Lead students to success


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

Successful completion of the program requires 27 credit hours of required course work and 6 credit hours of electives.

The chart below shows when the courses are traditionally offered. We recommend that you begin with SPC_ED 7310. 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 (or equivalent)
May be taken concurrently with SPC_ED 7310 or SPC_ED 8350.

Required courses (27 credit hours)

SPC_ED 7310 Behavioral Management for Exceptional Students   
SPC_ED 8350 Research with Exceptional Children   
ESC_PS 7170 Introduction to Applied Statistics   
SPC_ED 7375 Cross Categorical Special Education   
SPC_ED 8440 Advanced Behavior Management: Applied Behavior Analysis   
SPC_ED 7320 Assessment and Evaluation in Special Education   
SPC_ED 7330 Collaboration and Consultation in Special Education   
SPC_ED 7380 Methods in Cross-Categorical Special Education   
SPC_ED 8090 Master’s Thesis Research Hours   


SPC_ED 7325 Language Development of Exceptional Students   
SPC_ED 7370 Literacy in Special Education   
SPC_ED 7390 Methods in Vocational Education for the Disabled and Disadvantaged   
LTC 7600 Diagnosis and Remediation of Learning Problems in Math-Middle   

Thesis or project

You will work with your primary adviser to develop and carry out a thesis or project. The thesis or project paper will be reviewed and approved by your committee.


The program culminates in a comprehensive, take-home exam that covers all of the course work in the program. You will have two weeks to write papers in response to four questions, using readings from the course as well as research journals. You must answer all four questions successfully in order to pass comps. Contact your adviser and the department secretary at the beginning of the semester in which you want to take comps.

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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  2. Mark your calendar

  3. Submit your application in time.

    Application dates

    To start classes in Apply by Classes begin
    Fall July 15 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.
    • A 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.
    • GRE scores.
    • Résumé or CV.
    • 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. The 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/General-Distance (MA)
    • 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.