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Do you want to help all students reach their full potential and make an impact for hundreds of young people? Consider a master’s degree in gifted and talented education.
As a student in a gifted and talented program, you will gain experience in the identification of gifted and talented students, as well as strategies to improve their education. You will study theory and gain practice in working with these students, often conducting several semesters’ worth of in-field and practicum experiences in schools.
These experiences will teach you how to work with gifted and talented students, an often overlooked population of a student body. Gifted and talented students need teachers who are sensitive, creative, and adaptive. A Master’s degree in gifted and talented education will give you the background knowledge and experience necessary to work with this exceptional group of students as well as all other kinds of learners.
The best program in gifted and talented education will vary depending on your personal goals and the state in which you want to work. An online format is optimal for many students, offering convenience and flexibility, and often at a lower price than on-campus programs.
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What kind of gifted and talented education degree should you get?
A degree in gifted and talented education can help you advance your career or gain employment for the first time in a new school district. While the best degree for you will vary depending on your schedule, budget, current employment, and other factors, many people appreciate the convenience of an online degree. Online degrees allow graduate students to balance life, work, and school a bit more smoothly.
Most courses are offered asynchronously, meaning you can study and submit coursework at any time of the day. There are hundreds of degrees similar to those in gifted and talented education, including concentrations in reading, special education, and bilingual education. For the most comprehensive overview of the best online programs, be sure to check out our ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.
How much money do people make with a gifted and talented education degree?
While average starting salaries for educators of the gifted and talented will vary, depending on years of experience, location, and other factors, a Master's degree in this field can significantly increase your earnings. On average, graduates with master’s degrees tend to earn about twenty percent more per year than those with undergraduate degrees.
These jobs are multiplying. While growth varies depending on the grade level with which you intend to work, the average growth across all levels is eight percent through 2024. This outlook is fantastic, especially considering that professionals with degrees in gifted and talented education can work in any corner of the country and practically any town or municipality.
What can you do with a degree in gifted and talented education?
Teachers with degrees in gifted and talented education generally work with other classroom teachers to develop assignments, assessments, and other materials for advanced students who are placed in inclusive classrooms. These teachers are required to meet with parents and other professionals to create curriculum that will help exceptional students succeed.
You might also work in administration or policy writing. Many graduates of these types of degree programs go on to become high school principals, programming directors, or other high-level decision makers. Simply put, an advanced degree in gifted and talented education enables you to work at all levels and with all kinds of outstanding students.
What are the requirements for a degree in gifted and talented education?
Most degree programs don't require previous experience, but almost everyone will require an undergraduate degree in teaching or a teaching-related field to be eligible for admission. Some programs also require initial teaching licensure or high scores on tests such as the GRE.
While enrolled in a program of study, you will likely complete a variety of classroom-based experiences, as well as internships and clinical experiences (such as student-teaching). These well-rounded pathways will give you experience in all aspects of gifted and talented education, including lesson planning, grading, classroom management, and crisis intervention.
What are the best gifted and talented education degrees?
For teachers who are already working and seeking an additional credential, online programs are ideal because most can be completed asynchronously, meaning students can work on their coursework at any time of the day, and from any location.
When compiling the list of the best online master’s in gifted and talented education, we looked at schools that were regionally accredited. These schools have reputability in the field, offering programs that are highly ranked by authorities such as U.S. News and World Report.
We also examined each school’s affordability, overall quality, and return on investment. Consider these schools when you’re conducting your search for the best degree for your time and money.
Best Online Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Degrees
See our rankings methodology page.
University of GeorgiaLocation
The University of Georgia, located in Athens, GA, offers a dynamic M.Ed. in educational psychology with a concentration in gifted and creative education. This university is one of the oldest and most distinguished institutions of public education in the United States and currently enrolls over 37,000 students in both on-campus and distance learning programs. This program provides for certification in the state of Georgia, as well as in many other states.
