The goal of the Special Education PhD degree is the preparation of leadership personnel to assume academic faculty positions at the university level. The focus of preparation for the PhD program is on teaching graduate and undergraduate courses, mentoring graduate students, developing a research agenda that will result in funded and published research and translating research outcomes for the improvement of educational and related service programs for children and youth with disabilities. PhD candidates are mentored by a faculty adviser who shares their research interests and are supported by graduate faculty in Special Education. Students may focus their studies in one or more of the following areas: applied behavior analysis, autism, emotional and behavior disorders, learning disabilities, or severe disabilities. The PhD program is writing and research-intensive and PhD candidates will have multiple opportunities to learn and participate in the review of research literature, the preparation and submission of research grant proposals, the design and implementation of research studies, and the preparation and dissemination of research reports. A limited amount of financial assistance in the form of doctoral fellowships is available for full time students on a competitive basis.