Graduate Degree Program Summary
Graduate programs offered
Earn a Graduate Degree
- MA or MEd in Special Education with optional specialization:
- Early Childhood Special Education
- Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Teaching of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Severe Disabilities
- Visual Impairments
- MS in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology
- PhD in Educational Studies with a specialization in Special Education
- PhD in Human Sciences with a specialization in Communication Disorders
Areas of Study
These informal areas of focus may help to shape your course of study but they will not appear on transcripts.Special Education Areas of Study
- Behavior Disorders
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education
- Early Childhood Special Education
- Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
- Learning Disabilities
- Mild/Moderate Disabilities
- Severe Disabilities
- Special Education Transition
- Visual Impairments
- Aphasia and Acquired Cognitive Disorders
- Augmentative/Alternative Communication
- Fluency Disorders
- Hearing Science
- Motor Speech Disorders
- Language and Phonological Disorders
- Speech Science
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Vestibular and Balance Disorders
Earn a Professional Degree
Professional programs have their own applications and requirements; they are not overseen by Graduate Studies. See dept. website for details.
Online and Distance OpportunitiesOffered online:
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education (Pre-12)
- Early Childhood Special Education (Birth to age 5)
- Visual Impariments (Pre-12) (summer on-site participation will be required at various locations)
Some online coursework may be available for your program; contact dept. for details.
Contacts for Special Education and Communication Disorders
Application checklist and deadlines
1. Required by Graduate Studies
Submit these items as part of the standard steps to admission.
2. Required by Special Education and Communication Disorders
After you apply, allow one business day for us to set up your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these requirements.
- Entrance exam(s): GRE
- Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 80, IELTS 6.5
- Statement of Personal/Professional Goals
- Three recommendation letters
- Statement of Writing or Research (Ph.D. only)
- Mentor/Advisor agreement (Ph.D. Only)
When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.To apply for the Au.D. program, select the M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology on the application then in the comments section indicate that you are seeking the Au.D.
Application Deadlines for Special Education and Communication Disorders
- M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology: January 15 for Fall.
- Au.D. in Audiology: January 15 for Fall.
- M.A. and M.Ed. in Special Education: January 15 for Fall.
- Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a specialization in Special Education: January 15 for For Financial Consideration. Otherwise rolling admission.
- Ph.D. in Human Sciences with a specialization in Communication Disorders: January 15 for For Financial Consideration. Otherwise rolling admission.
Application/admission is for entry in a specific term and year. UNL's academic year is divided into 3 terms: Fall (August-December), Spring (January-May), and Summer (multiple sessions May-August). Some UNL programs accept new students only in certain terms and/or years; if your desired entry term isn't mentioned here, you may want to consult the department for clarification.
The Barkley Center, home to the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, provides a stimulating environment for educational, clinical, and research activities. Learning to assist individuals with special education needs or those with communication disorders of speech, language, balance, or hearing is central to programs in the department.
Programs of study are offered leading to the Master of Education and Master of Arts degrees in special education, the Master of Science in speech-language pathology (thesis and nonthesis options), the Doctor of Audiology in audiology, the Ph.D. in special education, and the Ph.D. in Human Sciences with a specialization in communication disorders.
The interdepartmental Ph.D. programs in educational studies or human sciences allow for specializations in special education or communication disorders, consistent with the student's interests and employment goals. The professional doctoral degree, the Au.D., typically does not require a research project or dissertation of the magnitude necessary for the Ph.D.
Students can take many classes in special education online, however, speech language pathology and audiology are only available as on-campus options
Cost of attendanceCost differs from one student to another. For details see Tuition, Fees, and Funding or try our Cost Estimator.
Courses and MoreAdmitted students will choose courses from the Course Catalog, typically in:Steps to Degree Completion.
Faculty and research
Where available, faculty names link to bios or homepages and conversation icons () link to directory listings with address, phone, and email.
Aural Rehabilitation; Pediatric Audiology; Amplification
Infant Vocal Development
Swallowing; Motor Speech; Voice
Early Childhood Special Education & Autism
Special Education Behavior Disorders
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI); Aphasia; Neuroscience
Writing & Literacy
Acquired Brain Injury; Aphasia; Dementia; Right Hemisphere Disfunction
Audiology; Auditory and Vestibular Physiology; Vestibular AssessmentDepartment Chair
Physiology; Pharmacology and Development of Hearing and Balance of Organs
School Management; Alternative Teaching Methods
Quantitative Research Methods
Functional Assessment; Depression; Attention Deficit Disorders
Communication Development of Children; Early Literacy Intervention Programs
Learning Technologies, English Language Literacy, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Risk Factors for Behavior and Learning Problems
School Violence and Discipline; Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Communication Skills of Female Juvenile Delinquents; Adolescent Language
Visual Impairments & Blindness
Students With and At-Risk of Disabilities; Out-of-Home Care; Transitions