Students in this program have access to all of the University of Georgia’s exceptional student services, such as a virtual library, academic support (including tutoring), and career workshops. Required classes, which build upon a teacher’s ability to inspire creativity in gifted students, include:
- Characteristics of Gifted Children and Youth
- Assessment of Gifted Children and Youth
- Methods and Materials for the
- Programming and Curriculum for the Gifted
This highly flexible program allows students to complete their studies in less than two years. It is designed so that students follow a cohort model, working with the same students throughout their studies. This allows candidates to develop a strong, close-knit professional network before they even graduate. Each candidate will also complete a practicum that can be completed at the student’s current place of employment or at a separate location, an opportunity which is facilitated entirely by the department.
University of South FloridaLocation
The University of South Florida, located in Tampa, FL, is a large institution home to about 50,000 students. This university is home to a wide group of diverse, distinguished faculty, and offers dozens of online programs. Among them is the Master of Arts in Gifted Education, a 36 credit-hour program that is designed for teachers who are already certified and seeking the ability to teach gifted and talented learners.
This program provides students with the coursework necessary for the Florida Endorsement in Gifted Education and includes the development of an e-portfolio, practicum experiences, and personally tailored curriculum. Required classes include:
- Nature and Needs of the Gifted
- Consultation, Counseling & Guidance for Gifted
- Theory and Development of Creativity
- Seminar in Special Populations of Gifted Students
- Advanced Educational Strategies for Gifted Students
This hands-on program includes multiple tracks, including those in intellectual disabilities and behavioral disorders. Students may also choose to pursue a generalist track. Regardless of the option chosen, all candidates must engage in an independent study and practicum, as well as supervised field work with gifted students. This comprehensive program allows students with previous college experience to earn credits for their work, as well as to pursue state certification if so desired.
University of MissouriLocation
The University of Missouri offers over 100 different online degrees and certificate programs, one of them the exceptional M.Ed. in Special Education with an emphasis in Gifted Education. This pathway allows students to complete their studies entirely online, with no required campus visits. Students generally take around two classes per semester and can finish in two years.
This program provides students with the course flexibility necessary to complete a degree in less than three years. Students here have access to a range of services while completing the 30 credit-hour program, including a writing center, career and counseling services, and even free tutoring. Required course material includes:
- Assessment and Evaluation
- Curriculum Methods
- Instructional Leadership, Technology and Strategies
- Learning Theory
- Nature and Needs of Gifted Students
While this program leads to licensure in the state of Missouri, it can also meet requirements for certification in other states. With an estimated 25 percent growth in the field of gifted and talented education, this program is a no-brainer for any working professional seeking further experience in working with exemplary students.
University of NebraskaLocation
The University of Nebraska at Kearney was one of the country’s first teacher preparation schools and maintains its tradition of providing pedagogical excellence to this day. This school offers one of the country’s top Master of Arts in Special Education with an emphasis in Gifted Education, allowing students to earn certification in the state of Nebraska and beyond. In addition to this program, the university also offers nearly 30 other online degrees.
This degree program is offered with a thesis and non-thesis option. It is tailored toward certified teachers who already hold an undergraduate degree in the field, and provides an excellent opportunity for professional development and career enhancement. Students will take classes such as:
- Guiding the Social and Emotional Development of Gifted/Talented Learners
- Psychology and Education of Gifted and Talented Learners
- Program Design for High Ability Education
- Curriculum Development in Multicultural Education
- Technology Tools for Teachers
The University of Nebraska at Kearney is regularly recognized for its high-quality distance education programs. It is rated as one of the Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report, offering students the training in technology, diversity, research, and curriculum development necessary to be successful in any setting working with gifted and talented students.
University of Southern MississippiLocation
The University of Southern Mississippi, located in scenic Hattiesburg, MI, offers an M.Ed. in Special Education with a concentration in Gifted Education that is available entirely online. Founded in 1910, this program provides for licensure in the state of Mississippi and allows students not seeking certification to complete the program as well.
This degree program is offered at the same low tuition rate as the university’s comparable on-campus program. Students receive access to live lectures, asynchronous course formats, writing centers, libraries, and student support services. Required classes include:
- Transition Programming: School to Adult Life
- Assessment of Individuals with Exceptionalities
- Legal Issues in Educating Exceptional Learners
- Components of the Reading and Writing Process
The University of Southern Mississippi emphasizes the importance of social engagement and career development in all of its exemplary degree programs. The program in Gifted Education pairs students with a faculty mentor to guide them through engaging experiences such as research and practicum and also enables students to gain a teaching certificate through the Teach Mississippi Institute. This summer program is followed by a year-long internship and is credit-bearing, allowing students to meet multiple career goals in one swoop.
