Want to help gifted and talented students reach their full potential, but don't have time for a campus-based advanced degree? An online master's in gifted and talented education prepares you to work effectively with advanced students in teaching, administration, or instructional design roles, and offers a path toward a significant salary boost. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average base salary for teachers in public schools with a master's degree exceeds that of teachers with a bachelor's degree by approximately 20%. A master's program offers an opportunity to become well-versed in theory, research, and strategies of gifted education.

DO I NEED PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE TO GET IN?

Master's programs in gifted and talented education are designed for students who already hold a bachelor's degree and a current state-issued teaching credential, and most also require a minimum of one to two years of teaching experience. The teaching license can be in any area, whether it be elementary, secondary, or special education. Students who complete an online degree in gifted and talented education programs and have sufficient work experience can apply for endorsements to teach advanced learners.

CAN I WORK WHILE I COMPLETE MY ONLINE MASTER'S IN GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATION?

It's common for students in gifted and talented education to work in the field while completing their degree. In order to complete the requirements for classroom-based practica, internships, clinical experiences, and other teaching competency requirements, candidates for online master's in gifted and talented education programs need access to an appropriate educational setting.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO EARNING MY GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATION DEGREE ONLINE?

Online programs are designed for maximum convenience and flexibility, and have improved in quality in recent years. More options are available for students to select a program that suits their needs and career goals. Many students appreciate the perspective they gain through online programs as they network with peers working in classrooms across the country, and lessons from your online program can be incorporated into classroom teaching experiences while you pursue this degree.

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

University of South Florida

Tampa, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 71%

A public research university located in Tampa, Florida, the University of South Florida (USF) serves upwards of 50,000 students through its 14 colleges, more than 80 undergraduate degrees, and over 130 graduate programs. USF offers an online master of arts in gifted education through its College of Education. This master's in gifted and talented education online equips certified teachers to work with exceptional students and to collaborate and consult with other educators.

Applicants must be experienced teachers who hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college with a GPA of at least 3.0 or GRE scores that meet or exceed the program's minimum requirements. Prospective students also need to submit a copy of their teaching certificates. The school accepts applicants who wish to begin in the fall, spring, or summer semester. Out-of-state students may qualify for in-state tuition, and transfer students may transfer in up to six credits.

Once admitted, students in this 36-credit hour degree take 12 courses, including the five required for the Florida endorsement in gifted education. Coursework includes 15 credit hours of specialization courses, such as needs and nature of the gifted and theory and development of creativity. Learners also take 6-9 credit hours of practicums, nine credit hours of core courses, and nine credit hours of electives. Students can use electives to add on a graduate certificate in teacher leadership, instructional technology, or autism spectrum disorders. USF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online MA in Gifted Education
Available Concentrations: Certification in teacher leadership; instructional technology; autism spectrum disorders
Tuition: $347/credit in-state; $424/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE (if GPA requirement not met)
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (813) 974-8800
Email: admissions@grad.usf.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

University of Georgia

Athens, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 85%

Founded in 1785, the University of Georgia (UGA) is one of the oldest public educational institutions in the country. From its campus in Athens, Georgia, UGA serves almost 40,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Its online programs include a master of education in educational psychology, gifted, and creative education. This master's in gifted and talented education online helps qualify students for the Georgia state gifted in-field endorsement.

Applicants need to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a 2.6 or higher GPA. They must also submit valid GRE or MAT scores along with letters of recommendation. The school's application deadline varies by semester, so prospective students should contact UGA to learn upcoming dates. Transfer applicants may bring up to six credit hours into the program.

Once enrolled, students take 37 credit hours to earn the degree. Courses include six credit hours of field experience plus classes drawn from the following five areas: research, educational psychology foundations, creative, diversity, and social/emotional. Students take courses such as creativity and cognition, supporting the social and emotional development of the gifted, retention of ethnic minorities in gifted and advanced programs, and applied research methods in gifted education.

Graduates may go on to serve as classroom teachers, college professors, school administrators, or educational consultants. UGA holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education
Tuition: $629/credit
Credit Requirements: 37 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.6 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT

Contact
Phone: (706) 452-7933
Email: online@uga.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

Located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the University of Alabama (UA) serves as the flagship institution of the UA system. This public research university educates nearly 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students in on-campus and online settings. The school offers a master of arts in special education with a gifted and talented certification for those who hold an Alabama class B teaching certificate or the equivalent certification from another state.

To apply to UA's master's in gifted and talented education online, applicants need an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and either a score in the 50th percentile on the MAT or a 300 or higher on the GRE. Prospective students may apply to start in any semester. Once admitted as a distance learning student in the Bama By Distance program, all online learners pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

Coursework requires 30-36 credits and follows Alabama state guidelines for master's-level teacher certification. Courses include psychology of gifted and talented children and youth, teaching the gifted and talented, and diagnosis and assessment of exceptional children and youth. Learners must also complete a practicum in special education and pass a comprehensive exam to earn their degrees. Upon graduation, students may apply for certification in the area of gifted and talented P-12 students.

UA holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the College of Education holds specialized accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online MA in Special Education
Available Concentrations: Gifted and talented certification
Tuition: $394/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (205) 348-1444
Email: jnewman@ua.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

University of Missouri

Columbia, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

Located in Columbia, Missouri, the University of Missouri (Mizzou) is a land-grant and space-grant institution. As the state system's flagship institution, Mizzou educates more than 30,000 students through on-campus and online programs. The school offers an online master of education in special education with an emphasis in gifted education. Applicants to the program need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their last 60 credits. They must also submit scores from the GRE taken within the last five years.

