Best Online Master’s in Gifted and Talented Education Programs

Our experts at BestColleges have ranked the top online masters in gifted & talented education programs. Read on to compare schools by cost and convenience.

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Published on March 24, 2022 · Updated on April 25, 2022

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Earning an online master's in gifted and talented education prepares graduates to pursue various careers. Whether hoping to teach, tutor, lead, or develop curriculum, pursuing this degree provides the necessary training.For many students, cost impacts the program in which they enroll. According to CollegeBoard, students pursuing a master's degree at a public school paid an average of $9,000 during the 2021-2022 school year. Students at a private institution paid an average of $29,670. For many, state schools make great financial sense.

Graduates may enter a robust job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects education, training, and library jobs to grow 10% from 2020-2030. Most teachers earn median salaries between $60,000-$63,000 each year. People working in administrative or leadership positions often earn more.

Keep reading to learn about top online schools for master's in gifted and talented education programs and get the data needed to decide whether to attend graduate school.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Program?

Before committing to an online master's in gifted and talented education, prospective students must ensure the program and its outcomes match their career goals. Individuals who pursue this degree enjoy working in educational settings and find joy in helping students with natural abilities and focused work ethics meet their potential. Most programs consist of 30-40 credits and require about two years of full-time study. Part-time learners may need three years to graduate. Students in an accelerated program may finish in as few as 12 months.

Some programs attract students who already hold a teaching license. These programs do not require an in-person student teaching requirement. Programs designed to qualify graduates for licensure include a practicum.

Some schools offer a master's in gifted and talented education specifically. Other programs may focus on individual grade levels or subject areas and offer concentrations in gifted and talented programming. When preparing for graduate school, degree-seekers should fully understand all available options.

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Popular Online Gifted and Talented Education Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Program?

Intro to Gifted Education and Talented Development

Taken in the first semester, this course looks at contemporary research and trends within gifted and talented education, and current practices. Students learn about theories of intelligence, accelerated instruction, and gifted behaviors.

Social and Emotional Components of Gifted Students

This course provides a survey of current research. Coursework also covers the types of social and emotional issues commonly identified in gifted students, such as difficulty adjusting or fitting in.

Curriculum and Instruction for High-Ability Learners

Students taking this course learn how to design appropriate learning materials for gifted students. Course topics focus on the educational challenges that can arise when creating curricula for these learners.

History of Gifted and Talented Education

This course traces the discipline from its roots, giving students an understanding of its evolution. Students also gain an appreciation for how gifted and talented education has grown and changed over time.

Gifted Education Programs and Services

Students taking this course identify support services and programs that can help assess students, build productive relationships, and provide the support needed to thrive.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

Financial Aid Guide for Graduate Students The Student's Guide to College Loans The Student's Guide to Financial Aid and the FAFSA

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Program?

Admission requirements for online master's in gifted and talented education programs vary by school. Some institutions require learners to hold an active and unencumbered teaching license, and others provide a pathway to licensure. Requirements for online and in-person programs tend to mirror one another. Students applying to competitive programs may need to participate in an interview as part of the graduate admissions process.


The first step to gaining admission to any online master's in gifted and talented education is to complete a college application. Applicants can typically submit applications and pay a nonrefundable fee online. Common application components include the student's full name, date of birth, mailing address, and citizenship status.

Test Scores

Some master's in gifted and talented education programs require applicants to submit GRE scores. That said, some programs have suspended this requirement during the COVID-19 era. Other schools allow applicants with high GPAs or professional experience to bypass the exam component.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation play an important role in the admissions process as they allow those who know students well to speak on their behalf. Common letter writers include current and former professors, supervisors, teaching mentors, or faith leaders.

Resume and Work Experience

Some online master's in gifted and talented education programs require applicants to hold a teaching license and have classroom experience. Other schools accept people looking to complete a program to earn licensure. Submitting a resume helps admissions officers better understand whether a student's experience fits with the program.


