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Total program credits needed for graduation: 92

One academic quarter is 3 months. You will have a 3-week break between each quarter.

To learn more, call 877.225.2707, or email us. When you connect with Capella, we will immediately put you in touch with an enrollment counselor trained to assist you with specific questions and needs for your area of interest.

Core Courses:

Twenty-One Required Courses, 88 quarter credits

Advanced Studies in Education: Theory, Practice, and Purpose (4 quarter credits)
Educational Research Methods (4 quarter credits)
Introduction to Qualitative Research (4 quarter credits)
Statistics for Educational Research 1 (4 quarter credits)
Imperatives for Educational Leaders (4 quarter credits)
Applying Research in an Academic Writing Process (4 quarter credits)

Specialization Courses:

40 course quarter credits.

Teacher Supervision and Evaluation (4 quarter credits)
Special Education Administration (4 quarter credits)
Leadership for Director of Special Education (4 quarter credits)
Special Education Curriculum and Instructional Strategies (4 quarter credits)
Special Education Law and Finance (4 quarter credits)
Internship for Director of Special Education 1 (4 quarter credits)
Internship for Director of Special Education 2 (4 quarter credits)
Principles of Educational Administration (4 quarter credits)
The Funding of Educational Institutions (4 quarter credits)
Education and the Law (4 quarter credits)

One Elective Course, 4 quarter credits

Recommended elective courses:

Leading Diverse Schools (4 quarter credit)


Choose any graduate course(s).

Upon completion of all course work

Doctoral Comprehensive Examination(4 quarter credits)

Learners must register for ED9960 a minimum of four times to fulfill their Specialization requirements.

Dissertation Courseroom (5 quarter credits each)

*This course has a prerequisite. Contact an enrollment counselor or refer to the course descriptions for more information.

Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, or endorsement. State regulations vary regarding professional licensure and salary benefits. It is the learner's responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for their states. Where applicable, teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether a program may qualify for salary advancement. For more information on licensure, visit our licensure page. (Washington state learners are advised to go to: for more information)

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners requires graduates to first earn a Minnesota license and (if applicable) endorsement prior to applying for an Iowa license or endorsement. Capella assists learners seeking an Iowa license with understanding the Minnesota requirements and contacting state educator licensing offices. An Iowa resident seeking subsequent licensure from the Iowa Board of Education Examiners must contact that Board for licensure requirements in Iowa. See the education licensure page for contact information.

† Learners in the doctoral Special Education Leadership Specialization are required to take and pass the Praxis II Series Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision (0411 or 5411) test with a score of 145 to successfully complete their program. Learners must submit their scores during ED7555. Learners are responsible for any costs associated with this assessment.

North Carolina & Arkansas residents are currently not eligible to enroll in this program.

This program has not been reviewed or approved by Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania residents will have to apply and meet requirements for certification as out-of-state candidates.

This Specialization has not been reviewed or approved by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB); KY residents are not eligible for certification, endorsement, rank change, licensure, renewal, etc. by the EPSB.

Residency Requirement

To support your academic and professional success, residencies provide learning and community-building experiences in a stimulating scholarly environment. For this specialization, you must complete three four-day residencies (ED-R8921, ED-R8922, ED-R8923).

What Can I Expect?

Most students take 1 to 2 courses at a time. One course typically requires 10 to 12 hours of study per week.

Courses are divided into 10 weekly units. Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which can help save time and money. You can transfer up to 16 credits into this specialization.

Sign Up for a Free One-Week Mini Course

Learn more about our online learning experience with a free one-week mini course.

Take an Individual Course

Whether you're completing continuing education credits, want to see if online learning is right for you, or are simply interested in a specific topic, you can enroll in many of Capella's online courses without committing to a degree program. We recommend speaking first with an enrollment counselor to discuss your goals and ensure the credits you earn now can be applied to a degree program later.

Learn more about individual courses

To learn more, call 877.225.2707, or email us. When you connect with Capella, we will immediately put you in touch with an enrollment counselor trained to assist you with specific questions and needs for your area of interest.