Special Education

Innovative research with a global impact

#5 ranked program in special education by the US News and World ReportThe Department of Special Education is routinely ranked among the top 10 peer departments in the nation. This year, U.S. News & World Report ranked us fourth among publics and tied for fifth overall. We offer students the opportunity to gain specialist training and research experience with diverse populations across the life span.

Our faculty are actively involved in innovative research that has a global impact on topics like supporting bilingual students with disabilities, math and reading interventions, design and evaluation of assistive technology, educating students with autism spectrum disorders, and the transition and post-school employment for people with disabilities.


Two students work on a puzzle during a graduate program workshop.

Graduate Programs

Master’s and doctoral programs designed to inspire students to conduct research and work in the field of as advocates for special education. Engage in coursework led by experts in the field, and innovative research aimed at improving the lives of individuals with disabilities.

A student looks at her laptop as another woman looks on.

Undergraduate Studies

Undergraduate students can major in special education which leads to teacher certification in special education (EC-12) and general education (EC-6). Students learn the foundations of teaching and supporting children with mild to severe disabilities.

Feature Stories

Photo of Christian Doabler

Christian Doabler, Meadows Center Receive $2.5 Million Grant to Design a Core Science Program

The primary aim of this 4-year project (Scientific Explorers) is to iteratively develop and rigorously test the promise of a core science program aimed at promoting an early foundation for learning science among all second grade students, including students at risk for or with learning disabilities and dyslexia.

Photo of Diane Pedrotty Bryant

Diane Pedrotty Bryant, Meadows Center Receive $1.2 Million Grant to Prepare Doctoral Students

Diane Pedrotty Bryant and the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk in the College of Education have received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for doctoral leadership preparation in intensive interventions for students with learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral disorders.

Photo of Jessica Toste

Special Education Assistant Professor Jessica Toste Named to the 2017 ‘Texas Ten’ Professors

For the second year in a row, a Special Education faculty member has been recognized by alumni in the Texas Exes’ Texas 10 awards. This year’s recipient, Jessica Toste, completed a master’s and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at McGill University after a mentor helped her realize she could have the most impact by teaching teachers.

Photo of Micheal Sandbank

For Kids With Autism, Imitation Counts for More Than the Highest Form of Flattery

Assistant Professor Micheal Sandbank recently conducted a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders that searched for the most important predictor of intentional communication.