University of North TexasLocation
The University of North Texas is located in Denton, TX, close to the educational hub of Dallas. The Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Gifted and Talented Education prepares students to develop outstanding educational programs for exceptional students. The university offers 20 different online programs in an exclusive “Executive Summer-to-Summer” program, allowing students to earn master’s degrees in as little as 15 months.
This degree program is available in a variety of formats, allowing students to choose between three, five, and eight-week courses. This allows motivated students to complete the degree in less than 15 months if they decide to do so. All coursework is offered asynchronously and entirely online. Required classes include:
- Nature and Needs of the Gifted and Talented Student
- Social and Emotional Components of Giftedness
- Program Planning for the Education of G&T Students
- Human Development Across the Lifespan
This program is unique in that students can earn a degree along with a Gifted and Talented Certificate. Courses are highly flexible, allowing them to take classes in three-, five-, or eight-week sessions. These sessions are some of the most affordable in the country, allowing students to pay the same tuition rate as that enjoyed by on-campus students. Even better, many graduate education students are given a one-time departmental grant of $1,000 upon enrolling.
University of North Carolina at CharlotteLocation
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has an outstanding reputation as a top research university and a hub for pre-professionals, including teachers, nurses, engineers, and others. This college is one of the fastest growing in the University of North Carolina system, with 64 different master’s degrees available online. The M.Ed. in Special Education: Academically or Intellectually Gifted is designed for teachers who already have a background in K-12 education.
Upon enrolling, each student is assigned a faculty advisor who helps to facilitate professional development opportunities, hands-on learning experiences, and vital networking connections. Students may choose from classes such as:
- Nature and Needs of Gifted Students
- Methods of Instructing Gifted Students
- 6161 Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Students
- Adapting Curriculum Materials and Classroom Differentiation
Distance learning programs at the University of North Carolina run like a well-oiled machine. These programs are taught by the same distinguished faculty who teach on-campus. Most courses are delivered asynchronously, with students communicating with instructors via discussion boards, emails, and occasional live classroom sessions. With a variety of baccalaureate, graduate, and certificate programs available, this school is a top choice for a degree in Gifted Education.
Lamar University is located in Beaumont, TX, and is part of the exemplary Texas State University System. This award-winning university offers a 36 credit-hour program in Gifted Education that allows students to receive a degree – which leads to certification in most states. Lamar offers steep tuition discounts, with up to $1,000 in tuition savings offered for any online programs.
This flexible online program may be completed in as little as 18 months, with courses offered in manageable five-week chunks. While enrolled in this program, students may choose from classes such as:
- Schools as Learning Communities
- School Law
- Diverse Learners
- Creativity and the Gifted Learner
- Foundations and Issues in Gifted Education
Lamar University was named after the “Father of Education” in Texas, and as a result is one of the best providers of higher education in teaching and learning in the entire state. Its programs are nationally recognized and highly affordable, making education accessible even to the busiest working professional. The school boasts a record-setting enrollment, holding a designation as a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Arizona State UniversityLocation
This public research university is repeatedly ranked as one of the most innovative schools in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report. This university has produced multiple Nobel Prize-winning faculty and offers a high-value program in Gifted and Talented Education. Students will gain experience in developing curriculum for exceptional students, and also learn how to work with other stakeholders, such as school psychologists and family members.
With ten total classes that each last around seven and a half weeks, students can progress through this curriculum very quickly. This award-winning curriculum allows students to pursue certification from the Arizona Department of Education by taking classes such as:
- Testing and Measurement in Gifted Education: Methods
- Differentiating Instruction for Gifted Learners: Teaching Methods
- Advising the Gifted Learner: Social and Emotional Needs
- Teaching the Gifted Learner: Models, Methods, and Programs
This is one of the top schools for online education, offering affordable tuition comparable to what is paid by on-campus students. On average, online learners pay just $565 per credit-hour. The program has repeatedly been ranked among some of the Best Grad Schools for Education by U.S. News and World Report and continues to be a leader in the field for educating top-notch educators and administrators.
