The doctoral program is comprehensive and places emphasis on teacher education, research, and community services. Candidates are evaluated on productivity in these areas during the Annual Doctoral Review as well as information gathered from written qualifying and comprehensive examinations. Individualized program plans are formalized by candidates and the graduate coordinator following the successful completion of the qualifying examinations.
The doctoral program requires a minimum of 54-69 hours (plus dissertation) past the master's degree or 33 hours (plus dissertation) beyond the Ed.S. in Special Education from The University of Southern Mississippi. The doctoral program also requires a residency comprised of one of the following: (a) two consecutive terms of twelve (12) hours each, (b) two consecutive summer terms of twelve (12) hours each with continuous enrollment during intervening terms, (c) three consecutive terms of nine (9) hours each, or (d) four consecutive terms of six (6) hours each.
Students should consult the departmental guidelines and the Admission Requirement Procedures section and the General Academic Requirements section of this Graduate Bulletin.
Admission to doctoral programs offered in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education is selective. To be considered for regular admission to a doctoral degree program, an applicant must have
- an academic record reflecting a superior graduate grade point average;
- official results from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
- a writing sample consisting of a major paper, article, report, etc.
- a letter of intent;
- three letters of recommendation sent to the department from professionals in the field of education who are qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for graduate study;
- a professional resumé; and
- a copy of education license.
- All international applicants must provide official scores Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS score. Two copies of transcripts of all collegiate study must also be submitted.
Applicants who have successfully completed the Ed.S. in Special Education at The University of Southern Mississippi may petition for expedited admission in to the doctoral program, with submission of most of the application materials above waived. Completion of the Ed.S. in Special Education does not ensure admission into the doctoral program.
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Individuals who have submitted applications which qualified for admission, but who were not selected for enrollment in a given semester, are encouraged to request that their application remain active for future consideration.
Members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Admission to doctoral programs offered in special education is contingent on the approval of the Graduate Committee, the department chair, and the dean of the college. An applicant who fails to meet the above criteria for regular admission may be considered for conditional admission on an individual basis. Students accepted on a conditional basis MUST obtain a 3.50 GPA or better on their first nine (9) hours of specified coursework, 600 level or higher, taken while completing this 9-hour requirement. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the department chair or graduate coordinator when conditional status is to be removed; additional requirements may be specified based on the applicant's deficiencies.
All students must register for and complete the doctoral qualifying examination. Based on the outcome of the qualifiers, students may have additional coursework assigned to their degree plan. Students must have a 3.0 GPA to graduate.
Continuous Enrollment Requirement: Students must meet the requirements specified in the front section of this Bulletin for continuous enrollment.
Research and Scholarly Integrity Education
All faculty holding regular or associate graduate faculty status, must complete CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RSIE policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page –www.usm.edu/graduate-school. Contact the dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
Students must meet the residency requirements specified in this Bulletin. The doctoral residency requirement for special education content requires (a) two consecutive terms of twelve (12) hours each, (b) two consecutive summer terms of twelve (12) hours each with continuous enrollment during intervening terms, or (c) three consecutive terms of nine (9) hours each.
A comprehensive exam is required for all doctoral students and must be passed before proceeding to the dissertation. A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.