Students earning Mizzou's 30-credit gifted and talented master's degree program online do not need to complete any on-campus coursework. Twenty-three of these hours fulfill the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requirements for Missouri gifted education certification.

Coursework is divided between 15 credits of core courses and 15 in gifted education. Courses include curriculum methods for gifted and talented students, administration and supervision of gifted education programs, and differentiating instruction: reaching gifted, typical, and struggling learners. Students also complete a practicum and a comprehensive take-home exam. By taking 1-2 courses each semester, learners can finish the program in 2-3 years. Students in this program pay in-state tuition regardless of their state of residency.

Mizzou holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the College of Education holds specialized accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Special Education
Available Concentrations: Gifted education
Tuition: $367/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (573) 882-2491
Email: mizzouonline@missouri.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

University of North Texas

Denton, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

The University of North Texas (UNT) is located in Denton, Texas. A public university serving about 40,000 students through its 11 colleges, two schools, and early admissions academy for gifted high school students, UNT offers a master of science in educational psychology with a concentration in gifted and talented. Students can complete this flexible, fully online degree in 15 months.

Applicants to UNT's master's in gifted and talented education online need a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and GRE scores in the 50th percentile or above in all three sections. Learners may apply for admission in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Once enrolled, students can take rotations of consecutive three-week, five-week, and eight-week courses. This approach allows full-time educators to take up to four courses in the summer, while K-12 schools are on vacation, and just two courses during the fall and spring semesters.

UNT's 33-hour degree consists of two core courses, six concentration courses, six hours of electives, and a three-credit capstone. Courses include nature and needs of the gifted and talented student, program planning for the education of gifted and talented students, and methods and curriculum for teaching gifted and talented students. Once finished with the program, graduates may sit for the Texas Examination of Educator Standards gifted and talented supplemental certificate.

UNT holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online MS in Educational Psychology
Available Concentrations: Gifted and talented
Tuition: $466/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (940) 565-3486
Email: devyn.dougherty@unt.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Arkansas State University-Main Campus

Jonesboro, AR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

A public research institution, Arkansas State University (A-State) is located in Jonesboro, Arkansas, a city of about 75,000 in the state's northeast corner. A-State serves just under 15,000 students on its Jonesboro campus alone and thousands more at campuses throughout the system. The university offers a master of science in education in gifted, talented, and creative, which students can earn entirely online.

Like many gifted and talented master's degree programs online, A-State's program serves practicing teachers. Therefore, applicants should hold a valid teaching certificate. Prospective students also need a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 from an accredited institution. Learners can begin in the fall, summer, or spring semesters, and courses last five or seven weeks. No matter their state of residence, all online students in the program pay the same tuition as Arkansas residents.

Once accepted, students need about 18 months to complete the 30-credit program. Courses include identification, nature, and needs of the gifted, talented, and creative; educational procedures and materials for the gifted, talented, and creative; and assessment or programming for the gifted, talented, and creative. Learners also complete a seven-week internship experience in a field setting and undertake a capstone project in which they demonstrate innovative teaching and research.

A-State holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the master's education program holds programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online MS in Education in Gifted, Talented, and Creative
Tuition: $306/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (866) 621-8096
Email: coe@astate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 61%

Founded in 1977 and situated in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Regent University (Regent) serves more than 10,000 students, divided almost equally between graduate and undergraduate learners. Regent is a Christian university affiliated with both the evangelical and the renewal movements. Through its School of Education, the institution offers a master of education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in gifted and talented.

This master's in gifted and talented education online does not provide a Virginia state endorsement for teachers of gifted and talented students. Rather, it serves the need of out-of-state students and non-Virginia licensed educators. Regent also offers an online master's in gifted and talented education with an endorsement specifically for licensed Virginia teachers. For both degrees, tuition rates remain the same for in-state and out-of-state students.

In addition to submitting transcripts, an application, and an admissions questionnaire, applicants should expect a 20-minute interview either in person or over the phone. New students can begin at any one of eight start dates throughout the year. Once enrolled, learners take 35 credit hours in eight-week sessions.

The curriculum is divided between 18 credits of required courses and 17 credits of specialization classes. Required courses include classroom management and technology in education while specialization courses cover the psychology and education of gifted learners and models and strategies for teaching the gifted. Students also complete a professional project for either an internship or a practicum.

Regent holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the master's education program holds programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
Available Concentrations: Gifted and talented
Tuition: $550/credit
Credit Requirements: 35 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (888) 713-1595
Email: edadmissions@regent.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

University of Nebraska at Kearney

Kearney, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 61%

Located in Kearney, the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) serves more than 7,000 students in online and on-campus settings. The university offers an online master of arts in education in special education with an emphasis in gifted education for teachers who currently hold an undergraduate degree in education.

This 36-credit master's in gifted and talented education online prepares classroom teachers to provide appropriate education to gifted and talented learners. Applicants need a bachelor’s degree and current teacher certification. Nebraska teachers must have taken the introduction to exceptionalities course or its equivalent at either the graduate or undergraduate level. Prospective students also need to submit a professional biography or acceptable GRE scores.

