Doctor of Education in Special Education Leadership (EdD)

Advance your leadership and enact change in education.

The Doctor of Education (EdD) in Special Education Leadership degree program at Houston Christian University is meticulously crafted to produce educational leaders with the highest level of efficacy. Our mission is to empower you to direct and enhance special education programming while driving lasting change in the field.

In convenient weeknight evening courses just once per week, further your knowledge and skillset and graduate ready to advocate resolutely for students, parents, staff, faculty, and stakeholders while still working full time.

As a graduate of a doctorate in special education leadership, unlock diverse career opportunities, including academic roles, directorial positions at campus and district levels, and leadership and administrative careers in public and private education and behavioral health settings. Our approach is grounded in a strong Christian perspective, which prepares you to serve in these rewarding careers.

Program Highlights

  • 63 Credit Hours
  • Three Year Program
  • Weekday Evening Courses: Keep Your Job
  • Field Experience: Apply Learnings Now
  • Can Lead to Professional Licensure or Certification in Texas
  • No Surprise Requirements
  • Great Houston Location

EdD in Special Education Leadership Degree Requirements

The EdD in Special Education Leadership degree at Houston Christian University is a transformative and comprehensive program designed to mold future leaders in special education. The curriculum is divided into three core areas: education leadership, research, and special education leadership.

Immerse yourself in a curriculum that is a dynamic fusion of theoretical knowledge, practical application, and cultural competence, coupled with intensive research training in both quantitative and qualitative methods. Specialized courses in the essentials of educational policy, research, and administration equip you with the expertise to lead and innovate in special education environments.

Review degree plan

Research Core and Dissertation

The research component of the Doctorate in Special Education Leadership program provides students with advanced skills in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, which are critical for effective educational analysis and for contributing to scholarly work.

This part of the program culminates in a dissertation defense. In ELDR 7399: Dissertation Defense Preparation, you will create and refine your research plan and uncover new knowledge in the field with the guidance of faculty advisors.

Field Experience in Special Education Leadership

To put the learned concepts into practice, you’ll complete a field experience in special education leadership. During this phase, you can apply your knowledge in your current role or gain new experience by working in a leadership position in a different setting.

This final component of the program is designed to equip you with strategies required for leadership positions in special education. It covers legal issues, policies, personnel management, and community relations, providing a comprehensive understanding of this crucial field.

Program Benefits and Outcomes

Small Class Sizes

During your three-year EdD program in special education leadership, you will be part of a close-knit cohort that stays together. The program offers small class meetings that foster in-depth discussions and personalized learning experiences with professors motivated to get to know your specialties and interests. This allows you to form lasting connections, expand your professional network, and receive customized academic and field support.

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of the special education leadership doctoral program, you are an individual equipped to succeed in positions such as university and community college faculty in special education and leadership roles including:

  • Special Education Director
  • Special Education Coordinator
  • Intervention Coordinator
  • Intervention Specialist

Upon graduating from our EdD in Special Education program, individuals will have the necessary skills and credentials to bring about improvements in special education programming. They will also be able to effectively communicate with government officials about funding, as well as other stakeholders about their concerns, and advocate for individuals with disabilities in a variety of settings.

Lifelong Professional Network

Choosing a flexible program tailored to the needs of committed working professionals in education will expose you to an expert cohort. During your evening classes, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse range of professionals such as special education teachers, principals, administrators, consultants, policy advisors, disability advocates, behavioral specialists, and many more, from whom you can learn valuable insights.

Admissions and Aid

Students eligible to be considered for admission to the Special Education Leadership doctoral program must have a completed master’s degree and have completed at least three full-time professional years at an accredited school, higher education institution, or educational agency.

The Graduate School has rolling admissions with no application deadline.

Review frequently asked questions and graduate admissions information.

Application Requirements

In addition to HCU’s graduate application, requirements for the application to the EdD in Special Education Leadership include:

  • Official master’s degree transcripts
  • Master’s research paper sample
  • Résumé
  • Teaching service record
  • Two references from administrators at your current place of employment and one from a current or former graduate school professor
  • Applicants may receive a request for an admission interview

Find detailed application requirements and send all required documents to

For more information on the admissions process, contact the Graduate Admissions Office via email.

Superintendent Certification Requirements

For current school principals and administrators, HCU’s EdD program can lead to Superintendent certification. If you’re looking to enroll in the program with this goal, in addition to the above application requirements, submit a copy of your State Board of Educators Principal Certification.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Every student admitted to the EdD in Special Education Leadership can pursue financial aid options to help manage the cost of their degree, in addition to opportunities for scholarships from our partners or from outside of HCU.

Learn about graduate scholarships and financial aid and review tuition and fees information.

Earn a Doctorate in Special Education Leadership at Houston Christian University

As a graduate of HCU’s EdD in Special Education Leadership degree program, you’re well-equipped to take up leadership roles and contribute to the field of special education. Under the guidance of our expert faculty, embark on a transformative journey to redefine special education and drive positive change in educational practices.

Ready to influence the way special education makes a difference in students’ lives? Request more information or apply today.