Studyportals placeholder

Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 60 months
University rank #28 (QS) , CA,
The Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education prepares leaders in research, teaching, administration, and supervision for the variety of professional needs facing children, youth, and adults with disabilities. 


  • Students select an area of academic specialization in both special and general education. Faculty and program resources at both Berkeley and SFSU are used to develop advanced knowledge of theory and research in an area of exceptionality.
  • Specializations include human development; early childhood, language and literacy; mathematics, science, and technology; educational policy and administration; and other areas selected by students in consultation with faculty advisers. In the program students develop three areas of emphasis or specialization.
  • Students in the Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education fulfill the same requirements as all doctoral students at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education. They complete a body of coursework, that includes three areas of specialization, three position papers that include one empirical study, internship, oral examination on the areas of specialization, dissertation proposal and defense without a final dissertation defense.
  • Courses are taken at both Berkeley and SFSU.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 60 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Experiencing Education: Dispossession, White Supremacy, and Education Desire
  • Early Development and Education
  • Knowing and Learning in Mathematics and Science
  • The Art of Making Meaning
  •  Practicum in Education
  •  The Politics of Educational Inequality

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®

General Requirements

  • Individuals from related disciplines in the social, behavioral, and health sciences who seek leadership and research training in Special Education and Human Development are encouraged to apply.
  • Consideration is given to successful experience in working with individuals with disabilities, or in programs serving these populations

Tuition Fee

  • International

    33958 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 16979 USD per semester and a duration of 60 months.
  • National

    33958 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 16979 USD per semester and a duration of 60 months.
  • In-State

    18856 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 9428 USD per semester and a duration of 60 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Berkeley

  • 1750 - 2820 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


Did you know you can compare your wishlisted programmes with our new Comparison tool?