Are you passionate about creating dynamic, inclusive, and creative classrooms? Do you envision yourself designing and implementing curriculums that serve the needs of highly gifted students? Do you want to enact change among students who may have diverse creative and intellectual needs?
Then an advanced degree in gifted and talented education is just for you!
What kind of Online Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education degree should you get?
A Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education can take a lot of different shapes. For example, these 15 programs, while similar in scope and requirements, each vary in emphasis and specialization.
Indeed, some programs focus on curriculum development and others on human behavior. Find the program that best reflects your career goals and offers the opportunities you need to thrive. And most importantly, here at College Choice we’ve been sure to note which programs provide certification and endorsement.
And despite all the nuanced differences among these programs on this list, they can all be earned fully online. Distance education is not only a flexible way to advance your career, it’s affordable too. For that reason, be sure to check out College Choice’s Most Affordable Online Colleges.
How much money do people make with an Online Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education degree?
It’s not an industry secret that teachers are the among the least paid professionals in the country. But don’t fret! An advanced degree with added specialization and certification can dramatically affect your annual salary.
On average, special education teachers make around $58,980 a year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But with added specialization and experience, you can make upwards of $74,450 a year, according to PayScale.
What can you do with an Online Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education degree?
While most assume a graduate degree in gifted and talented education will prepare you for the classroom – and it definitely does – there are actually many more options and opportunities for you upon graduation.
Indeed, those with a Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education degree find that many career doors open for them. From administration to psychology, behavior analysis, and community advocacy, the options are numerous and diverse.
Additionally, many of the programs on our list offer specialized certification in an range of areas, which will ready you for a career in consultation, research, curriculum design, and more.
What are the requirements for an online Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education degree?
Most of these graduate programs require between 18 and 24 months of full-time study. You’ll allocate that first year to foundational classes that cover the fundamentals of gifted and talented education. You’ll explore human development and behavior, curriculum design, and the nature and needs of gifted and talented students.
In your second year you’ll dig deeper into the area of gifted education that is of most interest to you and your career goals. You may even gain real-world experience through practicums and fieldwork. We’ve been sure to note which programs require them.
Finally, some programs may require a final project, research paper, or capstone seminar. Again, we’ve explained below which programs have which requirements.
What are the most affordable online Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education degrees?
Though some of these degrees offer a global perspective on gifted education and others emphasize and provide hands-on experience, all 15 share one thing in common: they offer the most affordable way to enhance your career.
To determine the most affordable online Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education degrees we first looked at all programs across the US that offer the degree online. From there we considered not just tuition rates, but financial aid, grant and scholarship opportunities, and more.
And just because these programs offer the most bang for your buck doesn’t mean they skimp on quality. Some of these programs are top-ranked!
Louisiana State University in Shreveport
Average Net Price: $8,274
Louisiana State University in Shreveport began as a two-year college. However, it expanded and bloomed into the research university it is today, offering dozens of graduate and doctoral programs. Just under 6,000 students attend the Shreveport member of the Louisiana State System.
Coming in with a tuition rate under double digits, LSUS offers an Online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction degree with specialization in Academically Gifted. All coursework is 100 percent online and notably flexible. You’ll take one course for seven weeks with seven total required courses (see below) plus a practicum.
- Methods of Teaching the Gifted
- Educational Technology Applied to the Classroom
- Curriculum Development for the Gifted
- Characteristics/Study of Gifted Individuals
This is an ideal program for those students who want to equally explore curriculum development and gifted education. And not only is this the most affordable option, it’s among the best. LSUS is regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to its overall rankings, its online graduate degrees in education also receive consistent recognition.
University of North Texas
Average Net Price: $10,424
Located in Denton, the University of North Texas distinctively specializes in the sciences and education. Founded as a private teachers college, today North Texas is a flagship university and home to nearly 40,000 students.
