Best Online Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education Degrees

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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.

Best Online Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Degrees Badge

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.

Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education Degrees

Rank School Location
1 University of Georgia Athens, GA
2 University of South Florida Tampa, FL
3 University of Missouri Columbia, MO
4 University of Nebraska Kearney, NE
5 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
6 University of North Texas Denton, TX
7 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC
8 Lamar University Beaumont, TX
9 Arizona State University Phoenix, AZ
10 Arkansas State University Beebe, AR
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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.

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Georgia
    Location

    Athens, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  2. University of South Florida
    Location

    Tampa, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  3. University of Missouri
    Location

    Columbia, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  4. University of Nebraska
    Location

    Kearney, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  5. University of Southern Mississippi
    Location

    Hattiesburg, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  6. University of North Texas
    Location

    Denton, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  7. University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    Location

    Charlotte, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  8. Lamar University
    Location

    Beaumont, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  9. Arizona State University
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

  10. Arkansas State University
    Location

    Beebe, AR

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    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.

    Program Features

    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

    Notables

    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.

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