Admissions Criteria - Masters Programs

Application Procedures/Deadlines:
July 1st- Fall Semester
November 1st- Winter Semester
April 1st- Summer Semester

Required Application Materials:

1. Graduate School Application:
  • New Applicants: who have never been enrolled at the University of Missouri-Columbia must submit their Application for Graduate Admission.  Please use the on-line application system, Apply Yourself Online
  • Former MU degree-seeking and post-baccalaureate graduate students, applying to pursue a new degree, who have not been enrolled at MU for more than one semester, will complete the regular online Graduate School Application for Admission and pay the standard application fee.
  • Graduate students who have taken only on-line courses should use the Apply Yourself system.  These forms are accessible at Grad Resources.
  • Current Students Changing or Adding degrees: Currently enrolled MU Graduate students wishing to apply for a new degree or add a new degree may continue to use the Change of Degree, Program Advisor Form.
  • Post-baccalaureate (non-degree seeking) graduate students: Enrolled Post-Baccalaureate Students applying to a graduate program who have applied online to the Graduate School within the previous three semesters may contact the Graduate School Admissions Office in writing to request/authorize their online application to be made available to their academic program of interest.


2.Official Transcripts: Official transcripts of all previous college work at institutions other than UMC, undergraduate and graduate, should be sent directly to the Graduate School, 210 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211.

3. Personal Data Sheet: The Personal Data Sheet includes pertinent biographical information and professional experience.

4. A Statement of Purpose (usually around 500 words) in which you summarize your professional goals, including career objectives, research interests, your motivation for graduate work and other pertinent information.

5. Letters of Recommendation: You must submit at least two letters of recommendation that attest to your professional competence, academic preparation, and potential for graduate work. Ideally, one letter should be from a college or university professor who can discuss your academic abilities, and one should be from an administrator or colleague who can authoritatively describe your professional experience and potential. Letters may be sent to the Special Education Department or they may be submitted electronically through the Apply Yourself system.

6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE*) scores: All students are required to have on file official scores of the GRE. Applications will not be considered without these scores.

7. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL*) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS*) Students whose native language is not English must submit scores on a TOEFL or the IELTS administered within the last two years.

Students interested in grant funding should submit a letter of intent. The letter may be brief, paragraphs, and must clearly state that you would like grant funding.

Please feel free to submit any other materials that you feel would give a clearer picture of your qualifications.

Master Programs Admissions Criteria

Admissions to the Masters Program in Special Education will be based upon the following criteria:

1. A completed baccalaureate degree

2. Graduate grade point average above 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher in the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework.

3. GRE scores taken within the last five years. For GRE scores taken on or after August 1 2011, they should reflect a preferred combined score of 291 or better on the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections and Analytical Writing score of 3.5 or better. For GRE scores taken prior to August 1 2011, they should reflect a preferred combined score of 900 or better on the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections.

4. A minimum of two letters of recommendation, which on the whole, clearly reflect professional success and predict academic success at the graduate level.

5. Statement of purpose clearly indicating that the proposed Masters degree is appropriate to the applicant's professional aspirations.

6. For students whose native language is not English, a score of 100 of better on the TOEFL or a grade band score of 7 or better on the IELTS taken within the past two years. Ideally, the TOEFL or IELTS will be taken 6-9 months prior to the term in which the student wishes to start their program. International students who have completed one year of college-level full-time study in a country where English is the native language may waive the TOEFL requirement if they meet all the conditions.

7. Students may be required to complete an interview with special education faculty.

8. Students must complete all graduate school and program application materials by the deadline posted each term.

All requirements implicit in the above statement must be completed before consideration of an applicant for admission. The department 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. The committee frequently must use its judgment to discern from among a number of applicants those individuals who are judged to have the greatest potential for program success and ultimate contribution to the profession. Membership in under-represented groups will be a special consideration with regards to admission by the committee.

For further information about the GRE or TOEFL, go to the Educational Testing Service’s contact:  

Testing Services
1 Parker Hall
University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 884-0911
Testing Services Website


Send all application materials to:


Special Education Department
303 Townsend Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: (573) 882-3742
Fax: (573) 884-0520

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