Yes, students may pursue a master’s degree (M.A.S.-Assessment, SPED option – 33 credit hours) OR enroll in classes for enrichment or other personal reasons (e.g., advancement on a school district’s salary schedule).

SPED classes are offered fully on-line to maximize flexibility for working professionals. In addition to the online format, the program includes numerous opportunities for face-to-face interactions with peers, colleagues, and professors. The program also includes a strong fieldwork component, through which students gain hands-on experience teaching and interacting with learners who experience mild/moderate disabilities.

  • The primary benefit of an online program is the ability to complete coursework and requirements anywhere in the world, on a more flexible schedule than with face-to-face classes.
  • In lieu of sitting in a class, a student’s time is spent engaging with learners who experience disabilities and directly applying the skills and knowledge learned from graduate studies.
  • Students do engage in discussions and debates with one another and the instructor, seeking and providing feedback.  Students retain the benefit of meeting their classmates and professors in real-time, through live video-conferencing and other innovative technologies. All content and requirements in the program are as rigorous as those of most campus-based programs.
  • Students who are self-motivated and prefer hands-on application of knowledge should especially benefit from Missouri Western’s graduate program in cross-categorical special education.
  • Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree in education or a related field 
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 (from undergraduate work)
  • No GRE is required
  • An application may be submitted online:

Students may begin the SPED program at the beginning of any academic semester, Fall, Spring, or Summer. However, students who have immediate job prospects in the field are encouraged to apply as soon as possible in order to start working toward their personal and professional goals.

Applications to the program are accepted at any time, but ideally should be received 1 month prior to the start of the semester of desired enrollment to ensure ease of admission, advising, and long-term planning for degree completion.  Applications are processed beyond this suggested deadline, however.

An application for admission to the graduate school can be completed online.  To apply and view specific deadlines, see:

Updated tuition costs, both in-state and out-of-state, for the current school year can be found here:

Many scholarships are available for degree-seeking graduate students!  Please visit the MWSU Financial Aid website ( for details.

  • Students who do not hold a teaching license may earn the M.A.S.-Assessment, Cross-Categorical Special Education option degree—but this degree will NOT qualify an individual for an initial teaching license.
  • In order to teach in K-12 public schools a student must hold a teaching certificate issued by some state, when he/she enters the program, in order to earn the State of Missouri K-12 Cross-Categorical SPED teaching license.

(NOTE:  It is important potential students realize that if they do not enter this graduate program with an initial license in some area of education, they will not leave with one.)

  • Please contact the MWSU graduate office for further information.

The M.A.S.-Assessment, Cross-Categorical Special Education option is designed to be completed in approximately two-years. A graduate student who remains continuously enrolled, in approximately 6 credits each semester, through Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters should be able to complete the program in two calendar years.

The M.A.S.-Assessment, Cross-Categorical Special Education option requires students to complete a capstone project, which must be accepted and approved by a departmental committee. An option to the “traditional” thesis is available.  Students will learn the steps needed to complete this capstone through the educational foundations core courses included in the graduate program.

About Our Graduate Programs

Delivery: 100% online Application Deadlines:

  • Spring 2023: Jan. 10, 2023
  • Summer 2023: May 23, 2023
  • Fall 2023: Aug. 21, 2023

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