Arkansas State UniversityLocation
Initially an agricultural school, Arkansas State now operates 11 colleges with an enrollment that has grown to over 14,000 students. Several graduate online programs are available, including those in education leadership, business administration, and, of course, an exceptional Master of Science in Education – Gifted, Talented, and Creative. This program was designed with working educators in mind and prepares students with the tools necessary to create profound educational models and methods.
This program focuses on the applications of education, giving students experience in philosophy of teaching, research, and affective programming. While it does require a seven-week internship and seven-week practicum, these experiences can be completed in the student’s hometown. Most students graduate within just 18 months. Students may choose from online classes such as:
- Identification, Nature, and Needs of the Gifted, Talented, and Creative
- Educational Procedures and Materials for the Gifted, Talented, and Creative
- Affective Programming in the Classroom
- Current Issues in Gifted Education
This program is unique in that it trains students to network and to demonstrate their learning in classroom organization in a hands-on setting. Students will conduct unique independent research, with many going on to publish their work. Students enjoy an extremely low tuition rate regardless of state residence and graduate with a final capstone and engaging practicum experience under their belts.
University of North DakotaLocation
Grand Forks, NDTuition
This public flagship university is located in Grand Forks, ND. With over 15,000 students enrolled, the university manages to keep class sizes small with a student-to-faculty ratio of just 19:1. This university offers a comprehensive MS in Special Education with a specialization in Gifted and Talented Education. The curriculum prepares students to work with students of all skill levels through a combination of research-based coursework and hands-on internships.
Each candidate in this program receives individualized advising from responsive faculty who help customize an individual plan of study. The program requires no entrance examinations for admission and provides students with the option of on-the-job fieldwork and applicable projects. Students will take a range of courses, including:
- Legal/Ethical Practices
- Inclusive Methods
- Behavior Management
- Identification and Assessment
The University of North Dakota has received high accolades for all of its programs, but its education programs are particularly acclaimed. U.S. News and World Report has recognized the university as a top public school as well as one of the country’s overall best. This is primarily due to the affordable tuition, starting at just $410 per credit-hour, and academic rigor enjoyed by all on-campus and online students.
University of CincinnatiLocation
Blue Ash, OHTuition
The University of Cincinnati, a public research institution, was founded in 1819 and currently enrolls over 36,000 students. Many of those enrolled will take an online class at least once, and a large percentage are enrolled entirely online, including those pursuing a Master of Education in Educational Leadership for Gifted, Creative, and Talented Students.
Students will take 33 credit-hours, including six credits of practicum alone that prepare them to create effective, enriching classroom experiences for all learners. Required classes include:
- Educational Research for Masters Students
- Curriculum and Instruction: Theories and Trends
- Teaching and Learning in Diverse Classrooms
- The Role of Teachers in a Democratic Society
This school is world-renowned for its commitment to real-world education and connects students to hundreds of cooperative learning experiences and hands-on activities around the country. This flexible program is awarded hundreds of millions of dollars each year to conduct innovative research and is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best public schools in the entire nation.
Grand Canyon UniversityLocation
This for-profit Christian research university is located in Phoenix, AZ and offers dozens of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university offers an outstanding MA in Gifted Education that prepares teachers who are proficient in areas such as brain-based learning, educational research, and creativity development. The school offers accelerated degree programs that can be pursued at a flexible pace and affordable price.
This flexible program allows students to transfer up to 12 credit hours, making it a convenient option for students who began their studies elsewhere. The program requires 32 credit-hours, with each course lasting only six weeks. Required core courses include:
- Instructional Methods in Gifted Education
- Gifted Programming and Environments
- The Social-Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners
- Multicultural Gifted Education
One of Grand Canyon’s hallmark features is that it offers generous financial aid and funding opportunities to students of all backgrounds. A range of scholarships are available through the Grand Canyon University Scholarship Foundation. Tuition is highly affordable, starting at just $530 per credit-hour, with steep discounts available for students who qualify.