Once enrolled in the gifted education emphasis area, learners take 24 credits of coursework in the specialization. Courses in gifted education include identification, assessment, and evaluation of high ability learners; curriculum design and development for high ability education; and guiding the social and emotional development of gifted and talented learners.

All students also complete 12 credits of required courses and a practicum in gifted and talented education. Learners can choose to write a six-credit thesis or take two additional electives in their specialization. Once finished with the degree, graduates may elect to pursue a supplemental teaching endorsement in high ability education.

UNK holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the education master's program holds programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online MA in Education in Special Education
Available Concentrations: Gifted education
Tuition: $255/credit in-state; $387/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (308) 865-8927
Email: ecampus@unk.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

A private, Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University (Liberty) educates about 110,000 students per year, with about 94,000 enrolling in distance education programs. The school offers a master of education in teaching and learning with a specialization in gifted education for teachers who wish to assume leadership roles in public, private, or Christian school systems.

This master's in gifted and talented education online requires applicants to hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally or nationally accredited institution. To receive an offer of admission in good standing, prospective students need a GPA of 3.0 or higher, though students with a lower GPA may still receive conditional admission. Since the program leads to an advanced license, applicants also need to hold an initial teaching license.

The program requires 36 credit hours, which takes most students less than two years to complete. Transfer applicants may bring up to 18 credits into the program. Courses include principles and practices in gifted education, educational assessment for special needs, reading and research in gifted education, and leadership and supervision in education. Learners also take a directed practicum capstone along with in-course field experiences throughout the program.

Liberty holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the education master's program holds programmatic accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Teaching and Learning
Available Concentrations: Gifted education
Tuition: $415/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (800) 424-9595
Email: luograd@liberty.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

University of Northern Colorado

Greeley, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Founded as a teacher's college in 1889, the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is located in Greeley. Today, UNC enrolls more than 12,000 students on its main campus, at its extension sites, and online. The university offers a master of arts in special education with a gifted and talented education endorsement that enables state-certified teachers to add the gifted education specialist endorsement to their current Colorado teaching licenses.

Unlike some other gifted and talented master's degree programs online, UNCO requires students to take some of their classes on-site in Greeley during a summer session. Due to the summer school requirement, prospective online students must enter the program during the summer. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better from a regionally accredited institution and submit proof of a teaching license if they have one. The school does not require GRE scores for admission to this program.

Once enrolled, students complete 36 credits, including a three-credit course in research and a three-credit practicum in gifted education. Other courses include program strategies and services for gifted learners; action research and reflective practice in gifted education; and communication, collaboration, and leadership in gifted education. Students not ready for the full master's degree can choose instead to complete a 24-credit endorsement-only option, or a 12-credit graduate certificate in the field.

UNC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online MA in Special Education
Available Concentrations: Gifted and talented education
Tuition: $213/credit in-state; $330/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (970) 351-2831
Email: grad.school@unco.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Charlotte, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

A public research university located in Charlotte, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) enrolls about 30,000 students in more than 225 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs. Some students attend courses on the 1,000-acre main campus while others study at satellite facilities or take classes online. UNC Charlotte offers a master of education in special education: academically or intellectually gifted for experienced K-12 teachers who hold an initial teaching license.

To earn admission into this master's in gifted and talented education online program, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. They also need GRE or MAT scores in the 30th percentile or above. New students begin at one of four sessions each year.

Once enrolled, students take 33 credit hours of writing-intensive courses, including theory and development of creativity, social and emotional needs of gifted students, and adapting curriculum materials and classroom differentiation. Learners must also pass a research methods course, prepare a research project proposal, and implement their research study. Upon completing the program, graduates qualify for the North Carolina’s professional educator’s continuing license in special education: academically or intellectually gifted.

UNC Charlotte holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the education master's program holds programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Special Education: Academically or Intellectually Gifted
Tuition: $250/credit in-state; $909/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (704) 687-8623
Email: michael.matthews@uncc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Converse College

Spartanburg, SC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

Located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Converse College (Converse) began as a women's college in 1889. Today, it remains a private, liberal arts institution with a women's undergraduate college and a coed graduate school. Converse enrolls about 800 undergraduates and 550 graduates in its on-campus and online programs, including an online master of education in gifted education that prepares students to meet gifted education licensure requirements.

Applicants for full admission in this master's in gifted and talented education online program must hold a degree from an accredited institution and demonstrate the potential for success in graduate education, usually by showing a 2.75 or higher GPA. Those with a lower GPA may receive an offer of provisional admission. Prospective students also need to hold teacher certification in a content area. Converse requires applicants to send NTE or Praxis II scores but does not require GRE results.

Once accepted, students take 36 credit hours, including an action research component, a practicum in curriculum for the gifted, and a practicum in instruction for the gifted. Learners may choose to take these practicums on the Converse campus during the Athena summer camp for grades 1-5. Other courses include special topics in gifted education portfolio, advanced curriculum practices for the gifted, and nature and needs of the gifted. All students pay the same per-credit hour tuition fee regardless of residency.

Converse holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and its master's education program holds programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation for Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Gifted Education
Tuition: $416/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: NTE/Praxis II
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (864) 596-9000
Email: graduate@converse.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Lindenwood University

St. Charles, MO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Located in St. Charles, Missouri, a city of about 65,000 people that forms a northwest suburb of St. Louis, Lindenwood University (Lindenwood) serves more than 8,500 students. The school maintains its identity as a private liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Lindenwood offers on-campus and online programs, including a master of arts in gifted education that prepares practicing teachers and administrators for an add-on Missouri teaching certification.

