How to Apply

Ph.D. in Special Education

International Applicants


Fall: December 1
Spring: NA
Summer: NA


Applicants to this program must meet the following admissions criteria.

Application Fee


Payment Information

You can pay the application fee online with the following credit cards.

  • MasterCard
  • Visa
  • Discover
Admissions Questions
Graduate Studies Office


  • (812) 856-8504
Program Information
Prof. Erna Alant
  • (812) 856-8110
Mailing Address for Supplemental Application Materials
Office of International Services
Poplars 221
400 E. Seventh Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
  1. 1Prepare Your Application

    Your application for admission will need to include the items listed below. It typically takes applicants several months to complete their applications. Here are some tasks you can begin working on right now to reduce the time it takes to complete your application:

    • Order official transcripts now
    • Ask prospective recommenders if they will write a letter on your behalf, and check whether they prefer to complete the letter electronically or on paper
    • Register to take the GRE
    • If English is not your first language, register to take the TOEFL

    We will begin to build your application file as soon as your first application item arrives in our office. You do not need to wait until all materials are ready before you start the application process, nor do you need to wait to submit the online application until after you have taken the GRE and TOEFL. Leave the test score section of the application blank if you have not yet taken these tests.

    Current Résumé

    Upload your current résumé into the online application as a PDF file or as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx). No other file formats will be accepted into the online application.

    GRE Scores

    An official score report must be sent directly to us from Educational Testing Service before the application deadline. Our school code is 1324. If it has been more than five years since you took the GRE, you will need to take it again in order to apply to most programs.

    You may learn more about the GRE and find testing locations throughout the world through the Educational Testing Service.

    Letters of Recommendation

    Letters of recommendation must document academic and scholarly performance, strong social and interpersonal skills, emotional maturity, and moral character. Letters of recommendation from professors or instructors who know the applicant’s academic and intellectual skills are preferred. Letters from employers and others who know the applicant’s work habits and character are also acceptable.

    Two (2) letters of recommendation are required for your application.

    Keep the following criteria in mind as you consider whom to ask for a recommendation.

    • People who can comment from personal knowledge about your academic qualifications for graduate study are preferred. Ideally these recommenders are your former professors or advisors from your previous academic institutions.
    • People who can comment about your professional qualifications are acceptable recommenders if you have been out of school for a number of years. Ideally these recommenders are your former or current supervisors.
    • Family members, classmates, and friends are not acceptable recommenders.

    Instructions for online submission: An electronic request to your recommenders will be automatically sent when you submit your online application. Recommenders may upload their letters directly. 

    Instructions for mail submission: Your supervisor should write the letter on institution or company letterhead and include your name and the name of the program to which you are applying in the introduction. Each recommender must enclose the letter in a sealed envelope, sign across the seal, and return the envelope to the applicant so that it can be sent together with the application. Should the recommender prefer to send the letter directly to our office, he or she may do so. Unsigned envelopes with reference letters cannot be accepted.

    Please communicate the application deadline to your recommenders so that they will have opportunity to submit their letters well in advance.

    Official Transcripts

    Submit official academic records from each college or university you attended, whether or not you obtained a degree. Transcripts may be sent to the Office of International Services by either the institution or you; however, transcripts must arrive in a sealed, official envelope. Loose or opened transcripts will not be accepted. For important information about how to submit your academic records, please see the Office of International Services website.

    You do not need to submit transcripts from Indiana University. We will be able to access your IU transcript directly.

    Personal Goal Statement

    Your personal goal statement is an important part of the review process for our faculty members as they consider your application. They want to know about your background, work experience, plans for graduate study and professional career, qualifications that make you a strong candidate for the program, and any other relevant information. This document should be prepared using a word processing program (not handwritten) and should be 300 to 500 words. You can upload your personal goal statement as a PDF file or as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx) into the online application itself. No other file formats will be accepted into the online application.

    TOEFL Scores

    All international students whose first language is not English must submit recent scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). You must have taken the TOEFL within the last two years prior to your application, and we do not accept substitutions for the TOEFL. Use the school code 1324 when submitting your scores to Indiana University.

    • Written version: Score of 550 is ordinarily required
    • Computer-based version: Score of 213 is ordinarily required
    • Internet-based version: Score of 79 is ordinarily required

    You can learn more about the TOEFL and find testing locations throughout the world through the Educational Testing Service.

  2. 2Complete Your Application Online

    Complete and submit your application online.

    Faculty members in the program to which you are applying will make initial decisions about admissions. After faculty members review applications, they make their admissions recommendations to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, who makes the final decision.

    Note that faculty members will not review your application until it is complete. After you submit your application online, you will receive an email listing all of the supporting documents that have yet to be received (if any). We recommend that you submit your application well in advance of the deadlines to allow time for all materials, including letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and official test scores, to arrive before the deadline.

  3. 3Look for an Email

    If your application is incomplete, you will receive an e-mail notification specifying which items are missing.