Graduate Programs

The Department of Special Education has multiple program areas for graduate study. These areas explore interventions and best practices for supporting those with a diverse range of disabilities throughout the lifespan.

Our master’s programs provide experience in clinical, educational, and research-based degrees and offer pathways for you to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

Doctoral programs in special education are research-intensive and focused on areas of specialized interest. You work closely with faculty to research topics related to special education and to develop interventions that assist students with disabilities and their families.

Our diverse alumni network demonstrates our students’ abilities to take the skills learned from their training and bring them into the world. Our graduates have gone on to become leaders in the field of special education—using the knowledge gained at UT to improve the education and lives of individuals with disabilities in Texas, the United States, and throughout the world.

A young woman works with an autistic boy while sitting on a sofa.

Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Our programs in Autism and Developmental Disabilities train clinicians, teachers, researchers, and leaders to work with individuals with developmental disabilities (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorders), their families, and the broader community to foster positive learning, supportive, and inclusive outcomes. Our master's programs feature a Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) approved course sequence.

M.Ed. M.A. Ph.D.

Two young boys playing outside.

Early Childhood Special Education

Featuring a Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) approved course sequence at the master's level, our Early Childhood Special Education programs prepare students to become leading experts in instruction and intervention for young children with autism and other developmental disabilities. The Ph.D. program features intensive research and mentoring experiences with a focus on early language development.

M.Ed. M.A. Ph.D.

A young woman provides guidance to a girl working on a problem.

Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Disorders

Learn to improve the quality of education for students with disabilities. This Ph.D. program takes an interdisciplinary approach to special education by encouraging students to develop leadership, research, and practice skills by participating in studies and teaching alongside faculty.


Two women work on a puzzle during a workshop on multicultural special education

Equity and Diversity in Special Education

Focus on the unique needs of individuals with disabilities and their families from diverse socio-cultural and linguistic communities. Students will become prepared to work in higher education, leadership roles in schools, research roles in education, and as critical thought leaders in multicultural special education.



Terry Falcomata, Graduate Advisor

Represents the Vice President and Dean of Graduate Studies and facilitates the administrative processing of admissions, matriculation, and graduation, as well as overseeing curriculum, funding, doctoral candidacy and dissertations.

Alicia Zapata, Graduate Program Administrator

Performs the administrative processing of admissions, registration, enrollment, academic appointments, scholarships, doctoral candidacy, graduation, and maintaining academic records.