Graduate school essays let applicants speak directly to the admissions panel about why they want to study gifted and talented education. Essays also allow students to share why they feel drawn to a particular school or program and how they plan to use their degree after graduating.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts serve many purposes. They help admissions officers confirm stated undergraduate degrees and, in the case of transfer students, identify transfer credits. By reviewing a transcript, officers can learn which classes count towards their new degree.

What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Degree?

Career Outlook

While the BLS does not maintain data specific to gifted and talented teachers, it does offer insights for K-12 teachers generally. The BLS projects jobs for these educational professionals to grow between 7-8% from 2020-2030, depending on grade level.

Teachers working in the U.S. earn median annual wages near $60,000. Other factors that can influence earnings besides grade level include education background, amount of experience, school type, and location.

Though public schools tend to pay the most, gifted and talented teachers can work in public, private, or charter school systems. They may also work one-to-one with students as tutors.

Career Paths

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers

Working with kindergarten through fifth-grade students, teachers at this level introduce students to the basic foundations of math, spelling, English, and science. They create lesson plans and provide assessments. Some assessments highlight early signs of gifted and talented learners.

Median Annual Salary: $60,660

Middle School Teachers

With a focus on teaching students in grades 6-8, middle school teachers build on knowledge gained in elementary school while preparing learners for the rigors of high school. They typically teach specific subjects, and some may focus exclusively on educating gifted and talented learners. They also prepare students for state-mandated standardized exams.

Median Annual Salary: $60,810

High School Teachers

High school teachers work with students in grades 9-12, preparing them for life after high school. These teachers may help gifted and talented students position themselves well to get into a great college or university. They may also teach AP classes and provide counseling to students as they apply to higher education.

Median Annual Salary: $62,870

Instructional Coordinators

Instructional coordinators review existing curricula and recommend new materials to implement based on teaching standards. People who work on curricula for gifted and talented students typically use data to find the best textbooks and additional curricula to meet advanced student needs.

Median Annual Salary: $66,970

Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals

After working in a classroom or as a curriculum specialist for several years, some students may decide to shift into administrative roles. Becoming an elementary, middle, or high school principal offers higher pay and more responsibilities. They oversee classroom activities, manage staff, and evaluate teachers. They also create and monitor curriculum standards.

Median Annual Salary: $98,490

Gifted and Talented Education Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Teaching Careers Special Education Careers Child Development Careers

Continuing Education

Some graduates of master's in gifted and talented education programs may return to school and pursue a doctorate. People who hope to conduct research in the field or educate the next generation of teachers often need a doctorate. Some students pursue an online doctorate in curriculum and instruction, while others earn an online doctorate in education.

How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Program?


Online master's in gifted and talented education costs vary widely based on where a student enrolls. Because of this, learners must understand the true cost of a program before enrolling. Additionally, they should compare costs between online and on-campus programs to see which option makes more financial sense.

Program Format

Students can find both synchronous and asynchronous master's in gifted and talented education programs to match the flexibility they need. Many schools also provide part-time and full-time programs to accommodate busy schedules. Some institutions offer accelerated pathways for motivated students.


When deciding whether to study online or on-campus, students must consider several factors. Learners who study fully online can expand their search nationwide and find programs more closely aligned with their needs. Although, students who select a program with in-person components may want a school within driving distance.


Students should prioritize finding an online college with proper accreditation. Not attending an accredited school can interfere with teaching licensure or job eligibility. Learners should also look for gifted and talented programs accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Student Support

Master's in gifted and talented education programs distinguish themselves by offering top-tier student services. With these services, learners can frequently access mentorship opportunities and internship programming. Virtual students should ask about services specific to online learning.

Best Accredited Online Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Programs

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Best Online Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Programs

  1. University of South Florida

    Tampa, FL



    Located in Tampa, USF offers an online master of arts in gifted education through its College of Education. In addition to the degree, this program allows students to use electives to attain a graduate certificate in teacher leadership, instructional technology, or autism spectrum disorders.

    The curriculum comprises 36 credits and spans 12 courses, five of which can be used to apply for the Florida endorsement in gifted education. Students take 15 specialization credits, nine core credits, and 9-12 elective credits based on their desired practicum track.

