Special Education

alt="Assistant Professor Michael Sandbank works with a young girl who is wearing a cap containing sensors."

Special Education
#5 Ranked Program by U.S. News & World Report

Innovative research with a global impact

The 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 fifth overall. We offer students the opportunity to gain specialist training and research experience with diverse populations across the lifespan.

Our faculty are actively involved in innovative research that has a global impact. We study topics such as 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.

A Special Education graduate student gives a presentation

Graduate Programs

Master’s and doctoral programs designed to inspire students as advocates for special education. Our students engage in coursework led by experts in the field, and innovative research aimed at improving the lives of individuals with disabilities.
A student organizes materials used with special education students

Undergraduate Studies

Undergraduate students can major in special education that leads to a recommendation for 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.
Associate Professor Sarah Powell works in a lab while a student watches on a monitor.

Featured Research

Our research has an important global impact. The underlying drive of our research aims to improve the quality of life and access to equitable education for individuals with disabilities and their families, particularly in K-12 education.


Photo of Katy Tackett

Study Abroad with Katie Tackett

The Department of Special Education’s first study abroad program will take students to Taipei, Taiwan in the 2020 Maymester. Associate Professor of Practice, Katie Tackett will lead the program. Students will visit schools and community centers in Taiwan while completing course work that focuses on disability and diversity.

Photo of Sarah Powell

Sarah Powell Earns Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

The Special Education associate professor is one of just 11 recipients from Texas and one of five from The University of Texas at Austin.

Jessica Toste and Nathan Clemens

Toste and Clemens Receive $1.4 Million Grant from IES

Jessica Toste and Nathan Clemens have received a $1.4 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences for their project, Collaborative Teacher Expertise in Data-Based Decision Making for Reading Intervention: Development of the EXPERT Training Program.