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Special Education

Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Education Specialist (Ed.S.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

The doctoral program in special education utilizes a transdisciplinary approach to the preparation of special education scholars and leaders. The program is designed to support the development of doctoral students as they acquire knowledge in the fields of neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and the developmental sciences in an effort to meaningfully translate that knowledge to the most pressing issues to special education today.

The program works closely with Graduate School of Education and Human Development’s Center for Applied Developmental Science and Neuroeducation to provide research and internship opportunities for students to translate and apply neuroscience research related to learning for diverse populations. Students collaborate with faculty in the areas of early intervention and early childhood education, secondary and transition to post-secondary education, culturally and linguistically diverse learners with exceptionalities, and students with various disabilities, such as those with emotional and behavioral challenges. The Center also seeks students who can advance research with transdisciplinary partners to improve outcomes for children and families.


Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – Rolling admissions (January 15 to be considered for merit-based tuition support)
Spring – Rolling admissions
Summer – Rolling admissions

Standardized test scores:

Either the GRE general test (institutional code 5246) or the Miller Analogies Test (institutional code 1047) is required. This requirement is waived for applicants who already hold a doctoral degree conferred by an accredited institution of higher learning.

Recommendations required: 

Two (2) recommendations (preferably one from a faculty member and the other from a professional supervisor)

Prior academic records: 

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript.  Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be uploaded to your online application.  Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

Transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be accompanied by an official transcript evaluation from an accredited independent evaluating agency. Please be sure you request a detailed evaluation that includes all course titles, credit hours, grade-point average (GPA), United States degree equivalency, and date of degree conferral. Please see the list of acceptable foreign credential evaluation services.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 to 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study at The George Washington University, describing your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned in the application.

Doctoral applicants are expected to write a comprehensive essay of 750 to 1,200 words stating your purpose in undertaking doctoral study at The George Washington University. Describe your academic objectives, primary and supporting field of study, research areas of interest, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned in the application.

Additional requirements: 

A resumé is required.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Graduate School of Education and Human Development
The George Washington University
2136 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052

Contact for questions: ~ 202.994.9283 ~ 202.994.7207 (fax)
9:30 am – 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday