Create an advanced learning environment


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

Successful completion of the program requires 15 credit hours of core course work and 15 credit hours of gifted education courses.

The chart below shows when the courses are traditionally offered. We encourage you to begin your course work with one or more of the gifted education courses, which meet Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirements for Missouri gifted certification.

Courses are 3 credit hours each, unless stated otherwise. The University reserves the right to change or cancel courses as needed.

Gifted education courses (15 credit hours)

SPC_ED 8380 Nature and Needs of Gifted and Talented Students  X
SPC_ED 8391 Curriculum Methods for Gifted and Talented StudentsX X
SPC_ED 8405 Assessment and Evaluation in Gifted EducationXX 
SPC_ED 8406 Differentiating Instruction: Reaching Gifted, Typical and Struggling LearnersXX 
SPC_ED 8946 Practicum: Gifted Education*XXX

Core requirements (15 credit hours)

ESC_PS 7115 Human LearningXXX
ESC_PS 7160 Developmental Aspects of Human LearningXXX
SPC_ED 8350 Research with Exceptional Children* XX
SPC_ED 8410 Administration and Supervision of Gifted Programs*  X
ED_LPA 8428 Curriculum Leadership  X

* Required for certification

Note X = full semester, A = 1st half of semester, B = 2nd half of semester


This program culminates with a comprehensive take-home exam, usually in the final semester of the degree program.

Post-baccalaureate enrollment

Prior to acceptance into the program, you may enroll as a post-baccalaureate (formerly nondegree-seeking) student in up to 12 credit hours. Enrollment does not guarantee acceptance. Learn more about nondegree-seeking university student admissions.

Missouri gifted certification preparation

The 23 hours of gifted education course work above meet Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirements for Missouri gifted education certification. DESE requires 15 credit hours of gifted education coursework in addition to SPC 8410, SPC_ED 8350 and Psych of the Exceptional Child (if not already taken as an undergraduate course) for a total of 23 credit hours.

Check the DESE educator certification web page and the compendium of Missouri certification requirements for details.

If you wish only to enroll to complete the course work required for Missouri gifted certification, no formal application is required. See the link above for nondegree-seeking university student admission.


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. Send in your application in time.

    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.
    • GRE scores.
    • 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 letter should be from a professor who can discuss your academic abilities, the other from an administrator or colleague who can describe your professional experience and potential. Graduate Studies will contact your references with instructions regarding the letters.
    • Personal data sheet.
    • Statement of purpose (500 words) summarizing your professional goals, including career objectives, research interests, your motivation for graduate work and anything else you feel is important.
    • Letter of intent briefly and clearly stating your interest, if any, in grant funding.
    • TOEFL or IELTS score reports for applicants whose native language is not English.
  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/ Gifted Education-Distance (M Ed)
    • 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.