Applicants to this master's in gifted and talented education online program must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants who plan to secure the add-on certification should also already hold an initial teaching license. Prospective students who do not have a background in education will need to take a leveling course called education of the exceptional child. Applicants with previous graduate coursework, however, may transfer in up to nine credit hours.

After admission, students complete 33 credit hours, including a research course and a practicum or a master's project in gifted education. Other courses include meeting the affective needs of gifted children, administration and supervision of gifted programs, and curriculum analysis and design for gifted education. Learners also complete 12 credits of electives. While students can generally finish the program within two years, they can take up to five years if needed. Students who require more than five years must file a petition for policy exemption.

Lindenwood holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and its master's education program holds programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation for Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online MA in Gifted Education
Tuition: $495/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Work Experience: 2 years; teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (636) 949-4807
Email: schoolofeducation@lindenwood.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Lamar University

Beaumont, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 30%

A public university in Beaumont, Texas — a city of nearly 120,000 people located about 85 miles east of Houston — Lamar University serves as the flagship institution of the Lamar University System. The school educates nearly 15,000 students on-campus and online. Lamar offers a master of education in teacher leadership with a specialization in gifted and talented. The degree serves practicing teachers who want to work with students exhibiting exceptional creative and academic strength.

Lamar's master's in gifted and talented education online requires 36 credits, and students need about 18 months to complete the degree. Each class lasts five weeks, and prospective students can apply to start the program at any of eight entry points throughout the year. Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 GPA or higher, a valid teaching license from any state, and at least two years of teaching experience. In-state students must hold employment at a private or public school approved by the Texas Education Agency.

Courses meet the educational requirements of the Council on Exceptional Children, and may lead to additional licensure. Coursework includes schools as learning communities, creativity and the gifted learner, and using assessment data to guide instructional decisions. Students do not have to write a thesis, but the curriculum does include an action research component. Lamar allows learners to pay by the course.

Lamar holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Teacher Leadership
Available Concentrations: Gifted and talented
Tuition: $275/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Work Experience: 2 years; teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (866) 223-7675
Email: luadmtran@lamar.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Fort Hays State University

Hays, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

The third-largest of Kansas' six public universities, Fort Hays State University (FHSU) enrolls about 15,000 students, almost 7,000 of them online. The university's main campus is located in Hays, Kansas, a city of about 20,000 people in the northwestern part of the state. FHSU offers approximately 30 degrees through its online program, including a master of science in special education - gifted.

This degree focuses on the challenges and practical needs facing facilitators of gifted learners. Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA, but they do not have to take the GRE or MAT. Licensed teachers should submit a copy of their teaching license, but the program welcomes applications from prospective students who do not hold licensure. Only currently licensed educators qualify for a gifted education endorsement at the program's conclusion.

Prospective students with graduate credits they have not yet applied to another degree can ask about transfer options.

FHSU's master's in gifted and talented education online requires 36 credits, which students can complete in 18-24 months with no on-campus sessions. The coursework includes an action research project, a case study analysis, technological enrichment, and a practical focus. Learners enroll in classes such as technology in special education, and theories of exceptionalities and diversity. The program concludes with a comprehensive portfolio.

Students seeking an add-on endorsement must also pass Praxis II - Gifted Education.

FHSU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, and programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online MS in Special Education
Available Concentrations: Gifted education
Tuition: $287/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (785) 628-4283
Email: tigers@fhsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

University of Louisiana at Monroe

Monroe, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41%

Situated in Monroe, Louisiana, a city of about 50,000 inhabitants located in the northeastern part of the state, the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) serves about 9,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The school represents part of the University of Louisiana System. ULM offers an online master of education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in special education in gifted education for certified classroom teachers seeking careers assisting academically gifted students.

Full admission requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a 2.75 GPA or higher. Applicants with a cumulative 2.5 GPA in their most recent 60 credits may receive conditional admission. Prospective students also need a teaching certificate and a minimum "C" grade in any previous graduate coursework.

ULM's master's in gifted and talented education online consists of 36 credits, and students can complete the degree in as little as 15 months. Learners in the program learn to assess the needs of gifted students, explore theories of affective needs, incorporate new instructional strategies into special education classrooms, and use diagnostic materials with gifted learners.

To earn the degree, learners take 12 courses, each lasting eight weeks. Courses include technology integration and portfolio development, methods and materials for teaching gifted and talented individuals, and educational techniques for exceptional children in general classrooms. Students also complete an eight-week, three-credit supervised practicum experience.

ULM holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
Available Concentrations: Special education (academically gifted)
Tuition: $300/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE (if GPA below 3.0)
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (800) 917-3236
Email: opi@ulm.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Eastern New Mexico University

Portales, NM Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 33%

A public institution of about 6,000 students, ENMU sits in Portales, New Mexico, a town of about 12,000 people located near the city of Clovis in the east-central part of the state. ENMU maintains five colleges on three campuses, and holds membership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

The university offers online students a master of education with an emphasis in gifted education pedagogy. This program serves the needs of currently licensed educators seeking a master's degree and an endorsement in gifted education. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA for full admission. Prospective students whose GPA falls between 2.8 and 2.99 may qualify for provisional admission. The school also needs a copy of the applicant's teaching license.

