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.


Supporting individuals with autism

Department of Special Education Sponsors Autism Conference

Fred Volkmar will present the keynote address, "The Changing Face of Autism: A Developmental Perspective" at 3:15 p.m., Massey Honor Hall. The conference will run from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. on March 29, 2019.

Photo of Soyoung Park

Soyoung Park an Inaugural Recipient of the President's Award for Global Learning

Park and her team will explore whether culturally grounded intervention programs can have an impact on people’s opinions on mental illness and suicide in South Korea.

Photo of James Patton

Adjunct Associate Professor Receives President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award

James Patton has been recognized as an educational innovator whose commitment and performance inspire students.