Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education (PhD)

Overview

The Special Education program at UBC concerns the education of students with exceptionalities, such as students with visual impairments, developmental disabilities, emotional or behavioural disorders, learning disabilities, gifts and talents, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Faculty are committed to promoting practices that facilitate inclusion, empowerment, and self-determination of individuals with disabilities and other special needs in home, school, and community settings.

What makes the program unique?

  1. Only university in the country to offer graduate coursework in special education across all areas of exceptionality.
  2. Opportunities for practical experiences with a variety of district and community partnerships.
  3. We offer opportunities for research and funding through faculty partnerships.
  4. We offer opportunities to change practice for the better through Special Education faculty initiatives.
  5. Outstanding support through a world-class faculty and staff to guide you on your academic journey!

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Education
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full or Part-time
Specialization
Special Education
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Education

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Meet a UBC representative

Graduate Students with Families

webinar
Date: Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Time: 10:00 to 11:00
If you have a partner and/or a family and are considering graduate school at UBC, join us for this online info session. Topics include resources for families, including partners, general information on child care, registering for school, looking for a place to live, and fun and affordable activities for kids of all ages. Current graduate students with family will be on hand to help answer questions.

Great Grad School Applications

webinar
Date: Friday, 23 November 2018
Time: 14:00 to 15:00
Learn about the application process, and general academic and admissions requirements. Develop a timeline for meeting deadlines, scheduling language tests, getting your documents ready, and reaching out to letter writers and supervisors. As well, join us on a virtual tour of the UBC Grad Studies website to point out important resources.

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

90
22
22
22
22

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

GRE required?

Required by some applicants (check program website)

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
19 September 2018
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2018
Transcript Deadline: 01 December 2018
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2018
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2018
Transcript Deadline: 01 December 2018
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2018

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Career Outcomes

16 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 14 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
University of British Columbia (2)
Capilano University (2)
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Royal Roads University
University of Bahrain
Douglas College
University of Manitoba
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
Canucks Autism Network
Winnipeg School Division
BC Provincial Government
Coquitlam School District
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Director of Programming
School Psychologist
Senior Behavioural Consultant
Director; Owner
Psychologist
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20172016201520142013
Applications104379
Offers31134
New registrations2 134
Total enrolment1515161614

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 83.33% based on 6 students admitted between 2005 - 2008. Based on 5 graduating students from the 2005 - 2008 admission cohort the minimum time to completion is 4.33 years and the maximum time is 6.00 years with an average of 5.40 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 9 March 2018]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 23 September 2018].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Butler, Deborah (special education, learning disabilities, inclusive educational practices, intervention research for students with learning disabilities, Collaboration and co-regulation in teachers' professional learning, collaborative professional development models, learning disabilities in adolescence and adulhood, mathematics, metagocnition and self-regulated learning, research methods in educaiton, strategic performanc ein reading, writing)
  • Cannon, Joanna (Special Education and Social Adaptation, Teacher Education, Educational Approaches, Speech and Language Development Disorders, Language Acquisition and Development, Cognition and Language, Literacy Training, Education of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing with complex language or cognitive needs)
  • Ervin, Ruth (Systems Change, Prevention and Intervention Strategies in Special Education )
  • Holbrook, Cay (special education, Special education, education of students with visual impairments, instruction in Braille reading and writing)
  • Jamieson, Janet Ruth (Education of deaf and hard of hearing students)
  • Lo, Chih Shen (Gifted Education, High Ability, Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning, Multiculturalism, Problem Solving, Qualitative Research, Research Methodologies, Sociocultural Approaches to Learning and Teaching)
  • Lucyshyn, Joseph (Applied Behaviour Analysis, Behaviour Disorders, Behavioural Family Intervention, Positive Behaviour Support, Single-Subject Research)
  • McKee, William (Behavioral Disorders in Children and Adolescents, Behavioral Problems, Learning Disorders in Children, Teaching and Learning Systems, Educational Counselling, Program Management (Education), Autism, Mental Health and Psychopathology in Children and Youth, School-Based Mental Health, Children and Youth with Special Needs)
  • Mercer, Sterett (Literacy Training, Learning Disabilities, curriculum-based measurement, academic intervention)
  • Mirenda, Pat (autism; developmental disability (mental retardation, etc.); positive behaviour support; augmentative communication (communication technology for people who are unable to speak), Autism, communication and behaviour challenges, developmental disabilities, augmentative and alternative communicaiton, positive behaviour support, inclusive education, literacy development)
  • Perry, Nancy (motivation and self-regulated learning in young children; social perspectives on teaching and learning, reading and writing; accommodating individual difference in general education classrooms; learning disabilities; special education, Metacognition, motivation, and self-regulated learning in elementary school children Social perspectives on teaching and learning, including social cognitive and sociocultural theories, Teacher development, Individual differences, Learning disabilities)
  • Zebehazy, Kim (Assessment, Instructional Strategies, Problem Solving, Visual Impairment)

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Ashley Flis
    "Dr. Flis examined the effectiveness of a computer-based reading program when implemented as an intervention tool to a group of grade 1 students who are at risk for reading failure, and a group of students who speak another language other than English. She found that early literacy intervention delivered by technology is a successful practice for both groups of students." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Hadas Av-Gay
    "Dr. Av-Gay examined the complexities of learning disabilities by interviewing students and parents. Findings revealed insights into lived experiences relating to their diagnosis; a lack of systemic early identification; and emotional difficulties. This research may contribute to the development of policy and practice on student assessment." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Kathryn Charlotte Garforth
    "Dr. Garforth examined the relationship between Chinese character reading and English literacy skills among students who had English as a second language and Chinese as their first language. She found that measures of English phonological awareness accounted for more of a relationship to English literacy skills than Chinese character reading did." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Shuting Huo
    "Dr. Huo studied English language learning, particularly reading and spelling, among children in China. She found that English vocabulary and phonological awareness have causal influence on English word reading. Her work informs the practice of English literacy education for young learners in non-English speaking countries." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Sarah Justine Pastrana
    "Dr. Pastrana examined two ways of making praise more valuable to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The results of this study have important implications for designing interventions for individuals that do not yet find social interactions reinforcing." (May 2018)
 

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September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
19 September 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2018
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2018

Program Information

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