Online Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in Special Education


Advance as an educator.  Shape the future of special education.

You are the next generation of innovative educators: Earn your Ed.D. online in as few as three years with Brenau University. This exceptional doctoral program integrates teaching, research and service to prepare you to drive change at all levels of the education system.

Pursue opportunities as a teacher leader, administrator, master educator, policy advocate or apply skills to another industry entirely. With Brenau’s Ed.D., you can expand your professional horizons and do more for the students you serve.

The Special Education Concentration delves into the unique challenges that students with special needs face, including research and trends as well as legal considerations. You will also explore advancing technologies and how it can be used to make learning more accessible to students with disabilities.


Brenau University’s Ed.D. program:

  • Complete your degree in as few as three years.
  • Flexible online courses.
  • There are five concentration options for you to choose from: Elementary Education, Special Education, Middle Grades Education Higher Education Leadership and Higher Education Teaching and Learning.
  • Small, close-knit cohorts of 12-15 students provide you with meaningful class discussions and networking opportunities.
  • Rigorous, relevant course content led by instructors with field experience and a passion for developing their students’ leadership potential will develop your skills.


Curriculum for the Brenau Ed.D. consists of 54 credit-hours. This is divided among the doctoral core, research and dissertation preparation courses and courses in your chosen concentration. Current course listings include:

Core Curriculum

  • ED 828 – Legal Issues and Ethics
  • ED 845 – Curriculum Design, Theory and Evaluation
  • ED 860 – Leadership in Education
  • ED 865 – Academic Program Assessment and Evaluation
  • ED 870 – Education Issues and Policy
  • ED 875 – Cultural Perspectives and Leadership
  • ED 932 – Future Trends in Education


  • ED 935 – Qualitative Research
  • ED 930 – Advanced Statistical Analysis: Quantitative & Qualitative
  • ED 940 – Quantitative Research


  • ED 960 – Dissertation 1: Literature Review
  • ED 965 – Dissertation 2: Proposal
  • ED 970 – Dissertation 3: Data Collection
  • ED 975 – Dissertation 4: Conclusion of Research
  • ED 980 – Dissertation 5: Dissertation Continuation (Optional)

Special Education

  • SE 891: Special Education Law
  • SE 892: Advanced Special Education Assessment 
  • SE 893: Trends and Issues in Special Education 
  • ED 894: Transforming Teaching and Learning Using Technology

Each course in the Special Education, Elementary Education and Middle Grades Education concentrations includes required practicum activities embedded in the course assignments. If you are not a classroom teacher, you should contact our Clinical Experience Office for assistance in completing these assignments. 

Admissions Documents Requirements

All applicants to the online Ed.D. program must submit the following materials:

  • Official transcripts from all graduate programs attended demonstrating a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25.
  • Evidence of a clear and renewable teaching license for your state or locality (subject to departmental approval), if you choose the Elementary Education or Middle Grades Education concentrations.
  • Three (3) letters of reference on official letterhead from a supervisor, professor, administrator or other superior who can speak to your character, dedication to the profession and likelihood of success in an intensive graduate program.
  • A resume or CV demonstrating three years of relevant experience in education.
  • For non-US applicants who have not previously completed a degree within the U.S., we require official TOEFL test results (minimum score of 79) or IELTS results (minimum score of 6.5).
  • A writing sample of 750-1,500 words based on a scholarly article provided by Brenau University College of Education. This writing sample will be evaluated by departmental staff.

In addition to providing the materials above, you must also attend an in person or virtual interview and complete a criminal background check, if applicable.

Admissions GPA Requirements

Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, demonstrating a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in your master’s degree program.

Additional Admissions Requirements

To apply, you should be a mid-career educator or administrator with at least three years of relevant professional education experience. You should also hold a master’s degree earned at a regionally accredited U.S. institution or credentialed international equivalent.

If you plan to pursue the Special Education, Early Childhood Education or Middle Grades Education concentration, your master’s degree must be in a related area and you must hold an unrestricted, renewable teaching license in your state.

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