For those seeking a psychology-based degree, look no further than the University of North Texas. UNT offers an MS in Educational Psychology online with a concentration in Gifted and Talented. You will graduate ready to become a teacher of the gifted, program coordinator, curriculum specialist, and more. UNT’s coursework covers:
- Nature and Needs of Gifted and Talented Students
- Social and Emotional Components of Giftedness
- Human Development Across the Lifespan
- Educational Statistics
This is not only an affordable program, but an efficient one as well. Students can complete the degree within 15 months through UNT’s “Executive Summer-to-Summer” program. This unique model includes rotations of consecutive three, five, and eight-week courses.
Eastern New Mexico University
Average Net Price: $10,481
Eastern New Mexico University is located in Portales with additional campuses in Ruidoso and Roswell. Eastern is modest in size, with its four colleges and one graduate school. But it is known for its many unique libraries, museums, archives, and more. Around 6,000 students attend Eastern.
Eastern offers an online M.Ed. with an emphasis in Gifted Education Pedagogy. This program will train and prepare you to teach students who have shown extraordinary potential and academic performance. In addition to core courses covering educational research, theories of learning, and assessment, you will also explore:
- Curriculum for Gifted
- Consultation Collaboration and Communication
- Creativity Across the Curriculum
- Educational Psychology
When you attend Eastern New Mexico University you not only have access to the many services and resources within the College of Education and Technology. You are also privy to the renowned Child Development Center Laboratory School, even as an online student. This research-based offers opportunities for observation, practical experience, and application.
West Virginia University
Average Net Price: $10,814
West Virginia University is a public school located in Morgantown. It is a land and space-grant institution, meaning it is known and recognized for its research activity. Around 30,00 students attend WVU.
At WVU you can earn an MA in Gifted Education online in one of two ways. You can enroll in the Master’s in Special Education program with certification in Gifted Grades K-12. Or you can enroll in the Special Education program and concentrate in Gifted Education. Either way, you’ll graduate from WVU prepared to become a leader through coursework such as:
- Legal/Educational Foundations in Special Education
- Individualizing Academic Instruction for Special Needs
- Designing Supportive Learning Environments for Special Needs
- Co-Planning/Co-Teaching for Inclusion
WVU has graduated dozens of Rhodes, Goldwater, and Truman Scholars. Indeed, the university has been called a member of the “All-USA College Academic First Team” by USA Today. WVU is top-ranked by an array of publications, including U.S. News & World Report.
University of South Florida
Average Net Price: $11,398
The University of South Florida is a large, research-driven school. It is located in Tampa and boasts one of the largest enrollments in the state with its nearly 50,000 students. USF is comprised of more than a dozen schools and colleges through which it offers over 200 academic and professional degree programs.
At USF you will be trained on how to spot the characteristics, needs, and opportunities of gifted learners. This exceptional student education program is specifically for certified teachers who want to expand their knowledge and skill sets in the areas of gifted and talented education. Indeed, classes include:
- Nature and Needs of the Gifted
- Consultation, Counseling, and Guidance for Gifted
- Theory and Development of Creativity
- Seminar in Special Populations of Gifted Students
When you study at USF, you are guaranteed a comprehensive program that combines hands-on experience with a global perspective. In fact, the USF College of Education is committed to several global community partnerships as well as international conferences and study abroad programming.
Western Kentucky University
Average Net Price: $11,409
Western Kentucky University is located in Bowling Green and serves around 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to its undergraduate programs, Western Kentucky offers a number of graduate degrees in a range of professional areas, from business to education.
At Western Kentucky University you can earn a MAE in Gifted Education and Talent Development in one of two ways. One includes advanced certification while the other focuses on research development. Both include practicums and prepare you for rewarding careers in gifted teaching. Core courses include:
- Introduction to Adult Education
- Methods for Teaching Adults
- Adult Learning and Development
- History and Philosophy of Adult Education
Already offering an affordable online degree, WKU goes above and beyond by securing financial aid for 90 percent of its students. These students find financial help by way of grants and scholarships. WKU is also a military friendly school, offering additional opportunities to its students vets and active duty members.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Average Net Price: $11,567
Northwestern State University of Louisiana is located in Natchitoches, LA. It is a member of the wider University of Louisiana System and was first founded as a teacher’s college. Approximately 10,000 students attend NSU.