    Graduates leave the program equipped with the advanced training needed to work with exceptional children and collaborate with other instructors. Applicants must hold a teaching certificate and bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

    USF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  2. University of Georgia

    Athens, GA



    Based in Athens, UGA offers over 30 online degrees and certificates, including an M.Ed. in educational psychology, gifted, and creative education. Rooted in the belief that education should be tailored to the students' individual needs, this program focuses on the research and instructional delivery of this philosophy.

    The curriculum requires a minimum of 37 credits, a comprehensive written exam, and a practicum in education psychology. Additional coursework covers topics like characteristics of gifted children, methods and material for the gifted, and human development for education.

    Graduates of this program may pursue roles as classroom teachers, professors, school system coordinators, and educational consultants. UGA holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  3. University of Missouri

    Columbia, MO



    The state's flagship institution, Mizzou currently serves over 30,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate level. The school offers an online M.Ed. in special education with an emphasis in gifted education that students can complete in 2-3 years.

    Designed for practicing teachers, the M.Ed. program is delivered entirely online and requires 23 credits of courses to apply for the Missouri gifted education certification. The 30-credit curriculum covers a variety of topics, such as learning theory, assessment and evaluation, and curriculum methods.

    Graduates of Mizzou's gifted and talented master's program often secure jobs as special education teachers, school counselors, and occupational therapists. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, letter of intent, and two letters of recommendations.

    Mizzou holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  4. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

    Charlotte, NC



    UNC Charlotte offers an online M.Ed. in special education and child development with a concentration in academically or intellectually gifted. This part-time program is designed for experienced teachers who hold a bachelor's degree and an initial teaching license.

    Students enrolled in this fully online program learn how to apply diverse and effective teaching methods to enhance the standard curriculum for gifted students. This degree requires 33 credits and includes writing-intensive courses like methods of instructing gifted students, social and emotional needs of gifted students, and advanced curriculum for gifted students.

    To satisfy the program's field experience requirements, prospective students must have access to a classroom with AIG or advanced students. Upon graduation, students qualify for the North Carolina's professional educators continuing license in special education: academically or intellectually gifted.

    UNC Charlotte is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  5. University of Alabama

    Tuscaloosa, AL



    Distance learners can pursue an online master of arts in special education from UA. Working educators benefit from an entirely online format, allowing them to continue teaching full time while pursuing an advanced degree.

    This MA program aims to develop distance learners' understanding of gifted individuals' needs to facilitate an enhanced educational program. The curriculum spans 30-36 credits and covers topics like creative problem solving seminar, teaching the gifted and talented, and special populations in gifted education. The program requires a practicum for degree completion.

    Upon completion of this program, students also obtain the credits required to be eligible for the gifted and talented certification. Prospective students must hold a bachelor's-level teaching certificate from an accredited college or university.

    UA holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  6. Arkansas State University

    Jonesboro, AR



    Located in Jonesboro, A-State currently enrolls over 5,000 distance learners and offers more than 35 online degrees, including a master of science in education degree with a major in gifted, talented, and creative. The 30-credit program is designed for practicing educators and students can complete the program in as little as 18 months.

    Distance learners in this M.S.Ed. program develop the necessary proficiencies to create advanced models for and identify gifted students. The 10-course curriculum features classes like current issues in gifted education, philosophies of education, and affective programming in the classroom.

    A-State serves as the flagship university of the Arkansas system and holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commision of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. All online students in this program pay the same tuition rate, regardless of state residency.

    A-State holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  7. Nova Southeastern University

    Fort Lauderdale, FL



    NSU — based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida — oversees an array of online master's in education degrees, including a specialization in exceptional student education. This fully online specialization caters to certified teachers and non certified professionals.

    Through collaboration with a faculty member and an academic advisor, students in this program customize their coursework to align with their individual career needs. However, the program requires all students to complete 36 credits and take courses in educational research for practitioners, educational and psychological assessment of exceptional students, and special education law.

    The exceptional student education track prepares online learners for careers like special education teachers, school counselors, and special needs service providers. NSU's online education platform offers a variety of student support services, including access to the virtual library, faculty and student discussion forums, and academic advising.

