Educational Specialist Requirements

This degree, offered through the College of Education, is a 30-hour program of specialization built upon the educational specialist degree, of which 24 hours must be taken with MU faculty. Six semester hours must be completed within one semester or summer session to provide an in-residence experience. Students have eight years to complete the degree from the time they are first admitted to the degree program. A student is required to take a final examination, and the report of the results must be approved by a majority of the candidate’s advisory committee members and submitted to the Graduate School. For additional information on the Educational Specialist degree, consult the College of Education’s site.

Required Educational Specialist Forms

The Graduate School obtains students’ official academic records as soon as they complete their first term of enrollment. Each of the following forms is completed at the departmental/program level, routed for required signatures and forwarded to the Graduate School in 210 Jesse Hall.

Forms are reviewed by staff in the Graduate School, given the Dean's signature if approved, and an electronic copy is made available to the academic program office. If changes/corrections are needed, or if any signatures are missing, the forms will be returned to the department for corrective measures. If any faculty signatures are illegible, we ask that departments print the correct spelling below any such signatures.

Request for the Educational Specialist Advisory Committee (S-1 form, PDF)
The S-1 form serves as official documentation of who serves on a student’s advisory committee. It should be submitted to the Graduate School by the end of a student’s second semester or at least one semester prior to degree completion.  

Plan of Study for the Educational Specialist Degree (S-2 form, PDF)
The S-2 form provides the student, academic program/department, and the Graduate School with a plan for all the course work that will comprise a plan of study. It serves as a general plan to follow. Changes on the plan of study can be made easily by submitting a Course Substitution form. The S-2 form should be submitted to the Graduate School preferably by the end of a student’s second semester or at least one semester prior to degree completion.

Report of the Educational Specialist Examining Committee (S-3 form, PDF)
This form is submitted by the academic program/department and reports the final results of a student’s comprehensive examination. Students are encouraged to consult with their departments to make sure the departments submit the S-3 form shortly after the exam has been assessed.

Transfer Credit Toward the Educational Specialist Degree

A maximum of 20 percent of the number of credit hours required for a student’s degree may be graduate credits transferred from another university, including another campus of the University of Missouri system, upon the recommendation of the advisor, the approval of the academic program director of graduate studies, and the Graduate School.

Note: The Graduate School will review the transfer request to determine if the credit meets the minimum guidelines. If so, the Graduate School will process the request so that each transfer course will appear on the student’s transcript.

How to Request Transfer of Credit

  1. The request or transfer credit must first be approved by the student’s advisor and the department’s director of graduate studies.
  2. Once approved, the student submits their Plan of Study or Course Substitution form to add the transfer work to the Plan of Study along with an unopened, official transfer transcript if one is not currently on file with the Graduate School.
  3. Once the Graduate School has received the request, it will be reviewed to determine if minimum requirements have been met.
  4. If approved, the Graduate School will process the request so that the transfer credit appears on the MU student record.

Minimum Transfer Requirements

Transfer course work:

  • must be less than eight years old by the time the educational specialist degree is conferred;
  • was taken for graduate credit and clearly marked as such on the transfer transcript, complete with credit hours and a grade;
  • is limited to no more than 20 percent of the total course work on the student’s Plan of Study form;
  • is from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or an institution outside the U.S., that is recognized by its country’s Ministry of Education as a graduate degree granting institution.

Special Types of Credit for the Educational Specialist Degree

A maximum of six semester hours completed with a grade of B or better may be accepted in transfer from institutions accredited to offer doctoral degrees. Off-campus courses authorized for graduate credit and offered by MU faculty members and courses offered through Missouri Online taught by MU faculty may be included in the program.

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Grades at the Graduate Level (Graduation Requirement)

To become eligible for an educational specialist degree, a student must have completed all MU graduate work attempted with a GPA of 3.0 (A=4.0) or higher. Review grading policies for more information.


The educational specialist candidate must be enrolled at the University during the regular semester session in which comprehensive exams are taken or portfolio or other capstone project is presented.

Time Limit for Educational Specialist Degree Completion

The program for the educational specialist degree must be completed within a period of eight years, beginning with the first semester of enrollment in which the student is accepted to a degree program or from the date of the oldest coursework used on the plan of study. Individual academic programs may stipulate a shorter time period.

Time spent in the armed services will not count toward the eight year limit (see Active Duty Policy). For any extension of this time limitation, the student must petition the Graduate School by submitting a request to the advisor who, in turn, submits a written recommendation to the Graduate School that is endorsed by the academic program’s director of graduate studies. The Graduate School staff will notify the advisor via email of the final decision.

For academic advice or assistance with degree program planning, students should contact their advisors.

Reasonable Rate of Progress for Educational Specialist Students

Reasonable rate of progress is governed by both the campus-wide policies of the Graduate Faculty Senate, as well as academic program regulations that may be more restrictive. If a student is not satisfying the rate of progress policies, they are subject to dismissal. 

Extension Requests for Educational Specialist Students

Extenuating circumstances that inhibit a student’s rate of progress are handled through the Request for Extension process. The decision regarding an extension is made by the dean of the Graduate School, and is binding.


Dismissals arising from violation of academic program policies may be appealed using the Appeals Process. For additional details, graduate students should refer to the Dismissal Policy on the Graduate School website.

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