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Doctoral Funding in High Incidence

Preparing Special Education Leaders Capable of Linking Intensive Instruction with Common Core Standards

The Ph.D. program in High Incidence Disabilities at Vanderbilt University equips future faculty to conduct rigorous research, deliver effective training, and provide service that improves educational outcomes for students with significant learning and behavior difficulties. Specific focus areas include reading disability, mathematics disability, challenging behavior, emotional/behavioral disabilities, and intensive intervention. In partnership with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, local school districts, we provide cutting-edge research opportunities, exceptional coursework, opportunities to teach, and interdisciplinary collaboration opportunities.

In the most recent training grant, focus is on training and research related to the integration of academic and behavior goals, skills related to Common Core standards, and how to incorporate interventions based on a student’s individual needs.

The Department of Special Education is consistently the top-ranked program in the nation. Faculty in the high incidence program include Professors Donald Compton, Laurie Cutting, Doug Fuchs, Lynn Fuchs, Chris Lemons, Blair Lloyd, and Joseph Wehby.

Accepted doctoral students receive:

  • Full tuition funding
  • A competitive stipend
  • Health insurance
  • Financial support for dissertation research and attendance at professional conferences
  • Substantial research opportunities
  • Numerous opportunities for scholarly publication

Application Process
Vanderbilt’s competitive admissions guidelines require a strong academic record, high GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a detailed personal statement addressing motivation for doctoral studies and future plans, and prior experience in the field. Applications are due November 30.

For more information about this and other doctoral funding opportunities in the high incidence disability program, contact Joseph Wehby ( or other high incidence faculty listed above.

Funding for this doctoral leadership training is provided by a grant from the Office of Special Education Programs (H325D140073).