Once enrolled, students take 51 credits, including several classes of core requirements and credits in the field of emphasis. Courses include curriculum for the gifted, creativity across the curriculum, and consultation collaboration and communication/gifted. Students receive the option to complete either a traditional thesis or six credits of electives and comprehensive exams.

Students taking 1-6 credits pay the same tuition rate, regardless of their state of residence. Students who are not New Mexico residents pay a slightly higher fee if they take more than seven credits per term.

ENMU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education
Available Concentrations: Gifted education pedagogy
Tuition: $272/credit in-state; $374/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (575) 562-2443
Email: webmaster@enmu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Wichita State University

Wichita, KS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

Located in Wichita, Kansas, the state's largest city, Wichita State University (WSU) enrolls more than 15,000 students in graduate and undergraduate programs. The university maintains its distinction as the third-largest postsecondary educational institution in Kansas, and offers both on-campus and online degrees, including a master of education in special education with an emphasis in gifted education.

This master's in gifted and talented education online serves experienced, licensed teachers who wish to teach students who show intellectual giftedness. Admission requires a current teaching license and a bachelor's degree, demonstrating a minimum 3.0 GPA in their most recent 60 credits, or a minimum 2.75 GPA with GRE verbal scores of 152 and quantitative scores of 153. Prospective students may apply to begin in the fall, spring, or summer term, after clearing a criminal background check.

This degree requires 30-33 credits of coursework, and students may choose either a thesis or a non thesis experience. Courses include foundations of education, positive behavior supports, and principles of nondiscriminatory assessment, all specific to students with exceptionalities. Learners in the program also complete five credits of practicums and a three-credit research component.

The final project can take the form of either a capstone or a thesis. The capstone research project emphasizes applied learning and professional practice, while the thesis focuses on pure research.

WSU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Special Education
Available Concentrations: Gifted education
Tuition: $404/credit
Credit Requirements: 30-33 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE (if GPA below 3.0)
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (316) 978-6877
Email: online@wichita.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, LA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

Situated in Natchitoches, Louisiana, a town of about 20,000 people, Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSU) serves more than 11,000 students across more than 50 programs, including an online master of education in special education with a concentration in gifted education. This degree equips licensed teachers with techniques and strategies to meet gifted students' needs.

Applicants to this master's in gifted and talented education online must submit a copy of their undergraduate transcripts, GRE scores, and proof of immunization prior to enrollment. Students in the program must complete 36 semester hours. The curriculum comprises 12 hours of core courses, 18 hours in the specialization, and six hours in a support area.

Courses include curriculum and methods for the academically gifted, trends and issues in curriculum development for the academically gifted, and design and production of multimedia instructional units. Students also take two research courses and a practicum.

The program does not lead to initial teacher licensure, but it does allow licensed teachers to qualify for add-on certification in academically gifted education in Louisiana and some other states. Prospective students should inquire with their state's education department to ensure programs meet the relevant licensure requirements before enrolling. In Louisiana, academically gifted certification applies only to the area in which the teacher already holds licensure.

NSU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Special Education
Available Concentrations: Gifted education
Tuition: $475/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (318) 357-5524
Email: christensen@nsula.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

A public research university located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi — a city of about 50,000 people — the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) offers approximately 190 academic programs to nearly 15,000 students. Teachers who plan to work with exceptional students can pursue USM's master of education in special education with an emphasis in gifted education.

As one of the gifted and talented master's degree programs online not requiring face-to-face sessions, USM's degree primarily serves current classroom teachers. Prospective students who want to take some courses on-campus may complete a partially online degree. Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA in their most recent 60 credits, and acceptable scores on a standardized test such as the GRE, MAT, or Praxis II. Online learners all pay the same tuition, regardless of their state of residence.

Once accepted, students take 33 credits to complete the degree. The curriculum consists of a 12-credit core, a three-credit research course, 15 elective credits, and a three-credit practicum in gifted education. Courses include assessment of individuals with exceptionalities, legal issues in educating exceptional learners, and components of the reading and writing process. The program does not lead to initial teacher licensure. Current classroom educators; however, can use the degree to secure add-on licensure or endorsement in teaching gifted learners.

USM holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Special Education
Available Concentrations: Gifted education
Tuition: $479/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE, GMAT, MAT, or Praxis II

Contact
Phone: (601) 266-5247
Email: admissions@usm.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Wilmington University

New Castle, DE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 26%

Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian research institution located in New Castle, Delaware. The university enrolls more than 20,000 students. The school offers programs online and on campuses in Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland. Classroom teachers and others interested in gifted education can pursue a master of education in instruction: gifted and talented online, in a traditional classroom, or in a hybrid format.

For the gifted and talented master's degree programs online, applicants need to hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, with a 3.0 GPA or higher in their last two years of postsecondary education. They should also submit a valid teaching certificate from a U.S. state, and scores from the Praxis Core, SAT, or ACT. These test scores do not affect admission, but do help the program measure applicant preparation.

Once admitted, students take 33 credits to complete the degree. The curriculum splits between 15 credits in gifted and talented courses and 18 credits in foundation courses. Students take classes such as education for equity and social justice, psychology of gifted and talented learners, and curriculum design and instructional strategies for gifted and talented learners. The program also requires a three-credit practicum and a six-credit action research project, along with a noncredit efolio requirement.

To graduate learners must pass the PRAXIS II, Test Code 5358, Gifted Education exit assessment.

