UMKC Catalog


Master of Arts: Special Education

The master of arts in special education is a degree sought by teachers and others who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills in working with children and adolescents with exceptional learning needs. The Division of Curriculum and Instructional Leadership offers a program of study leading to the degree of master of arts in special education. The focus of the master's degree is in Mild-Moderate/Cross-Categorical (MM/CC) Disabilities. The program prepares educators to teach students, to serve as advocates for children and their families, and to work collaboratively with colleagues in K-12 educational settings, including public and charter schools, and private schools.


Admission Requirements

Candidates entering the master's program with emphasis in MM/CC disabilities must hold a baccalaureate degree and have an overall 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale and successfully complete an interview with program faculty. Official admission to the University of Missouri-Kansas City graduate school is required. Admission deadlines are February 1st for summer and fall admission and October 1st for spring admission.

Candidates who do not hold initial teaching certification in elementary or secondary education must pass the College Basic Academic Subjects Examination (CBASE), with a score of 235 or greater at admission. Informational packets for the CBASE can be obtained from Student Services in the School of Education.


Program Requirements

Program requirements vary depending on the combination of degree and certification desired. Three program options provide opportunities for candidates to earn a master's degree with or without special education teaching certification.

  • Program Option 1: Initial Certification plus Master's Degree
  • Program Option 2: Master's Degree with Special Education Endorsement for Those with Previous Certification
  • Program Option 3: Master's Degree Only

For specific degree requirements, contact the Division of Curriculum and Instructional Leadership at (816) 235-2245 or e-mail



Courses required for certification in Missouri and Kansas are typically completed as part of the MM/CC program. Arrangements can be made for obtaining temporary certification in MM/CC in Missouri only; however, employment in the field is required. Because the requirements for certification vary from state to state, it is important to plan a course of study carefully with a special education faculty adviser during the first semester of coursework at UMKC.