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Master of arts
Dedicate yourself to guiding and uplifting all learners with an online master of arts in special education. The University of Missouri’s (Mizzou) research-intensive program trains you to become a teacher-leader and advocate for children, youth and adults with disabilities and special needs.
A multidisciplinary curriculum instructs you in classroom management, behavioral and assessment strategies and research techniques for the special education field. These tools equip you to engage and support diverse learners in your own classroom, as an administrator or through research, curriculum development or consulting.
Official nameMaster of arts in special education with emphasis in special education, general
Program typeMaster's degree
Academic homeCollege of Education & Human Development | Department of Special Education
Delivery mode100% online
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission, Teacher Education Accreditation Council
*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.
About the online master’s in special education
As an educator, you strive to accommodate all students in your classroom or school, no matter their background or abilities. You aim to spark an interest in a subject matter, encourage a lifelong love of learning and impart knowledge that shapes their academic and personal journeys.
Mizzou’s Department of Special Education operates with a similar mission: through research-based programs and projects, our faculty and students seeks to improve developmental outcomes for children, youth and adults with disabilities. As the first program of its type in Missouri, the online master’s in special education:
- Prepares you to shape the future of special education through a curriculum emphasizing research, collaboration and supporting the needs of all students with disabilities and special needs
- Equips you to teach science and mathematics, among other subjects, to students with disabilities
- Emphasizes the importance of positive behavior intervention supports and evidence-based instructional, classroom management and behavioral methods
- Aims to help you empower each student through multi-tiered support systems
- Explores the unique learning, social and behavioral needs of students with disabilities at elementary school through adult levels
- Instructs you in developing and conducting behavior interventions rooted in research
- Is taught by faculty-scholars recognized nationally and internationally for their instruction and research
Advance in the field of special education to make a broader impact. Prepare to conduct original research and assist schools with transforming their curricula and classrooms. More closely meet the needs of your current students through research-informed instructional and behavior management techniques. Our graduates secure positions in Missouri and are sought after across the country by school districts, education consulting groups and research organizations.
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting consistent demand for special education professionals between 2021 and 2031, potential next-level roles for your career include:
- School administrator
- School psychologist
- Special education consultant
- Special education specialist
The online master’s in special education is a 33-credit-hour program: 27 credit hours are devoted to required courses and six credit hours toward electives.
Courses are 100% online and use a semester structure. No campus visits are required. The typical student takes one or two classes each semester to finish the program in two to three years.
The program’s required sequence covers such topics as:
- Classroom management and using applied behavior analysis strategies
- Methods and procedures for assessing students with disabilities
- Communication and collaboration strategies for assisting students with disabilities and their families
- Research-based instructional and behavioral management methods for students with cross-categorical disabilities
- Current and historical research and applied statistics in special education