MEd in Special Education with Emphasis in Learning Disabilities

A Master's degree with an emphasis in Learning Disabilities may be earned in conjunction with certification to teach in the state of Missouri. Although the state no longer offers certification in the area of learning disabilities, certification in cross-categorical special education can be obtained, along with a Master's degree in Learning Disabilities, through supplemental coursework. Coursework and practica in the LD program focus on the preparation of high quality teachers for students with a range of learning and behavioral needs. Graduates may work in a variety of service delivery settings, including general education classes as well as resource and self-contained classes from kindergarten through 12th grade. 

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 30 semester credit hours must be completed in fulfillment of degree requirements. Students are required to complete course work that addresses a broad range of content pertaining to special education in areas such as:

  • Language development
  • Assessment
  • Behavior management
  • Collaboration and consultation
  • Literacy instruction
  • Mathematics instruction
  • Research

Students in the learning disabilities emphasis area who are not seeking certification will complete a four-credit-hour field-based practicum in learning disabilities working in conjunction with a faculty supervisor as well as a certified learning disabilities or cross-categorical teacher in the public schools.

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Faculty selection committees review applications for admission into the various graduate programs. Factors considered in the graduate student review process include previous academic course work and performance, letters of recommendation from professors or professional supervisors and relevant professional work experiences. The letter of intent is evaluated for advising purposes and is an indication of the applicant’s motivation, professionalism and writing competencies. Interviews with faculty are often arranged as part of the admissions review process.

The Special Education graduate program cannot assure admission to all applicants who meet minimum standards specified for the degree program. Resource constraints do not permit the admission of all qualified applicants.
A committee of faculty reviews the credentials of each applicant. It is the responsibility of this committee to exercise professional judgment related to the criteria that applicants must meet in order to be considered for admission to the program.

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Financial Aid from the Program

Some programs require an extra form or statement from those who wish to be considered for internal assistantships, fellowships or other funding packages. Check the program website or ask the program contact for details.


To remain in good standing in the master’s program and earn a master’s degree, each student must earn and maintain an overall grade point of 3.0 or higher in all required and elective course work each semester. If student’s GPA falls below 3.0 for any semester, they will be dropped from the degree program. If students receive a grade of “C” in any core or required course, remedial activities will be required. Students must also complete course work assigned a grade of “I” prior to the end of the following semester.

Satisfactory Progress

For information on general progress guidelines and the dismissal policy, see the Special Education website. 

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