Wilmington holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Instruction: Gifted and Talented
Tuition: $477/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT; Praxis Core
Work Experience: Current employment in teaching; teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (877) 967-5464
Email: admissionscoe@wilmu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Millersville University

Millersville, PA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

A public university located in Millersville, Pennsylvania, which is a Lancaster County town of about 8,500 people, Millersville University (MU) serves students as one of the 14 institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university maintains an enrollment of more than 8,500 students across nearly 120 academic programs. MU offers an online master of education in gifted education for full-time or part-time students.

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a cumulative 2.75 GPA or higher. Prospective students with a GPA below a 3.0 need to submit GRE or MAT scores. The school also requires students in this master's in gifted and talented education online degree to hold Instructional I certification from either Pennsylvania or another state. A rolling admissions deadline lets prospective students submit their applications when convenient.

Once enrolled, students need 36 credits to complete the program. The curriculum consists of a nine-credit core, 18 credits of required courses, and nine credits in the area of specialization. Courses include psychology of the gifted; programming for the gifted; and evaluating instructional effectiveness: application for the gifted. Students also complete a three-credit clinical practicum. Students in this master's program do not complete a thesis or capstone project.

MU's gifted education degree does not confer initial teacher licensure, but students can prepare for a state-approved gifted education endorsement.

MU holds accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online Master of Education in Gifted Education
Available Concentrations: Early childhood; language and literacy; online instruction; special education; fine arts; English as a second language; foreign language; social sciences; STEM; technology; psychology
Tuition: $512/credit in-state; $751/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT (if GPA below 3.0)
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (717) 871-7337
Email: charlton.wolfgang@millersville.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

Gardner-Webb University

Boiling Springs, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

A private, Christian institution affiliated with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, Gardner-Webb University sits in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, a town of about 5,000 people located near Charlotte. The school serves about 4,500 students in bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, including an online master of arts in curriculum and instruction (K-12) with a concentration in academically/intellectually gifted education.

This five-semester master's in gifted and talented education online gives current classroom teachers an opportunity to advance in their careers and specialize in serving advanced students. Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA, and Gardner-Webb recommends they hold at least three years of teaching experience. Prospective students do not need to submit GRE or MAT scores for admission.

Students take 33 credits to complete the degree. Each six-credit course lasts one semester, and in their last three semesters, students also enroll in a one-credit practicum called teacher leader clinical experience seminar. Coursework includes philosophy, history, and methodology of curriculum and instruction for teacher leaders; leading differentiation strategies for diverse populations; and current issues and special topics for teacher leaders. The three practicums require 135 hours of experience in total.

Gardner-Webb's program does not lead to initial licensure, but it does qualify graduates to take the Praxis II exam to earn graduate-level licensure in curriculum and instruction.

Gardner-Webb holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online MA in Curriculum and Instruction (K-12)
Available Concentrations: Academically/intellectually gifted education
Tuition: $469/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE, MAT, or Praxis II
Work Experience: 3 years of teaching (recommended)

Contact
Phone: (704) 406-4406
Email: gradschool@gardner-webb.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, KY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

A regional, comprehensive university located in Richmond, Kentucky, a city of about 35,000 people in the state's central region, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) serves approximately 17,000 students in graduate and undergraduate programs, including 40-plus online options. EKU offers an online master of arts in education - gifted education for educators who want to help gifted students maximize their potential. Upon program completion, certified teachers can qualify for Kentucky Teacher Leader Endorsement.

Applicants need to hold a bachelor's degree with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, or 3.25 in their most recent 60 credits. They must also submit GRE or MAT scores, and possess a valid state-issued teaching certificate. Students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of their state of residence.

EKU's master's in gifted and talented education online requires 30 credits to complete, and applicants can transfer in up to nine credits. Students take 12 hours of core courses, 12 hours of courses in gifted education, one supporting course, and a teacher leader capstone. Courses include gifted and talented youth, curriculum in the gifted and talented education, model programs for gifted and talented education, and a practicum for gifted and talented education.

Each course lasts eight weeks during the fall and spring semesters, and six weeks during the summer semester. Students can add a certificate in a specialty area, such as special education, to the degree.

EKU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Program Overview
Program Name: Online MA in Education
Available Concentrations: Gifted education
Tuition: $510/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE or MAT (if GPA below 3.0)
Work Experience: Teaching certificate

Contact
Phone: (859) 622-8610
Email: john.hepner@eku.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

Cleveland State University

Cleveland, OH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43%

Located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland State University (CSU) serves more than 17,000 students as a public research institution affiliated with the Ohio State University System. CSU offers around 200 academic programs at the undergraduate, master's, doctoral, and professional levels. The school's master of education in gifted education serves students who wish to earn their degrees online.

Applicants to this master's in gifted and talented education online need a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, and must submit GRE or MAT scores. Prospective students with a degree from the last six years and a 2.75 GPA, a degree more than six years old and a 3.0 GPA, or 12-plus graduate credits with a "B" grade in each course do not have to submit standardized test scores.

CSU's 30-credit master's program includes an endorsement as an intervention specialist. Students who only want the endorsement, not the degree, can pursue it by taking 19 credits. Courses include creativity and productive inquiry; curriculum and instruction for gifted learners; and working with gifted learners, their parents, and other professionals. Learners also take a three-credit practicum and a two-credit action research project.

Graduates can identify and meet the needs of gifted learners, create challenging curricular programs for them, and improve test scores through best practices in gifted and talented education.