When you earn an M.Ed. in Gifted Education from NSU’s global campus you will learn how to provide gifted students with innovative, creative, and inclusive learning environments. Additionally, you will learn how to design and implement effective curriculum. Classes at NSU include:
- Psychology of the Gifted
- Teaching Creative Thinking
- Practicum, Academically Gifted
- Counseling the Gifted
Northwestern State University of Louisiana is regionally ranked, considered among the best universities in the South. Likewise, its online programs, notably its graduate degrees, are consistently included on the prestigious rankings from sources such as U.S. News & World Report.
Average Net Price: $11,755
Lamar University is a research university located in Beaumont, TX. It is part of the wider Texas State University System and is home to around 15,000 combined undergraduate and graduate students. Lamar is organized into half a dozen colleges, including its highly regarded College of Education and Human Development.
Lamar offers an M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership degree with specialization in Gifted and Talented. You can finish this program in as few as 18 months. At Lamar you will learn how to promote student achievements by focusing on creative needs and academic potentials. Classes include:
- School Community Relations
- School Law
- Diverse Learners
- Student Expectations and Motivation
Lamar is a nationally ranked university with many recognitions and awards to its name. Its online graduate programs, for example, are among the top 50 in their respective departments. And Lamar is included in Forbes’ “America’s Top Colleges” report.
University of Southern Mississippi
Average Net Price: $11,916
The University of Southern Mississippi is known as Southern Miss and located in Hattiesburg, just north of Gulfport. It is a large, research-based university with recognized strengths in the areas of education, psychology, fine arts, and nursing, among others. Around 15,000 students attend Southern Miss.
Southern Miss offers a Masters in Special Education degree with an emphasis in Gifted Education. You’ll take classes on everything from the legal issues in educating exceptional learners to transition programming, student assessment, and more. Graduates from USM have secured careers as:
- Behavior Specialists
- Educational Interventionist
- Disability Specialist
- And Special Education Teachers in an array of settings
The University of Southern Mississippi is a nationally ranked university. Its research contributions and projects have landed it a top classification from the Carnegie Foundation. And U.S. News & World Report includes Southern Miss annually on a range of its elite listings, including its online.
Fort Hays State University
Average Net Price: $11,993
Fort Hays State University is based in Hays, KS and has around 15,000 students. Many of FHSU’s students study online through one of the the university’s four colleges. Offering a range of degree programs, Fort Hays is known for its professional development programs in education, tech, business, and more.
You can complete Fort Hays’ MS in Special Education with specialization in Gifted education program in as few as 18 months. Whether you want to work toward a teaching endorsement to become a special educator or you want a broad program without certification, this program covers the full spectrum of special and gifted education. For example, the core classes include:
- Legal and Professional Issues in Special Education
- Theories of Exceptionalities and Diversity
- Strategies in Gifted Special Education
- Consultation and Collaboration in Gifted
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Fort Hays State University regionally. In addition to its general academic reputation, the University also boasts some of the best online degrees in the US, particularly in education.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Average Net Price: $12,084
The Charlotte campus is part of the larger, prestigious University of North Carolina System. UNC Charlotte offers around 100 graduate degrees plus another 150 undergraduate programs through its nine colleges. Nearly 30,000 students attend UNC Charlotte.
