How long does it take to complete the program?
Students typically complete the program in 4-5 years, though we design programs of study with our advisees to be responsive to individual goals, interests, and life circumstances. 
What type of courses do I take while in the program?
Students work with advisors to plan a course of study. With their advisor they will design their cognates (areas of research specialization) and ensure that the coursework and experiences provide opportunities to develop expertise in these areas. These experiences include a total of 90+ credits determined by students and their advisors in conjunction with program committees. Within the first year of study, each student enrolls in the Educational Inquiry series with other first-year doctoral students across the College of Education to learn more about research traditions in educational research. Special education doctoral students also enroll in a special education doctoral seminar which supports students in understanding the historical and theoretical background of special education, supports students in writing a literature review related to a topic of interest, and supports students in constructing a research design. Throughout the remainder of their program, students take courses related to methodology and their cognates. 
Are students funded throughout the program?
Currently, nearly all students seeking funding are supported throughout their program. Our special education program and associated research centers strive to fund each student throughout their program. Funding is contingent upon various factors including levels of funding, student prior experience (e.g., practical experience as a former teacher or therapist), enrollment status as a full-time student, and student performance.
What should I consider when looking to study at UW?
Your primary consideration should be specialization and fit with a potential advisor based on your research interests and career goals. We strongly encourage you to review the faculties’ areas of specialization, read faculty bios, and contact individual faculty about your interests in pursuing a special education doctoral degree at UW.
What specific supports and affinity spaces are in place for international students, Students of Color, and/or disabled students?
There are a number of supports and affinity spaces for graduate students within and beyond the College of Education. These include (among others): Associated Students of the College of Education; Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity; Disability Resources for Students; The D Center; Indigenous Wellness Research Institute; Intellectual House; Latino Center for Health; Native Organization of Indigenous Scholars; Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, Q Center; SACNAS; Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center; Washington Institute for the Study of Inequality and Race; Women of Color Collective; Women’s Center; and Writing Center.
What is it like living in Seattle?
Seattle is a city of self-starters who believe that anything is possible when we work together. We’re adventurous and entrepreneurial, caffeinated and connected. This global hub for innovation is an international epicenter for turning ideas into actions, and the UW is at the heart of it. Whether you’re into art or food, history or tech, city living or the outdoors, there’s a community for you here. Click here to read more. 
Can I visit?
We hold a virtual interview process for applicants with competitive applications. You are welcome to schedule a visit on your own - please let us know if you are planning to come! The College of Education also holds annual Prospective Student Days in April. Once applicants are admitted, advisors may apply for funds to support student visits. If you have been admitted and are interested in visiting, we encourage you to speak with your advisor about applying for student visit funds.
How competitive is the admissions process?
As one of the top-rated doctoral programs in the U.S., we have more applicants than we can admit. Please review admission requirements. Beyond the application requirements, finding a fit with an advisor or advisor(s) is critical to the admissions process. Again, we strongly encourage you to contact individual faculty members whose work aligns with your interests.
How many students are accepted on an annual basis?
To meet the individualized needs of students and advisors, our acceptance rates vary. We generally accept annual cohorts of roughly 5-8 students.
How often are students admitted into the program?
We generally have application deadlines in January of each year for incoming fall cohorts. Please see the admissions page for dates and deadlines for the upcoming academic year.
Can this program be completed at a distance or online?
No. The doctoral program is designed for face-to-face coursework and experiences. Such an apprenticeship model is critical for doctoral preparation in the areas of research, teaching, and service. 
What kinds of careers do alumni have?
Graduates of the Ph.D. program in Special Education go on to a range of careers locally, nationally, and internationally. Graduates go on to careers as faculty members, researchers, or leaders in school districts, state agencies, or educational businesses.

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