Education Doctoral Studies

College of Education
Dean: Jacob E. Perea

Educational Leadership
BH 506
Coordinator: David Hemphill
Faculty: Fraenkel, Hemphill, Kysh, Love, Pogrow

Special Education
BH 156
Coordinator: Nicholas Certo
Advisers: Certo, Goetz, Graham, Hanson, Hisa, Hunt, LePage, Lueck, Lunsford, Paillard, Prinz, Raggio, Robinson, Rosen, Soto, Wolfberg


Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Ph.D. in Education: Concentration in Special Education
Ed.D. in Education: Concentration in Special Education


The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is an intensive three-year program implemented at four Bay Area universities (SFSU, University of California Berkeley, California State University East Bay, and San José State University) on a rotating basis to accommodate the needs of working professionals and maximize the use of faculty expertise in the region. The Educational Leadership joint doctoral program immerses its students in an exploration of critical challenges that high-level public school district educational leaders must grapple with, while providing enriching educational opportunities that are available only in dynamic urban settings. The aim of the program is to prepare outstanding educational leaders who will create transformational change and promote equity and scholastic achievement in the 252 school districts located in the 14 counties that constitute the San Francisco Metropolitan Bay Area.

The curriculum addresses four major themes, supported by two cross-cutting professional development areas:

Systmatic Educational Reform: Theory, Policy, and Practice

Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Professional Development

Achieving Educational Excellence and Equity in Practice

Budgeting, Financial Planning, and Resource Allocation

Thematic Professional Residencies

Courses in Evidence-Based, Educational Decision-Making

The main structural features of the program are as follows:

Admission to Program

Successful applicants will have:

Program Requirements

Students fulfill the following requirements during their course of study.

Program Status

The program began in summer 2003 with a cohort of twelve students, It is expected that and subsequent cohorts of approximately fifteen are admitted each year. Students are admitted as a cohort with classes beginning in the summer session on the University of California, Berkeley campus. Courses offered in the fall are on the UC Berkeley campus, and spring semester courses are offered on a rotating basis on the three CSU partner campuses. Students are admitted as University of California students by a joint committee of the CSU campus partners and UC Berkeley and pay University of California fees. Students also have a CSU "home" campus during the course of the program.

Contact Information

For information, contact:

David Hemphill, Associate Dean/Joint Doctoral Coordinator
College of Education
San Francisco State University

Requests for application and program brochure can be made to

JDP Program Assistant

University of California, Berkeley
Graduate School of Education
3659 Tolman Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-1670
(510) 643-4733

For further information, see the JDP website:


The Ed.D. and Ph.D. in Special Education are joint doctoral programs within the College of Education, San Francisco State University, and the Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley. The doctoral committee is co-coordinated by a faculty member from each campus who function in consultation with the Executive Committee composed of faculty members from both campuses. Student performance and competencies are required to meet the scholarly requirements of the Graduate Studies Divisions of both institutions.

Members of the faculty from SFSU are primarily from the Department of Special Education, which represents multiple areas relating to people with disabilities. Faculty from departments such as Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Ethnic Studies, and English are also available to work with doctoral students. The majority of the Berkeley faculty come from the Graduate School of Education and includes faculty from each of the major divisions: Education, Language, Literacy, and Culture; Cognition and Development; Policy, Organization, Measurement, and Evaluation; and Social and Cultural Studies. In addition, faculty from several associated fields such as psychology, linguistics, public health, optometry, anthropology, public policy, social welfare, and social and behavioral sciences also participate in the program. Students are assigned a primary adviser from each campus.

Admission Requirements

The program encourages individuals to apply who have a background and experience in special education-as well as those from related disciplines in the social, behavioral, and health sciences-who seek leadership and research training. In addition to the academic criteria for admission, consideration is given to successful experience working with individuals with disabilities or in programs serving this population. Students without sufficient preparation and experience in special education will be considered for admission and required to enroll in prerequisite foundation course work.

Selection Criteria

The major factors used in selection of candidates are: (1) undergraduate grade point average; (2) graduate grade point average; (3) verbal and quantitative scores on the Graduate Record Examination, taken within the last five years (the GRE must be taken no later than the October test date preceding the admission deadline for fellowship applicants and no later than the December test date for applicants not applying for fellowships); (4) letters of recommendation; (5) statement of purpose which should describe interests and research questions motivating the candidate to apply to the program; (6) writing sample (i.e., research paper, publication, etc.); (7) academic training and related professional experience in special education; and (8) personal interview.

