The program is aimed at preparing high-level leaders in research, teaching, administration, and supervision for the variety of professional needs facing children, youth, and adults with disabilities. It integrates the resources of the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University and provides an opportunity for students to combine theoretical interests with applied practices in a broad spectrum of specializations within Special Education.
The Ph.D. degree is intended for individuals who wish to conduct original theory-based research on educational problems, and who intend to pursue careers in research and university-level teaching. Specific requirements relative to the Ph.D. (including academic preparation, areas of specialization, coursework, pre-qualifying and qualifying examinations, and the dissertation) are described in the UCB Graduate School of Education.
Students select an area of academic specialization in both special and general education. Faculty and program resources on the two campuses are used to develop advanced knowledge of theory and research in an area of exceptionality. Specializations include human development; language and literacy; bilingualism; technology; educational policy and administration; early childhood; mild/moderate disabilities; moderate/severe disabilities; autism; vision impairments; deafness and deaf education; and other areas selected by students in consultation with faculty advisers. In the program students develop three areas of emphasis or specialization.