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Special Education K–12, MSE

Master’s in Special Education

Are you an educator looking to lead your school or district to more effective education and services for students with exceptionalities? The University of Central Missouri’s master’s degree in Special Education K–12 will empower you with the knowledge and confidence you need to become a leader in the field.

Graduate degrees in Special Education vary in terms of intended application. This UCM Master of Science in Education is designed for educators seeking to take a more active role in improving the quality and efficacy of special education programs at all levels. 

Within UCM’s master’s degree in Special Education K–12, you can choose different areas of focus. Pursue the broadest possible education with a General Special Education concentration, or acquire an in-demand specialty with a concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 

Customize your MSE in Special Education

This graduate Special Education degree program can be tailored to complement and expand your foundational understanding of practices and interventions in the field. To qualify for this program, it is recommended that applicants have a valid teaching certificate or a degree in some area of education or a related field such as speech language pathology.

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Affordable MSE in Special Education

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Designed for educators

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Tailor your degree to your interests

What you will study

Coursework for advanced degrees in Special Education reflects your prior knowledge as well as what you hope to achieve. The classes you’ll take to complete UCM’s master’s degree in Special Education K–12 will be selected to meet your specific needs, but your foundational coursework will include:

  • Introduction to Graduate Study in Special Education: Build your research, scholarly writing and analysis skills as you investigate important topics in special education, the role of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and professional ethics.
  • Advanced Education of the Exceptional Child: To earn your MSE in Special Education, you’ll need to build a richer and more complete understanding of the greater environment in which teaching exceptional children takes place. In this course you’ll explore complex topics such as legality, identifying and assessing children with a wide range of learning needs and how best to apply evidence-based teaching techniques and differentiated instruction.
  • Advanced Organization and Administration of Special Education: If you’re considering graduate degrees in Special Education, you’re likely to run into system-level challenges — if you haven’t already. This course allows you to practice problem-solving skills using simulations of complex administrative issues.


Excellence in K-12 Special Education

  • Accredited by the Council for Exceptional Children.
  • The College of Education is fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.
  • Top 15%: Most Focused Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 6%: Most Popular Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Best Master's in K-12 Education Degree Programs - Best Autism Spectrum Disorder Focus (Intelligent, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in K–12 Special Education

The University of Central Missouri centers experiential learning for all degree programs, including graduate degrees in Special Education. You’ll engage deeply with your peers and the program’s expert faculty.

The program for UCM’s master’s degree in Special Education ensures you graduate with practical, applicable skills as well as a deeper academic understanding of the content area. You’ll have many opportunities for hands-on learning, including:

  • Student assessments: Crafting educational and support plans for students with exceptionalities begins with correctly identifying their individual needs and developmental delays. Gain expertise in using student evaluation tools such as intelligence tests and prescriptive teaching.
  • Internships: Apply and build your knowledge of working with students with exceptionalities through internships in a real school or program.


What can you do with a master’s degree in Special Education from UCM?

The National Center for Education Statistics reports significant annual increases in the number of public school students with special needs — nearly a million children in the past decade alone. There are not enough qualified Special Education teachers and administrators to educate and provide services for these students, so this enriching field offers excellent growth opportunities. 

Your UCM master’s degree in Special Education will equip you with the credentials — and more importantly, with the practical skills — you need to step into a variety of roles in the field. The University of Central Missouri’s MSE in Special Education is excellent preparation for your future as a senior administrator.

More about what you can do with an MSE in Special Education

Earning your master’s degree in Special Education from UCM sets you on the path to leadership within your school, district or community. Use the interactive tool below to explore trends and projected growth for jobs that leverage your MSE in Special Education.




Financial assistance options for your MSE in Special Education

The University of Central Missouri has been training educators for more than 150+ years, with an emphasis on accessible higher education for all. The tuition for our accredited master’s degree in Special Education is extremely competitive and represents excellent value.

We offer an extensive range of financial aid options to help you finance your graduate education. In addition to our substantial university-wide loans and grants, students pursuing UCM master’s degrees in Special Education may be eligible for these exclusive funds:

  • Donald L. Osborn Scholarship in Special Education
  • Louise Thielbar Keisker Scholarship

Learn more about program-specific scholarships by using the UCM Scholarship Finder.





UCM is the longest continuously CAEP accredited public institution in Missouri

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The program is nationally recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the leading advocacy organization for special education in the country.


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