th percentile in all three sections. GRE scores must be sent electronically from ETS, institutional code 6481. Applicants must submit scores that are less than five years old, with exceptions for those who have a completed master’s degree from UNT. Resources can be found at, as well as study materials in most book stores. Current UNT students can also participate in exam preparation workshops through the Learning Center.
  2. Three or more written letters of recommendation. These letters should be sent from the reference, signed and on official letterhead. Academic references are strongly preferred and should be in an appropriate position to make recommendation (current or former advisor or professor; school administrator). Professionally applicable sources are accepted, but are not preferred. These letters should address potential as a graduate student; include references to how applicant will benefit from the graduate program in future professional roles; provide evidence of the applicant’s reading, critical thinking, writing and mathematical skills; and attest to applicant’s professional and academic skills.
  3. A professional resume that delineates previous work, educational experiences, membership and involvement in professional organizations, and scholarly activities. Resume should support potential for strong performance as a graduate student.
  4. A professional statement (1–3 pages), stating your goals and rationale for applying to the desired degree program and concentration area. In this statement, you may include a brief description of your career experiences (teaching, working with special populations, etc.), and explain how they are linked to your educational aspirations. Also, if you have any research and/or evaluation experiences, please summarize these and relate them to your degree and concentration. Your personal statement should be well articulated and demonstrate professional writing quality (formal; accurate grammar and spelling).
  5. All departmental application materials, including official GRE scores, must be received within two months of the submitted online application.

All departmental admission decisions are based on a holistic review of the applicant’s submitted materials, including GPA, GRE scores, etc. Applicants that are strong in all areas will have first priority of admission.

Degree requirements

The doctoral program in special education requires a minimum of 63 hours of course work and research experience in one of the following two concentrations:

  • Developmental Disabilities and Autism Concentration
  • Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders

A master’s degree with a major in special education or a closely related field is required for application to the PhD. Candidates with master’s degrees in other fields will be required to take up to five additional courses in special education, with advisor’s approval.

The following requirements are for students who enter the program with a related master’s degree.

Educational psychology PhD core, 6 hours

Educational Research core, 15 hours

One of the following concentrations, 9 hours

Developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders

Learning disability and behavior disorders concentration

Supervised research/practice, 3 hours

Dissertation, 9 hours minimum

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