Special Education

Saint Louis University offers a master of arts and doctor of philosophy in special education at the School of Education. Both programs can prepare you for educational leadership positions working with students with disabilities.


About the Program

SLU’s graduate programs in special education are designed to provide you with skills in policy development and expand your knowledge in one of four specific disability areas: early childhood special education, behavior disorders, learning disabilities or intellectual disability.

Program Highlights

Faculty members at the School of Education take a genuine interest in students and serve as strong role models of success. We acquaint students with the challenges and joys of a profession in special education. Your education will be an appropriate balance between theory and practice, action and reflection, intellect and affect and decisive conviction and open curiosity. SLU’s teacher education programs are approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Curriculum and Program Details

SLU’s M.A. program in special education requires 32 credit hours, including at least six credit hours of research consisting of “EDR-540: Qualitative Research Methods” and either “EDR-560: General Research Methods for Educators” or” EDR-510: Introduction to Inferential Statistics for Educators.”

At the end of the program, M.A. students, in consultation with their adviser, prepare a theme paper on a topic related to the their coursework. They also complete a one-hour oral examination based on the theme paper and completed coursework. 

SLU’s Ph.D. program in special education emphasizes the tools of research and the interplay of theory and practice in special education. Students take a minimum of 42 credit hours beyond the master's degree, including 12 credit hours of dissertation research and three advanced research courses.

At the end of the course credit hours, students complete written and oral exams, followed by 12 credit hours of dissertation research. A public oral defense of a dissertation proposal and a final dissertation are required to complete the program.

Faculty
  • Amrita Chaturvedi, Ph.D.
  • Mary M. Chittooran, Ph.D., NCSP
  • Maureen Wikete Lee, Ph.D.
  • Nikki Murdick, Ph.D.
  • Jen Newton, Ph.D.
  • Joy Voss, Ph.D.
Careers
Possible career paths for graduates with advanced degrees in special education include curriculum coordinator, teacher educator, educational outreach coordinator, nonprofit specialist, special educator and adult educator.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Learn about scholarships and financial aid at Student Financial Services.  

Applicant Criteria

M.A.

Applicants must have 18 credit hours of upper division undergraduate coursework in education or related areas approved by the School of Education.

Ph.D.

Applicants must have a master's degree in education or a related field and complete six credit hours of graduate research coursework as a prerequisite for the doctoral programs. If you not have some or all of these credit hours, you may take these hours during the doctoral program in addition to the required coursework.

To apply, you’ll need:

Application Requirements
Application form and fee
Transcript(s)
Three letters of recommendation
GRE scores
Résumé
Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

Application Deadlines

Domestic students should apply for the fall semester by July 1, for the spring semester by Nov. 1 and for the summer semester by April 1. International students should apply by May 1 for the fall semester, Oct. 1 for the spring semester and Feb. 1 for the summer semester. 

Review Process

The program has a year-round, rolling application process that is reviewed by a faculty committee.