A teacher works with a group of young children.

Special Education

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

The Department of Special Education offers students the opportunity to gain specialist training and research experience with diverse populations across the lifespan. We offer both undergraduate and graduate programs, and our students 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.

Starting Fall 2024, our M.Ed. specializations in Autism and Developmental Disabilities and Early Childhood Special Education are available both fully online and in-person!


The Department of Special Education is a collaboration between faculty, students, staff and resources aimed at improving the quality of life and promoting success for individuals with disabilities.

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Our students engage in coursework led by experts in the field, and innovative research aimed at improving the lives of individuals with disabilities.

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Our research has an important global impact. The underlying focus 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.

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Department Announcements

Meta-analysis Research Shows Current Approach to Teaching Reading Comprehension is Flawed

Special Education Assistant Professor Peng Peng found that current teaching practices are out of step with cognitive science research.

Department of Special Education Ranks No. 5 in the Nation

The department moved up four places in the US News & World Report 2023-2024 graduate school rankings list.

Q&A with Dr. Lauren Hampton: Impacting and Improving the Lives of Young Children on the Autism Spectrum

Assistant Professor Lauren Hampton discusses how her passion for working with young children on the autism spectrum and their families helps direct her research.