Effectively teach young children with disabilities


Delivery of this program is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.

Successful completion of the program requires 30 credit hours of course work.

The chart below shows when the courses are traditionally offered. Courses are 3 credit hours each, unless stated otherwise. The University reserves the right to change or cancel courses as needed.

Degree prerequisite (does not count toward degree)

SPC_ED 7300 Introduction to Special Education*X A

Early childhood special education courses (30 credit hours)

SPC_ED 8350 Research with Exceptional Children XX
SPC_ED 8440 Advanced Behavior Management: Applied Behavior AnalysisX  
SPC_ED 8485 Introduction and Methods of Early InterventionX  
SPC_ED 8490 Assessment in Early Childhood Special EducationXX 
SPC_ED 8495 Introduction and Methods of Early Childhood Special Education X 
SPC_ED 8601 Introduction to AutismX  
SPC_ED 8602 Methods of Instruction for Students with Autism
Prerequisite: SPC_ED 8601
SPC_ED 8603 Social Competency for Students with Autism
Prerequisite: SPC_ED 8601
SPC_ED 8605 Young Children with Autism (4-week session)  X
LTC 8614 Language and Early Literacy Development X 

*If you have teaching certification or have taken this course through a previous program, you have met the prerequisite requirement. Otherwise, you must take this course in your first semester. Please note that this prerequisite course does not count as part of the master's program.

Post-baccalaureate enrollment

Prior to acceptance into the program, you may enroll as a post-baccalaureate (formerly nondegree-seeking) student in up to 9 credit hours. Enrollment does not guarantee acceptance. Learn more about nondegree-seeking university student admissions.


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The College of Education is a member of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

State authorization

States require that the University of Missouri be authorized to deliver university-level distance/online education to their residents. Each state handles this process differently.

Please see our state authorization page.

How to apply

  1. Fulfill the admission requirements:

    • Completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
    • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education.
    • If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 100 (internet-based test) or an IELTS score of at least 7.
    • Application to this program does require you to submit GRE scores. If you have not taken the exam in the past five years, now is the time to do so.
  2. Mark your calendar

  3. This program accepts rolling admissions, so you can apply at any time. We recommend you submit you application six weeks before the beginning of the term in which you wish to start your course work.

    Application dates

    To start classes in Apply by Classes begin
    Fall May 1 August
    Spring Oct. 1 January
    Summer March 1 June
  4. Gather your papers

  5. Applying will be easier and faster if you gather these required documents beforehand:

    • Transcripts of all previous college or university education. Upload unofficial transcripts in your online application. If you are accepted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
    • Personal data sheet including important biographical information and professional experience.
    • Statement of purpose (500 words) summarizing your professional goals, career objectives, research interests, your motivation for graduate work and anything else you feel is important.
    • Two letters of recommendation. In the online application, you will need to supply names and contact details of two people who can attest to your professional competence, academic preparation and potential for graduate work. Ideally, one should be a college or university professor who can discuss your academic abilities, and one should be an administrator or colleague who can describe your professional experience and potential. Graduate Studies will contact your references with instructions regarding the letters.
    • Letter of intent briefly and clearly expressing any interest you have in grant funding.
    • TOEFL or IELTS score reports for applicants whose native language is not English.
    • Please feel free to submit any other materials that you feel would give a clearer picture of your qualifications.
  6. Complete the online application

  7. Carefully follow the instructions on the application site.

    • Upload the above documents in the online application
    • Degree/Delivery: Masters- Distance (Online/Remote Site/etc.)
    • Academic Program: Special Education/Combined Early Childhood & Autism-Distance (MEd)
    • TOEFL or IELTS scores: Institution Code 6875 (if applicable)

    Apply Here

Ask us about this program

For information about academic issues or course content, please contact

This program is administered by the Department of Special Education .