CSU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and programmatic accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.


Program Overview
Program Name: M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with Gifted and Talented Learners
Tuition: $556/credit
Credit requirements: 28

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum if graduated < 6 years ago; 3.0 minimum if graduated > 6 years ago
Standardized Tests: MAT or GRE (if GPA below minimum)

Contact
Phone: (216) 523-7296
Email: d.l.winkler@csuohio.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

For most online degree in gifted and talented education programs, core coursework requirements are similar but schools vary in quality, focus, and details. When evaluating potential schools, consider program length, licensing or certification requirements for the state in which you plan to teach, and specifics of the curriculum.

GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS

Educators learn about many approaches to educating advanced learners in the course of an online master's program. Gifted students often benefit from a combination of approaches. While there are differences in implementation depending on the needs of the students, here are a few of the ways they are typically classified:

Educational Options Description
Acceleration Accelerated students are advanced to a level that is a closer match to their abilities. It may take the form of "grade-skipping," partial acceleration through specific fields of study, or early college entrance programs. A popular and low-cost approach, it can benefit students socially by connecting them with academic peers on their academic level.
Compacting Instead of testing out of an entire grade level, students are pre-examined for proficiency and knowledge in specific areas, and allowed to skip units they have already mastered. This reduces boredom and permits advanced students to use the extra time for independent study or moving on to the next unit.
Ability grouping Small groups of high-proficiency learners are clustered in study groups for special lessons. This can involve pull-out programming for enrichment activities, or special class models grouped by ability rather than age. This connects students to role models with similar abilities, and places them in a learning environment that values high performance.
Independent Study Options for independent study include mentorships, online distance learning or correspondence courses, and selected in-depth readings or research topics. This can also be carried out within a classroom setting, and paired effectively with compacting or credit by examination. This approach permits proficient students to advance at their own pace.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER'S DEGREE IN GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATION

Online master's in gifted and talented education programs typically offer core classes in educational research methods, curriculum and instruction, and classroom assessment, followed by a gifted concentration and a field practicum. While courses vary from school to school, your curriculum is likely to include some of the following classes:

  • Introduction to Gifted Education: Provides an overview of the field, including social and philosophical foundations, definitions, history, identification methods, curriculum analysis, and assessment of characteristics and needs of gifted learners. Also covers theories of intelligence, and social justice issues as they relate to gifted and talented education. The course provides a career foundation for tutors and educational support personnel.
  • Classroom Assessment: Students focus on developing skills to measure dimensions of giftedness, including creativity, intelligence, and achievement. Topics include methods and instruments of assessment, procedures for making placement decisions, statistical interpretation of test results, social and ethical issues in testing, cultural and ethnic diversity, and monitoring the progress of advanced learners. Implications of effective assessment for professional development are also covered, preparing students for careers as curriculum specialists.
  • Collaborative Inclusion Strategies: Students learn strategies, concepts, and methods for effective consultation, communication, and collaboration in gifted and talented educational settings. Students develop respect for the needs of advanced learners through emphasis on understanding the role of cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity in identifying gifted youth. Suitable for students interested in classroom teaching roles.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER'S IN GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATION?

Most online master's in gifted and talented education programs require an average of 30 to 36 credits, and can be completed in 18 to 24 months. A sample program consists of 15 core credits and 15 credits in the gifted specialty (including a capstone). Courses are usually about seven weeks long, and students typically take two courses per 14-week semester. In addition to the master's degree, some programs offer a specialty endorsement in gifted and talented education online that can be completed in one year.

In traditional master's programs, students progress through courses individually, and change courses each semester. In the cohort model offered by many programs, students are engaged in a closely knit learning community throughout their studies and graduate together. The cohort model offers automatic non-competitive enrollment in classes, helps build strong bonds with fellow students, and offers support for completing program requirements in a timely fashion.

CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES A MASTER'S IN GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATION PREPARES FOR

  • Professional teaching license: All teachers who work in public schools must be state licensed. Requirements for professional licensing vary by state, but typically include a master's degree, a background check, supervised teaching experience, and completion of a teacher preparation program. Some states require a certification exam and a specialty exam in gifted education.
  • Administrator license: Administrator licenses are issued to master's degree holders who have completed an administration preparation program. The licensing process differs from state to state, but typically requires three years of experience as an educator, a licensing exam, and a background check. The license is valid for any career in elementary and secondary administration.

Accreditation is a process of peer review to ensure that institutions meet rigorous standards of quality. It provides a seal of approval to help students avoid "diploma mills" or other dubious institutions. Agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) handle regional accreditation. Schools with regional accreditation have met standards for their state. National accreditation is awarded to vocational, technical, and distance education institutions that have met standards of CHEA-approved agencies. These schools are often for-profit, or have religious affiliations, and the accreditation requirements are less standardized than those for regional accreditation. When choosing an online master's program, be sure to verify that it is accredited both regionally and by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). CAEP is the field-specific professional accrediting agency for educator preparation providers. Its mission is to ensure and advance equity and excellence in educator preparation accreditation.

To ensure that the organization accrediting an institution or program is reliable and worthy to provide the official stamp of approval, agencies need to "accredit the accreditors," a function that is handled by the DOE and the CHEA. The DOE, a government agency, facilitates equal access and promotes educational excellence and achievement. The CHEA is an association of degree-awarding schools that recognizes institutional accrediting organizations through its focus on quality assurance. The DOE and CHEA databases contain only recognized accreditors. You can find a list of all accredited schools on the DOE and CHEA websites.

