Ph.D. Degree

The mission of the Special Education doctoral program is to contribute to the scientific knowledge base and train experienced professionals to assume leadership roles in their area(s) of expertise and interest. Faculty are committed to promoting practices that facilitate inclusion, empowerment, and self-determination of individuals with disabilities and other special needs in home, school, and community settings.

The program is flexible in orientation and is designed to accommodate student interests in areas in which ECPS faculty members have specific expertise. These areas include educational policies and practices that support inclusion of diverse learners in classrooms and schools, as well as educational and other supports for children, adolescents, and/or adults with needs across the specialty areas of concentration represented by SPED faculty.

Doctoral training follows the scientist-practitioner model, with preparation in both research and professional skills. Doctoral students form an integral part of the Special Education area’s research and teaching activities, and gain experience in university teaching; scholarly activities such as conducting research, preparing and submitting manuscripts for publication, and presenting at conferences; and providing service to community and/or professional organizations.

Program Prerequisites: Completion of M.A. or equivalent program in Special Education, or a related field.

Program Requirements

The PhD program of studies in Special Education is developed for each student to reflect program requirements as well as individual student professional and academic preparation and career goals.

1. Research Methodology Required Content Courses (3 credits):

EPSE 592 (3) Experimental Designs and Analysis in Educational Research (unless taken at the Master’s level)

SPED Additional Required Content: (choose at least 3 credits): (courses taken at the Masters level do not count toward this requirement)

EPSE 528 (3) Experimental Designs and Analysis in Educational Research (unless taken at the Master’s level)
EPSE 593 (3)  Design and Analysis of Research with Small Samples and Single Subjects
EPSE 594 (3)  Meta-Analysis: Quantitative Research Synthesis
EPSE 595 (3)  Qualitative Research Methods
EPSE 596 (3)  Social Emotional Development in Education
EPSE 597 (3)  Factor Analysis and Its Application to Behavioural Sciences
EPSE 681 (3)  Advanced Topics in Educational Research and Measurement
EPSE 682 (3)  Multivariate Designs and Analysis in Educational Research

2. Doctoral Thesis Required Content Courses:

EPSE 699 Doctoral Dissertation ……………………………………………………………..

Details regarding structure of UBC doctoral dissertations.

3. Additional Area Course Requirements

Specific additional coursework requirements are determined on a case-by-case basis, as outlined in an individualized Program of Graduate Studies (PGS) developed by the student in consultation with his/her academic advisor.

4. Comprehensive Examinations

Comprehensive Examinations are required for all SPED Ph.D. students. Learn more about the PhD comprehensive exam.

Criminal Record Checks

All Ph.D. students who undertake a field experience that involves work with vulnerable populations (for example, children in schools) MUST have a criminal record check completed through the University of British Columbia’s Teacher Education Office prior to starting the course. The criminal record check CANNOT be done at a local police station or RCMP office. If you are from a country other than Canada, you are required to contact the appropriate authority and have the check completed in your home country.
Learn more about Criminal Record Checks.