UNC Charlotte provides a great way to engage the academically gifted: an M.Ed. in Special Education degree that focuses on the intellectually talented. This is a 33 credit-hour program that prepares teachers for K-12 education. You will learn how to enact effective instructional practices and create equitable, diverse classrooms. Classes include:
- Nature and Needs of Gifted Students
- Methods of Instructing Gifted Students
- Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Students
- Adapting Curriculum Materials and Classroom Differentiation
UNC Charlotte tailors its online programs for adult learners and working professionals. You can enroll during any of the four enrollment periods. And, once a student, you will connect closely with not just faculty, but with the university’s libraries, tech staff, career counselors, and many more.
Eastern Kentucky University
Average Net Price: $12,255
Based in Richmond (Kentucky, of course!), Eastern Kentucky University is organized into half a dozen colleges and schools. Among its many strong academic and professional programs, EKU is a recognized leader in teacher education. Approximately 17,000 students attend EKU.
EKU offers an MA in Education with specialization in Gifted Education. This degree focuses on the best applications and practices that go into understanding, promoting, and developing the needs of gifted students. You will graduate ready for a career in teaching gifted students in elementary, middle, or high school. The core curriculum is comprised of the following courses:
- Leadership Skills for Teachers
- Leading Achievement Change
- Curriculum for Teacher Leaders
- Research for Teacher Leaders
Eastern Kentucky University boasts many merit badges. For example, U.S. News & World Report includes EKU in its regional rankings, classifies it a top public school, and designates its online programs as among the best. EKU is also recognized as an active research university by the Carnegie Foundation.
Arkansas State University
Average Net Price: $12,310
Arkansas State University, based in Jonesboro, is the flagship university in the wider Arkansas State University System. It is one of the largest schools in the state with nearly 22,000 students and dozens of professional degree programs. ASU’s first graduate programs were in the fields of education, where ASU still excells today.
You can earn an MS in Education in Gifted, Talented, and Creative education in as few as 18 months from Arkansas State University. This teacher training degree covers research methodology and practical application in all areas of giftedness and creativity. For example, some of the classes you’ll find yourself in at ASU include:
- Identification, Nature, and Needs of the Gifted, Talented, and Creative
- Educational Procedures and Materials
- Current Issues in Gifted Education
- Affective Programming in the Classroom
Arkansas State is a renowned hub for research, academics, and professional development. Its statistics boast a 75 percent retention rate. Meaning, students are more than satisfied with the university’s offerings and resources, enough to bolster a retention rate way above national averages.
Arizona State University
Average Net Price: $13,007
The Tempe campus within the larger, elite research university, Arizona State University, is home to more than 70,000 students. It is the original ASU campus and was founded as a teacher’s college. It is still strong in the areas of education today.
ASU’s Global Campus offers an online M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction degree that can be paired with a focus on Gifted Education. This 30 credit-hour program is organized into 10 classes, each 7.5 weeks long. Featured courses at ASU include:
- 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
ASU is recognized nationally and globally by pretty much everyone, from Forbes to U.S. News & World Report. Indeed, the latter calls ASU the nation’s number one “Most Innovative University.” Additionally, ASU is known for its Global Campus, its affordability, and its excellence in research.
University of Northern Colorado
Average Net Price: $13,065
The University of Northern Colorado is located in Greeley, just north of Denver. though UNC also has campuses throughout the state. Comprised of six colleges and serving more than 12,000 students, UNC is known for its education programs and its long history providing teacher education.
UNC offers an MA in Special Education with a Specialist Endorsement in Gifted Education. This is a 36 credit-hour program that allows students to explore everything from curriculum and instruction to supporting the social and emotional needs of gifted learners. When you study at UNC you will take classes such as:
- Program Strategies and Services for Gifted Learners
- Communication, Collaboration, and Leadership in Gifted Education
- Assessment, and Identification in Gifted Education
- Advocacy in Gifted Education
Perhaps most notable about this online degree from UNC is the opportunity to participate in the short, on-campus summer program. This experience is aligned with the UNC Summer Enrichment Program that provides real-world, practical experience for those who want to work with gifted students in fifth through tenth grade.