• Course Delivery
    100% Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

The online masters degree in early childhood special education from MU prepares you to work with young children, both those with disabilities as well as those who are at risk for school failure, and their families. If you want to advance or recharge your career, this may be the degree for you. 

This degree has potential benefits for:

  • Child-care center workers 
  • Early childhood practitioners 
  • Early interventionists 
  • Head Start teachers 
  • School counselors 
  • Special education teachers 

This program emphasizes:

  • Assessment methods 
  • Creating inclusive classrooms 
  • Curriculum development and implementation 
  • Language and early literacy development 
  • Research-based intervention strategies 
  • Problem behavior and positive behavioral supports

Admissions & Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. Completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education.
  3. GRE scores from within the past five years.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Personal data sheet including important biographical information and professional experience.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Please feel free to submit any other materials that you feel would give a clearer picture of your qualifications.
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

To apply to this program:

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

Application Deadlines

May 1
October 1
March 1


  • *Degree prerequisite (does not count toward degree)
  • SPC_ED 7300Introduction to Special Education3 Credits
  • * Early childhood special education courses (27 credit hours)
  • SPC_ED 8350Research with Exceptional Children3 Credits

    Explores significant, historical, and current research in special education. Emphasizes the application of research, methodology, and findings relative to problems facing the practitioner. Prerequisites: instructor's consent.

  • SPC_ED 8440Advanced Behavior Management: Applied Behavior Analysis3 Credits

    This course will provide graduate students with advanced theory and knowledge in behavior management. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and using the principles of applied behavior analysis. Prerequisites: SPC_ED 4310 and instructor's consent.

  • SPC_ED 8485Introduction and Methods of Early Intervention3 Credits

    This course will enhance individual knowledge and skills necessary to design, implement, and evaluate research-based strategies and practices in home and center-based programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities, consistent with the philosophical and legal requirements of IDEA Part C.

  • SPC_ED 8490Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education3 Credits

    Procedures and instruments used in assessment of children with special needs, including screening, diagnosis, interpretation of diagnostic findings, and application to instructional plans.

  • SPC_ED 8495 Introduction and Methods of Early Childhood Special Education3 Credits

    This course will enhance individual knowledge and skills necessary to design, implement, and evaluate research-based strategies and practices in community or public school integrated programs for preschools with disabilities, consistent with the philosophical and legal requirements of IDEA Part B Section 619.

  • LTC 8600Home-School Partnerships: Working with Families3 Credits

    Examination of theoretical and philosophical foundations of parent involvement, social and cultural influences on contemporary families, current research on parent involvement, and characteristics of effective home-school-community partnerships. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • LTC 8614Language and Early Literacy Development3 Credits

    Investigation of the language and early literacy development of young children from birth through age 8. Graded on A-F basis only. Prerequisites: Department consent required. Recommended: May be restricted to students in semester-based courses offered through Mizzou Online.

  • SPC_ED 8601Introduction to Autism3 Credits

    Study of early childhood curriculum in contemporary educational settings along with selection of appropriate materials and development of instructional strategies for children, prekindergarten through early primary grades. Prerequisites: teaching experience or instructor's consent.

  • SPC_ED 8605Young Children with Autism (4-Week Session)3 Credits

    Current research on characteristics, diagnosis, and intervention for very young children with autism. Strategies for support children and their families. Graded on A-F basis only. Prerequisites: instructor's consent.

  • * Core requirement (3 credit hours)
  • ESC_PS 7160Developmental Aspects of Human Learning3 Credits

    Investigates aspects of human development that affect classroom learning. Topics include parenting style, divorce, friendship, mental health, attachment, play aggression, culture, and media. Graded on A-F basis only.

Tuition & Fees

Missouri Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $367.60
  • Fees: $65.77
  • Total: $433.37
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1102.80
  • Fees: $197.31
  • Total: $1300.11
Missouri Non-Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $367.60
  • Fees: $65.77
  • Total: $433.37
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1102.80
  • Fees: $197.31
  • Total: $1300.11
Tuition rates are subject to change.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Earn a quality education online

    With more than 100 online programs to choose from across our four campuses, our online students have incredible access to career-advancing education. Our online courses are developed and taught by the same excellent faculty and instructors who teach the courses on campus. Whether you’re looking for an undergraduate education, graduate education, or a certificate program to further your career, one of our four campuses has an option to fit your needs.

  • Learning that fits your schedule

    Online learning provides students with the flexibility and freedom to attend classes whenever and wherever you are, in a way that is convenient for you. You can save time and money by being able to continue working and by avoiding relocation, travel and commuting costs. Courses must be completed in scheduled time frames, but in most cases, you can log in and complete course work whenever doing so best fits your schedule. Online education means learning on your terms – not the other way around.

  • Service you expect from a renowned University

    Our goal is to provide our online students with an excellent academic experience, without forcing you to make sacrifices in other areas of your life.

Want to learn more?