West Virginia UniversityLocation
West Virginia University offers an affordable Master of Arts in Gifted Education that is designed for working teachers who wish to make a difference in the lives of gifted and talented students. Located in Morgantown, WV, this large institution (which enrolls over 31,000 students a year), offers three start dates a year. Once enrolled, students are engaged in rigorous research, allowing them to develop new curriculum for students at all skill levels.
This program is incredibly flexible, allowing full-time students who pursue nine credits a semester to graduate in just 18 months. The curriculum allows for gifted education certification in most states. Each student is given an enrollment coach and academic advisor to help ease the transition into full-time or part-time study. Each candidate will take classes such as:
- Legal/Educational Foundations: Special Education
- Individualizing Academic Instruction for Special Needs
- Designing Supportive Learning Environments for Special Needs
- Co-Planning/Co-Teaching for Inclusion for Special Needs
Upon enrolling, students receive access to a dedicated faculty mentor. They may choose between completing a culminating project or practicum experience, allowing them to demonstrate their skills in Gifted Education. The degree is flexible, allowing students to obtain a teaching certificate if so desired.
University of Northern ColoradoLocation
At the University of Northern Colorado, students learn from experts in the field. This school, which originated in 1890 as a teachers’ college, now offers dozens of higher education programs, including those allowing for doctoral research and professional development. The Master of Arts in Special Education with an emphasis in Gifted and Talented Education allows students to gain experience in the identification, education, and assessment of gifted students.
This degree requires 36 credit-hours for completion, with each student granted access to a writing center, tutoring services, and even research assistance. It does include occasional summer sessions in which students work with gifted students in the University of Northern Colorado Summer Enrichment Program. Other course requirements include:
- The Gifted Learner: Nature and Needs
- Emotional and Social Development of the Gifted and Talented
- Program Strategies and Services for the Gifted and Talented
- Creativity in Gifted Education
This program was designed based on the feedback of students, teachers, and Colorado Department of Education experts. As a result, it is highly tailored toward post-graduate success, enabling students to be successful in teaching, administration, and policy development. Students receive access to generous financial assistance – including a shockingly low tuition rate – as well as online tutoring, career services, and extracurricular activities.
Saint Charles, MOTuition
Lindenwood University is located in St. Charles, Mo., and offers exemplary private education at a low cost comparable to that of a public school. The online Master of Arts in Gifted Education is designed for candidates to develop a keen understanding of how to best educate gifted students. Distance learners are granted the same affordable tuition as those studying on campus, a model which allows them to pay for semesters instead of credits.
This program is ideal for teachers who are working in honors classrooms, as well as those seeking credentials to become administrators or gifted coordinators. Required classes include:
- Curriculum Analysis and Design for Gifted Education
- Middle/High School Classroom Teaching and Technology
- Elementary Teaching and Technology
- Practicum: Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties
- Assessment of Intellectual Skills
Students studying online through Lindenwood enjoy the same exemplary services as those studying on campus. Students have access to financial aid options, including scholarships and fellowships, as well as career services, tutoring, academic success coaching, and even counseling. All of these options are available entirely online, facilitating a distance learning experience that is practically identical to that received on campus – but one that is highly convenient.
Western Kentucky UniversityLocation
Bowling Green, KYTuition
Western Kentucky University is one of the country’s premier providers of distance education, offering a Master of Arts in Education in Gifted Education and Talent Development for K-12 teachers in all settings. The university is currently home to over 20,000 students studying in nationally-recognized program, many of which are offered online. The program’s unique assessment model allows students to progress through coursework as they master it, meaning most students can graduate in two to three years.
This program comes equipped with two distinct pathways. Students may choose from an advanced certification option or an advanced research option. Regardless, 30 to 37 credit-hours are required, with sample classes including:
- Nature and Needs of Gifted, Creative, and Talented Students
- Curriculum, Strategies, and Materials for Gifted Students
- Assessment and Identification of Gifted and Talented Children
- Developing Creativity and Leadership in Gifted Youth
Western Kentucky is unique in that each of the school’s hundreds of programs are designed with the goal of providing students with career-centered education. Students receive a no-nonsense approach to teaching and graduate with degrees that are marketable and backed by hundreds of hands-on experiences. Candidates engage in project-based learning in their own communities and don’t have to worry about making it to campus for regular class times.