MASTER'S IN GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATION CAREERS

Graduates who hold master's degrees in gifted and talented education may work within a wide variety of service settings. For example, many work in public or private elementary, junior high, or high school classrooms as teachers, program facilitators, or curriculum specialists. Others work in educational consulting agencies, contribute to textbooks, or specialize in professional development for gifted education. Educators with extensive leadership and classroom experience often move into administrative positions. To properly serve the needs of gifted students, professionals in the field must be critically reflective and able to make student-centered decisions. Below are examples of five career opportunities for educators with a master's degree.

  • Instructional coordinator: Instructional coordinators supervise school curriculum development and instructional standards with the goal of quality improvement. They often work in district headquarters alongside teachers and administrators to develop educational material and implement teaching strategies. A master's degree, a teaching or administrator license, and related experience are requirements for this professional role.
  • Special education teacher: In a gifted and talented educational setting, special education teachers adapt lessons to suit the needs of advanced learners, teaching subjects such as reading, writing, and math at advanced levels. They must be state licensed to teach in public schools, and may work in pullout settings or in special schools for the gifted.
  • High school teacher: High school teachers instruct students in 9th through 12th grades, helping them properly prepare for entry to colleges and jobs. With state licensure and a master's specializing in gifted and talented education, teachers may begin their work with advanced placement students, and may eventually move into administrative or program facilitation roles.
  • Middle school teacher: Middle school teachers students typically from the 6th through 8th grades, to help them properly prepare for the challenges of high school. All public school teachers are required to earn state licensure, and a master's in gifted and talented education may improve hiring prospects and open career paths into administration.
  • Elementary school teacher: Elementary school teachers instruct younger students, typically in kindergarten through 5th grades, in basic subjects such as math and reading to prepare them for future education. Teachers in public schools must hold a state-issued license, and those who earn a master's may move into positions in curriculum design or educational administration.

Salary and Growth Rate by Career

Position Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate
Instructional coordinator $62,460 7%
Special education teacher $57,910 6%
High school teacher $58,030 6%
Middle school teacher $56,720 6%
Elementary school teacher $55,490 6%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

JOB PLACEMENT

One of the advantages of a master's degree is an increased chance of being hired for the job you want. According to a recent report from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, job placement rates favor graduates with master's degrees in education. This is particularly true in special needs education, where master's degree holders are 2.5% more likely to be employed than college graduates with some work experience. The table below features data from the Georgetown report comparing unemployment rates for master's degree holders with those of experienced bachelor's degree holders for three concentrations in education.

Unemployment by degree type

Major Unemployment rates for experienced bachelor's degree holders Unemployment rates for master's degree holders
General education 4.1% 2.4%
Elementary education 3.4% 1.7%
Special needs education 4.5% 2.0%

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Students and graduates of online degree in gifted and talented education programs can take advantage of professional development and networking opportunities by joining membership organizations. Widely available members-only benefits include scholarships, continuing education webinars, and extensive career services such as job boards, coaching, resume writing, and reference checking. Conferences are usually held annually, and feature expert speakers. Some professional associations can connect students with mentors, or even offer access to legislative meetings for educational policy recommendations.

  • National Association for Gifted Children: NAGC supports those who enhance the growth and development of gifted and talented children. The organization offers an expert speakers program, a career center, access to webinars on demand, scholarships and awards, and an annual convention featuring over 300 sessions.
  • The Association for the Gifted: TAG, a division of the Council for Exceptional Children, helps parents and professionals work more effectively with gifted and talented youth. The association publishes a journal, offers discounted student memberships and insurance, and provides members with access to a career center and continuing education programs.
  • World Council for Gifted and Talented Children: WCGTC is a worldwide organization providing support and advocacy for gifted and talented children to ensure that they reach their potential. The organization offers a biennial world conference, awards and scholarships, a newsletter, job postings, a student research database, and members-only networking.

The first step toward qualifying for all federal financial aid is to complete the FAFSA form offered by the U.S. Department of Education. Grants, fellowships, federal and private loans, scholarships based on need or merit, and institutional financing plans may be available. Students who intend to teach at schools serving low-income students should consider grant programs such as Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education. The U.S. Department of Labor database is an excellent place to begin.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Master's in Gifted & Talented Education Programs for 2018
Ranking School Location
1 University of South Florida Tampa, FL
2 University of Georgia Athens, GA
3 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
4 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
5 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
6 Arkansas State University Jonesboro, AR
7 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
8 University of North Texas Denton, TX
9 University of Missouri-Columbia Columbia, MO
10 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC
11 University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO
12 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
13 Lamar University Beaumont, TX
14 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
15 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
16 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA
17 Eastern New Mexico University Portales, NM
18 Converse College Spartanburg, SC
19 Wichita State University Wichita, KS
20 Millersville University of Pennsylvania Millersville, PA
21 Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY
22 Regent University Virginia Beach, VA
23 Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY
24 Drury University Springfield, MO
25 Union College Barbourville, KY
Best Online Master's in Gifted & Talented Education Programs for 2017
Rank School Location
1 University of South Florida-Main Campus Tampa, FL
2 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
3 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC
4 Hope International University Fullerton, CA
5 Arkansas State University-Main Campus Jonesboro, AR