Application Procedures

Applications must be submitted to both campuses (SFSU and UCB). For SFSU, applicants must submit only copies of all parts of the UCB application, including one set of official transcripts, a goal statement, a writing sample, GRE scores within the last five years, and a resume. For UCB, follow instructions outlined in the Graduate School of Education application and the Graduate Application for Admission and Fellowships. Contact SFSU campus for the annual December application deadline.

Applications are available from:

Department of Special Education, Joint Doctoral Program, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132; telephone: (415) 338-1161;; and Student Academic Services Office, Graduate School of Education, 4307 Tolman Hall, #1670, University of California, Berkeley, CA  94720-1670; telephone: (510) 642-5345; UCB applications are available after August 1.

Areas of Specialization

In conjunction with the primary advisers, students will select a course of study which is congruent with their professional development goals and previous course work and experience. Students select three areas of specialization in consultation with the primary advisers. These three areas are to represent three distinct areas of study and represent substantial and different bodies of relevant literature. A minimum of three courses or nine units is required in each area of specialization, not including directed or independent study. At least one of the three areas of study must be completed at the opposite campus.

Each specialization provides a breadth of study, research, and training experiences on topics and issues which may include, but not be limited to: public policy and practice; administration and leadership; advocacy; teacher preparation; transition services; integrated services; community collaboration and inclusion; curriculum, assessment, and diagnosis; cultural and social influences; health issues; rehabilitation; alternative/augmentative communication; adaptive technology; cognitive and socio-emotional differences; sensori-motor function; language and literacy; atypical developmental psycholinguistics; environmental design; service delivery; instructional practice; human development; and other educational and human service related topics and issues.

Students who are accepted into the program and who have minimal or no academic course work in special education will be required to enroll in prerequisite foundation courses. These courses are taken primarily at the SFSU campus.

Normative Time for Program. The normative time for completion of the doctoral degree is five years. Two years of full-time residence is required.

Enrollment. Enrollment alternates on a year-to-year basis between the two campuses. Payment of fees on one campus permits the student to take work and utilize the facilities of the other campus at no additional charge. Students may elect courses from any department or college on either campus each semester.

Pre-qualifying Review. The prequalifying review for the doctoral degree consists of the approval of three position papers and a dissertation prospectus. The position papers cover three areas of specialization and should demonstrate theoretical competence in the field of academic preparation as applied to problems of educational significance and competence in research methods.

Qualifying Examination. The qualifying examination is an oral examination of two to three hours duration. The examination committee is comprised of four members represented with two from each campus. At UC, Berkeley, one member is from the Graduate School of Education and one member from outside the school. From SFSU, one member is from the Department of Special Education, and one member is from special education or from another department. The student, in consultation with the primary adviser, selects members of the oral examination committee. The chairperson of the committee may be a member from either campus. The passing of the oral examination is prerequisite to advancement to candidacy.

Advancement to Candidacy. Following successful completion of the qualifying examination, the student advances to candidacy and submits a dissertation proposal. Advancement to candidacy occurs by the end of the semester following the completion of the qualifying examination. A Dissertation Committee, comprised of faculty members representing both campuses, is formed. One member must be outside the UCB School of Graduate Education. The student selects the committee and requests a faculty member from each campus to serve as co-chair. The approval of the dissertation proposal and completion of the dissertation results in the award of a doctoral degree.

Program Requirements

SFSU Core Courses
SPED 902 Seminar in Public Policy
SPED 903 Research in Special Education: Program Design and Analysis
SPED 904 Small Sample and Observational Research Methods
SPED 907 Learning and Development: Influence on Disabilities
UCB Core Courses
EDUC 200A Cognitive Development or
EDUC 205 Instruction and Development or
EDUC 291C Cognition, Learning, and Instruction: Childhood and Adolescence or
An approved alternative
EDUC 293A Data Analysis in Educational Research
EDUC 293L Educational Data Analysis Laboratory

The total number of units required for the doctoral program ranges from 45-53 units.

During participation in the doctoral program, students need to enroll in a minimum of 3 units at SFSU and 8 units at U.C. Berkeley each semester. Additional course work at SFSU includees the following doctoral level courses, as well as additional gradaute level courses in special education under advisement.

SPED 905 University-level Teaching Internship 3
SPED 908 Directed Studies: Special Topics 3
SPED 909 Current Issues Special Education Policy and Practice 3
SPED 910 Current Research Issues in Special Education 3

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Last modified July 05, 2012 by