Northwestern State University of LouisianaLocation
Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers the state’s oldest and largest digital campus. The M.Ed. in Special Education with a concentration in Gifted Education is designed for talented learners who want to help meet the needs of equally gifted students. The program incorporates a variety of hands-on learning activities, such as case studies, practicum and internship experiences, and cooperative learning projects.
A total of 36 credit-hours are required for degree completion, with a fast-track option available for students wishing to take two classes per eight-week term. The university also offers summer courses, allowing for maximum flexibility within a working teacher’s schedule. Required classes include:
- Psychology of the Gifted
- Curriculum and Methods for the Academically Gifted
- Practicum, Academically Gifted
- Counseling the Gifted
This program is one of few that is aligned with the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development Conceptual Framework Models for Learning. This model requires students to engage in creative thinking, as well as critical problem solving, decision-making, and responsibility-taking. This framework allows teachers to graduate with the experience and know-how necessary to educate students of all backgrounds and abilities.
Fort Hays State UniversityLocation
Fort Hays State University is, and always has been, a school designed specifically for teachers. Founded in 1902 as a teacher’s college, the university continues to offer exceptional degrees in education, with many available online. The MS in Special Education with a concentration in Gifted Education is focused on action research and practical experience in the classroom.
Fort Hays has a phenomenal reputation in the realm of distance education, with nearly all of its student body – including those enrolled on campus – taking an online class at some point. The 36 credit-hour program in Gifted Education allows students to graduate in fewer than 18 months. Required classes include:
- Legal and Professional Issues in Special Education
- Theories of Exceptionalities and Diversity
- Assessment and Lab in Special Education
- Strategies in Gifted Special Education
- Consultation and Collaboration in Gifted
This program is distinct in that it has no daily time constraints, with all courses taught asynchronously through technology such as Blackboard. Students can graduate in less than two years when pursuing two courses per semester. All candidates leave Fort Hays with a well-developed professional portfolio in hand to help summarize their experiences and market them to potential employers.
Virginia Beach, VATuition
Located in sunny Virginia Beach, VA, Regent University offers a fully online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Gifted and Talented Education. This program teaches students how to modify, adapt, and develop educational programs to meet the needs of gifted and talented students. This Christian university has spawned over 800 Teachers of the Year and is ranked as one of the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in Virginia.
Students in the online campus are supported just as much as they would be in an on-campus environment. Graduate students receive access to career, library, and tutoring services, all from the comfort of their own homes. This program includes two pathways: an endorsement option for students in the state of Virginia, and one for students located out of state. In addition to the Gifted and Talented specialization, Regent also offers degrees in:
- Educational Leadership
- Special Education
- Reading Specialist
- Student Affairs
Regent University has been repeatedly recognized for its affordable and excellent distance education programs. It is highly flexible, allowing students to take courses in either eight- or ten-week chunks. Online students have access to affordable tuition, as well as academic advising and professional development opportunities.
Converse College, located in Spartanburg, SC, was originally designed as a women’s college, but now offers coeducational programs to educators and other professionals alike. The college operates a 36 credit-hour program in Gifted Education that is designed for current and future educators, allowing them to meet permanent certification requirements in the state of South Carolina.
This program includes two distinct practicum experiences that enable students to develop leadership programs in their own hometowns. It can also be completed on campus at Converse in a summer camp program for elementary students. Other required classes include:
- Identification and Other Issues in Gifted Ed
- Nature and Needs of the Gifted
- Curriculum and Instruction for the Gifted
- Special Topics in Gifted Education Portfolio
- Theories and Designs in Action Research
Converse is skilled at providing quality education to online students, enrolling nearly 1,500 students in the online campus alone. The Master of Education in Gifted Education is just one of many programs that emphasizes the importance of engagement, requiring students to collaborate with faculty and each other as they work toward their degrees. This program is also highly affordable, allowing online students to pay the same affordable tuition rate enjoyed by on-campus students, as well as access to the same financial aid opportunities.
