Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

2-4 years
Credit Hours:

Develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between behavior and learning.
The doctoral program in Special Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities & Behavior Disorders focuses on competence, excellence and leadership. We train you to assume leadership positions in higher education or in public and private education settings.

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Why Earn a Learning Disabilities & Behavior Disorders Special Education Ph.D.?

At the doctoral level, the emphasis is on broadening your understanding of behavior and its impact on:

  • Learning
  • Ecological assessment
  • Issues and emerging trends in the field of emotional/behavioral disorders
  • Research and use of evidence-based practices
  • Issues and practices in personnel development at the pre-service and graduate levels
  • Components of effective programs
  • Program evaluation and other topics relevant to your terminal goals

A master's degree in Special Education or a closely related field is required for application to the doctoral program. 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.

Marketable Skills
  • Synthesize empirical literature for research trends
  • Critically evaluate existing research
  • Design/conduct methodologically rigorous research
  • Evaluate special education programs/personnel
  • Apply knowledge for educational/social policy-making

Learning Disabilities & Behavior Disorders Special Education Ph.D. Highlights

UNT's College of Education is one of Texas' top producers of teachers, administrators, counselors and other school professionals.
The rigorous curriculum allows you to participate in formal coursework, independent study, internships, practicums and dissertation research.
As you progress through the program, you can enroll in specialized coursework focusing on autism intervention, emotional/behavioral disorders or mild/moderate disabilities.
The College of Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, which means we meet or exceed strict academic standards for excellence in education.
The Department of Educational Psychology is affiliated with various centers, providing research and professional development opportunities for faculty and students.
You'll have unique opportunities to become involved in community-based programming, network with professionals in special education and other disciplines, and participate in interdepartmental studies.

What Can You do With a Learning Disabilities & Behavior Disorders Special Education Ph.D.?

Graduates of the Ph.D. program typically assume positions in institutions of higher education and leadership roles in public and private schools.

Learning Disabilities & Behavior Disorders Special Education Ph.D. Courses You Could Take

Advanced Studies in Evidence Based Practices in High and Low Incidence Disabilities (3 hrs)
Examination of research to support evidence-based practices. Students read and critically analyze studies that form the evidence base for practices used with students with high and low incidence disabilities.
Special Education and Public Policy (3 hrs)
Examination of the current social, political and economic factors influencing the public policy decisions affecting special education programs and practices. Major historical public policy decisions affecting special education are used to examine current and proposed public policy decisions.
Advanced Program Evaluation (3 hrs)
Provides theoretical and methodological foundations of program evaluation, as well as basic applications and hands-on experiences tailored to students’ academic and professional needs toward evidence-based practices. Aligned with the American Evaluation Association’s guiding principles and best practices addressing applied evaluation topics for needs assessment to data collection and analysis, interpretation and making inferences, quality audits, and policy/practice recommendations.
Advanced Studies in Learning Disabilities and Emotional/Behavior Disorders (3 hrs)
Analysis of the theoretical and empirical issues associated with the cognitive, social, neuropsychological, emotional and mental health associated with learning disabilities (LD) and emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). Focus on historical and current perspectives on educational programming for children and young adults with LD and/or EBD, as well as identifying and developing strategies for increasing access to and success in the general education curriculum and community.
Literacy Research for Special Populations (3 hrs)
Advanced study and analysis of current research and practices in literacy instruction and intervention for children identified as having special instructional needs.
Analysis of Trends, Issues and Research in Special Education (3 hrs)
Investigation and analysis of recent trends, issues and research in special education. Emphasis on how these will affect special education programs. Special attention to competency-based programs, accountability and individualized programming.

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