Admission to Specialists Programs

Admission to Specialists Programs

Students must follow the accepted procedures and admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and Research for entry into a specialist degree program, in addition to those procedures as outlined below. Included in the application process is submission of GRE or PRAXIS scores or a valid Missouri teaching certificate, as outlined in the Southeast Missouri State University Graduate Bulletin.

Applicants to the specialist's degree in the College of Education are required to meet admission standards that go beyond the basic requirements of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Full Admission

The Applicant Must:

  1. Have achieved a graduate grade point average (G.P.A.) of 3.5.
  2. Hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. The master's degree must be appropriate to the student's educational objective.
  3. Submit a copy of the background check required for public school teachers or submit five satisfactory references to the coordinator of the specialist program (CSP). At least three of these references must be from persons who are in the field of education and who know the applicant. Two references should be from present or former professors.
  4. Submit a copy of the Missouri Content Exam or recent (within five years) test results on the verbal and analytical sections of the Miller's Analogy or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) showing achievement at or above the 50th percentile. The norms for comparison will be the scores for persons with an undergraduate major in education.
  5. Submit a copy of current teaching certificate.

Probationary Admission

Probationary admission will be considered under the following conditions:

  • When the G.P.A. is less than 3.5, the admissions committee may permit the student to take nine (9) hours in the program area. The student will be required to achieve a G.P.A. exceeding 3.66 with a minimum grade of 'B.'
  • When the GRE scores are not acceptable levels, the applicant may file a request with the committee for probationary admission based on a circumstance that merits an exception. Data to support a petition should include a personal statement and documents such as additional letters of recommendation, samples of graduate-level academic work, professional experiences related to educational administration and/or graduate study in another professional field. The committee may recommend alternatives or a course of remedial action designed to enable the student to demonstrate competence to complete the graduate program.

Appeals Process

Applicants who are denied admission have the opportunity to appeal to the College of Education Admission Appeals Committee. Appeals must be in writing and should address any extenuating circumstances. Appeal letters should be addressed to Chairperson, Department of Educational Administration and Counseling.

Admission Process

Interested students must first apply to the School of Graduate Studies and Research for admission to graduate study. This application is required even though the student may have been admitted previously to graduate study at the master's level. Each applicant must:

  • File an Application for Admission with the School of Graduate Studies and Research, and
  • Have each parent institution send one official transcript of all prior course work directly to the School of Graduate Studies and Research. (The School of Graduate Studies and Research will secure Southeast transcripts.)

Applicants who possess the requisite G.P.A. will be admitted to graduate study and allowed to complete a maximum of six semester hours of prerequisite course work, if applicable. If no prerequisite courses are needed, the student may complete a maximum of six semester hours applicable to program requirements prior to admission to the program by the Educational Administration Admissions Committee. The admissions committee will act only upon applications which are complete.

Denial of Admission

Applicants denied admission to graduate study based on a G.P.A. of less than 3.5 may apply for probationary admission. A letter of request, along with the five letters of recommendation and GRE scores should be sent to the Coordinator, Specialist Program. Students denied admission may not enroll for course work applicable to the degree program until such time as explicit permission, along with any stipulations, are granted by the program admissions committee.

Advancement to Candidacy

Application to candidacy for the degree is required at the completion of 16 hours of course work applicable to the degree. To advance to candidacy status, the applicant must present a G.P.A. which meets the graduation requirement (3.25). Students denied admission to candidacy may not enroll for course work applicable to the degree except with the explicit approval of and under any stipulations assigned by the program faculty in educational administration. Initiation of the candidacy process is the student's responsibility. Candidacy forms are available in the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Selective Retention

After being admitted to this program, the probationary student may be denied admission to regular graduate status and one with regular status may not advance to candidacy based on the degree of unsatisfactory scholarship. Loss of teaching or administrative license, for cause, is grounds for suspension from the program.

Transfer of Credits

A student with regular admission status may transfer up to six of the 30 semester hours required for the specialist's degree from other regionally accredited institutions if the courses are appropriate, are post-master's work, are on-campus courses, and are approved by the student's advisor. If the student earned his/her master's degree from Southeast Missouri State University, up to nine semester hours of such work may be transferred from regionally accredited institutions. Transfer, workshop, and independent study credit may not exceed nine semester hours. The last 16 hours toward the specialist degree or certification must be taken from Southeast or receive prior permission from the advisor in order for Southeast to act as certifying agency.

Independent Study and Workshops

Independent study and workshop courses offer the student opportunities for study in areas beyond the departmental curriculum. Enrollment in such courses requires approval by the advisor and the coordinator of the specialists program (independent study by the instructor also). A maximum of three semester hours earned through independent study and three hours via workshops may be applied to program requirements.

Off-Campus Courses

Students may take up to 17 of the 30 semester hours in courses offered by Southeast Missouri State University in an off-campus setting with approval of the student's advisor. (Courses offered via ITV are considered as on-campus credit.)

Correspondence Courses

No correspondence or extension course from another institution may be substituted for a specialist's program requirement or elective.

Residence Requirements

A student may meet residence requirements in the program by completing 12 semester hours of on-campus credit during a 12-month period, not to include internship credit.


The coordinator of the specialists program selects an advisor from the specialist-degree faculty. The coordinator serves as the student's advisor during the first term after the student is admitted to the Specialist's program and until an advisor is appointed. The student's advisor and the coordinator normally have primary responsibility for approval of the program of study, including any electives.

Oral Examination

The oral examination, course GR799, must be scheduled following completion of the internship. This enrollment is usually during the student's last semester. If the student has no other credit enrollment, the equivalent of the one-hour instate fee is charged to affect an official enrollment for the semester of degree completion. The oral examination will usually be based on the student's internship experience.

Graduation Requirements

A student is eligible for graduation after satisfying the following requirements:

  1. Has satisfactorily completed the program of study (a minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit beyond the master's degree with a G.P.A. of at least 3.25),
  2. Has passed a final comprehensive oral examination administered by the specialist's degree faculty, and
  3. Has been approved for graduation by his/her advisor, coordinator, and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Time Limit

All requirements for the specialist's degree must be met within an eight-year period.


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