Department of Educational Psychology

Doctoral Program

Program Requirements

The PhD program in Special Education consists of course work, a candidacy examination and the preparation and defense of a thesis on an approved topic. Typically, the course work includes courses in Special Education, research methods, and Educational Psychology decided in collaboration with the supervisor. The PhD program provides flexibility for the student in terms of course work, and the opportunity to work with a faculty member. All students must secure a supervisor before being accepted to the PhD program.

The PhD program is very research focused and highly individualized, depending upon the student's previous training and interests. Graduate training prepares students for employment as practitioners, remedial specialists, consultants, academics, and researchers.

NOTE: Students should have, as pre-requisites, courses equivalent to the MEd Special Education core courses (i.e., courses in methods of educational research, and learning and/or development), as well as grounding in MEd Special Education specialization courses. If you are interested in PhD in Special Education but lack background in Special Education, please contact the Program Coordinator to discuss whether this program is right for you.

Required Courses

8 three-credit course equivalents


  • EDPY 697 Research in Special Education *3 (if not taken as 560)
  • EDPY 697 Advanced Research in Special Education *3
  • EDPY 621 Advanced Seminar in Special Education *3

One of the following:

  • EDPY 605 Multivariate Statistical Methods in Educational Research *3
  • EDPY 608 Selected Topics in Educational Measurement *3
  • EDPY 609 Selected Topics in Human Development *3
  • EDPY 610 Selected Topics in Learning, Cognition and Instruction *3
  • EDPY 615 Program Evaluation *3
  • EDPY 640 Theories and Models of Diagnostic Assessment *3
  • EDPY 641 Advanced Personality Assessment *3
  • EDPY 642 Applied Neuropsychological Assessment: Clinical Counselling and School *3
  • Dissertation


A minimum of 4 three-credit courses, selected by the student and the Supervisory Committee.

  • Successful completion of oral candidacy examination
  • Acceptance of dissertation
  • Successful completion of final oral examination