Millersville University of PennsylvaniaLocation
Millersville University of Pennsylvania offers an online program in Gifted Education that can be completed asynchronously and with the addition of other specializations, electives, and practical experiences. Specializations include psychology, leadership, and others, with all students completing a core curriculum in the topics that are most significant for gifted and talented education, such as instruction and curriculum development.
This program is highly flexible, allowing candidates to complete the practicum requirement at their own places of employment, or within their hometowns. Graduates will complete 36 credit-hours, with sample classes including:
- Psychology of the Gifted
- Programming for the Gifted
- Evaluating Instructional Effectiveness: Application for the Gifted
- Teaching Gifted Learners: Instructional Strategies
Millersville is repeatedly recognized as one of the most respected institutions of higher education in the United States, offering a variety of hands-on programs at an affordable price. While this program does not lead to certification, it is ideal for candidates seeking experience that will enable them to become administrators or facilitators. Beyond that, it is highly convenient, allowing students to complete degrees at their own pace.
Eastern Kentucky UniversityLocation
Eastern Kentucky University’s program in Gifted and Talented Education is one of the oldest in the country, working to train outstanding future educators for the last century. The MA in Education with a specialization in Gifted Education is designed to prepare teachers to work with the most talented young learners. This school is unique in that it emphasizes the importance of collaborative learning, requiring even online students to work in groups as they complete their studies, and also encourages students to be actively engaged within the community.
This program leads to certification in many states. It requires 30 credit-hours, with asynchronous coursework available over short eight-week terms. Class sizes are incredibly small, allowing students to develop skills in a real-world setting while at the same time benefiting from attentive, dedicated faculty. Required classes include:
- Gifted and Talented Youth
- Organization and Supervision of Student Teaching
- Discipline and Classroom Management
- Foundations of Multicultural Education
- Exceptional Learners in the Regular Classroom
Eastern Kentucky is habitually at the top of national and state rankings for the quality of its distance education programs. It offers students access to online tutoring, library services, and even academic and career advising. Tuition is charged at a flat rate, regardless of each student’s state of residence, and includes free access to all the aforementioned services, along with one of the best training programs in education in the entire country.
Wichita State UniversityLocation
Wichita State University’s sprawling 330-acre campus in Wichita, KS, is an idyllic setting where nearly 12,000 students a year choose to earn a highly-respected education. However, this university also offers many accredited and award-winning programs online, including the M.Ed. in Special Education with an emphasis in Gifted Education. This program prepares and certifies students for work in both elementary and secondary grades, with 30 credit-hours required to graduate.
Wichita State is ideal for students transferring in credits from another university, allowing these students to transfer in dozens of credits that can help to reduce the time to degree completion. This program does require an initial teaching license, with additional course requirements including:
- Foundations of Special Education
- Characteristics: Gifted Learning Needs
- Methods and Assessment of Gifted Students
- Practicum: Gifted
- Family & Professional Collaboration
Wichita State’s program in Gifted and Talented Education is one of the most affordable on this list, allowing online students to pay the same tuition rate as those studying on campus. Students receive premier access to campus student services as well, including writing centers, career and counseling services, and even free online tutoring.
Mary Baldwin UniversityLocation
Mary Baldwin University is one of many schools on this list that found its roots as a small women’s’ college. Now, this university, located in Staunton, VA, offers dozens of programs to men and women alike, with many available entirely online. The Masters of Education in Gifted Education is one of these programs, offering certified teachers the option to earn a degree and advanced endorsement at the same time.
This program requires 35 credit-hours to complete, along with a 45-hour practicum. This can be completed at the student’s current place of employment and requires students to synthesize their experiences with an inquiry research project. Other required courses include:
- An Integrated Approach to Exceptionality
- Advanced Studies of Gifted Learners
- An Inquiry Approach to Differentiated Curriculum and Instruction
- Technologies to Advance Learning
Mary Baldwin provides students with the training and networking necessary to be successful in their current positions, as well as in the search for future teaching positions. Nearly 100 percent of all education students receive promoted licensure, with most of these students also going on to obtain steady, full-time employment in the teaching profession.
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