Ph.D. and Ed.D. Programs in
Intellectual Disability/Autism

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Intellectual Disability/Autism

In the Department of Health & Behavior Studies

Ph.D. and Ed.D. Programs in Intellectual Disability/Autism

Intellectual Disability/Autism is one of the exceptionality focus areas that may be selected by applicants to either the Ed.D. or the Ph.D. Programs in the Applied Sciences of Learning and Special Education. 

The doctoral programs in Intellectual Disability/Autism are research-intensive programs designed to prepare graduates for a variety of academic and professional roles in the field of developmental disabilities.  Given our programs’ strong research emphasis, all doctoral students will take rigorous statistics and research methods coursework.  We practice a research-apprenticeship model of student mentorship and training.  As part of this training, all doctoral students will engage in research activities as part of faculty members' research teams, where they will gain experience with all aspects of the research process: data collection in schools and/or research labs, data management, observational coding, data analysis, and manuscript preparation.  Past doctoral students have oriented their preparation towards careers as college and university professors, researchers, program directors, or curriculum and instructional evaluators.

Successful doctoral candidates will pass a doctoral certification examination in the Applied Sciences of Learning and Special Education and will complete a doctoral certification project in their area of specialization. Upon achieving official status as a doctoral candidate, students will be eligible to select a faculty committee and begin work on their doctoral dissertation research. 

Procedures for admission to the Ed. D. and Ph.D. programs in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College are administered jointly by the Office of Admission and the Department. Applicants are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Strong academic record with evidence of scholarly and professional promise,
  2. GRE (Verbal, Quantitative, and Writing sections),
  3. Two to three years of successful teaching or other professional experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities, or strong evidence of applied or basic research experience in ID/Autism or a closely related field (e.g., empirical Master’s thesis, refereed conference presentations, and/or peer-reviewed publications),
  4. Two letters of recommendation that address scholarly, professional, and personal qualifications for doctoral training.  At least one letter should be from a former professor who can address your academic and/or research preparation,
  5. English proficiency (TOEFL score of at least 100), if applicable,
  6. Non-academic attributes which demonstrate ability to meet the challenge of working with people with developmental disabilities,
  7. Academic or professional writing sample,
  8. An interview will be scheduled with promising candidates.  The interview will include program faculty and may include advanced doctoral students.  
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