    NSU holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  8. University of North Texas

    Denton, TX



    Located in Denton, UNT offers an online master of science in educational psychology with a concentration in gifted and talented students that can be completed in 15 months. With most course rotations taking place over the summer, this fully online program is especially useful for current teachers.

    The 33-credit curriculum prepares practicing educators to identify the cognitive and affective needs of gifted students. Coursework includes six core credits, 18 concentration credits, six elective credits, and a three-credit supervised capstone course.

    This MS program prepares students for careers as tutors, special education teachers, and school psychologists. In addition to earning the MS degree, students also obtain the gifted and talented certificate upon program completion. Admission requirements include a 1- to 3-page personal statement, GRE scores, and two written letters of recommendation.

    UNT is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  9. University of Louisiana at Monroe

    Monroe, LA



    ULM offers an online master of education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in special education in gifted education. Students in this program learn how to apply theories of affective needs and instructional strategies in the classroom.

    To earn this M.Ed. degree, students must complete 36 credits and an eight-week practicum. During this eight-week session, students apply their knowledge and skills to a supervised experience where they work with gifted children. Core classes include developing creativity in the classroom, effective consultation, and research-based instruction.

    Prospective students must hold a teaching certificate and a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants can select from one of five start dates each year.

    ULM is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  10. Regent University

    Virginia Beach, VA



    A private, Christian university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Regent provides an online master of education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in gifted and talented.

    Distance learners enjoy instruction from renowned scholars and practitioners and explore topics such as strategic planning and program evaluation, models and strategies for teaching the gifted, and psychology and education of gifted learners. The curriculum culminates in a professional experience project, in which students compile a portfolio that provides evidence of program competencies.

    This program aims to help current educators advance in leadership roles or pursue new education opportunities like curriculum developer, content specialist, and department head. Out-of-state students and licensed educators cannot apply for the Virginia gifted education endorsement.

    Regent is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Gifted and Talented Education Programs

Is a master's in gifted and talented education worth it? true

Before making any decisions, prospective learners must consider whether an online degree is worth it and meets their needs and goals. Master's in gifted and talented education programs offer in-demand skills and credentials that qualify graduates to work at every grade level in many school settings.Because the BLS projects that jobs for teachers will grow between 7-8% from 2020-2030, graduates may enter a strong job market.

What can I do with a master's in gifted and talented education? true

Earning a master's in gifted and talented education offers graduates various career options. While most degree-holders use their credentials to obtain a K-12 teaching position, others work in curriculum development and instructional design to create materials for gifted learners.People with a passion for leadership and administration may decide to pursue work as a principal or district supervisor. In addition, graduates who enjoy working directly with students may want to develop a tutoring portfolio or college admissions guidance business.

Are gifted and talented education graduates in demand? true

The BLS projects kindergarten and elementary school teacher roles to grow by 7% between 2020-2030. The BLS also projects positions for middle school teachers and high school teachers to expand by 7% and 8%, respectively.Similarly, BLS projections show that instructional coordinators will grow by 10% from 2020-2030, leading to the creation of just under 20,000 new jobs by 2030. This data projects that graduates of online master's in gifted and talented education programs will be in demand across the coming years.

How much money can I make with a master's in gifted and talented education?

Most K-12 teachers earn median salaries between $60,000-$63,000 per year. But factors such as education level, experience, location, and employer can influence these figures. People with master's degrees tend to earn more than colleagues with bachelor's degrees. In addition, public school teachers often earn more than those in private schools.For instance, high school teachers working at a local public school received median annual salaries of $63,400 in 2020. These teachers at private schools received median wages of $58,550 during the same year.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a master's in gifted and talented education?

In general, teachers tend to earn less than those in administrative positions, with few exceptions. Instructional coordinators made a median salary of $66,970 in 2020. The top 10% of earners earned salaries over $105,650.Meanwhile, elementary, middle, and high school principals earned median wages of $98,490 during 2020, with the top 10% making more than $152,500. Administrative positions often offer higher earning potential.

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