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Master of Science in Education: Gifted Education

The Master of Science (MS) in Education with a concentration in Gifted Education is designed to prepare teachers and administrators for leadership roles in the field of gifted education with an emphasis on research and program development. The 33-credit program, based on the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) standards for teachers of gifted children, will provide graduate students with knowledge and skills in curriculum, instruction, program development, and assessment to meet the needs of academically talented students in school systems. The program is recognized by the Maryland State Department of Education as meeting the requirements for Gifted and Talented Specialist certification in Maryland.

The goals/learning objectives of the program are to prepare students who are able to:

  • Explain the foundations and theories of gifted education.
  • Use knowledge of development and characteristics of gifted students as learners to design appropriate curricula.
  • Recognize individual learning differences among diverse gifted learners when planning curricula.
  • Create learning environments that foster creativity, cultural understanding, and positive social interactions among diverse learners.
  • Use knowledge about the role of language and communication in talent development to help gifted learners succeed in school.
  • Use instructional strategies that are appropriate for gifted students from diverse backgrounds within inclusive classroom settings.
  • Use assessment techniques for placement and monitoring progress of gifted students.
  • Reflect on ethical and professional practices including their own attitudes, behaviors, and ways of communicating with diverse learners.
  • Collaborate effectively with families, other educators, and related service providers associated with gifted learners.
  • Use their knowledge of organizational theory and the needs of different groups in a pluralistic society to formulate organizational goals promoting evidence-based practices and challenging expectations for individuals with exceptional learning needs.
  • Develop procedures for continuous improvement management systems by using their understanding of the effects of cultural, social, and economic diversity, and the variations of individual development to inform their development of programs and services for individuals with exceptional learning needs.
  • Use educational research to improve instructional techniques, intervention strategies, and curricular materials.
  • Design and implement research activities to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional practices and to assess progress toward the organizational vision, mission, and goals of their programs.


885.501 The Gifted Learner
Students survey a historical overview of gifted education and examine research literature, intelligence theorists, and current practices used with gifted learners to gain perspective on the academic, social, and affective nature and manifestations of giftedness. Special needs populations are examined for unique characteristics and needs to further support the premise of a diverse gifted audience. Emphasis will be placed on gifted learning characteristics as they inform identification, planning, and support strategies. Participants explore the potential role they play in working with gifted youth, alternate placement opportunities, and the identification process through case studies.
885.505 Creativity and Critical Thinking
Participants examine the psychological and educational aspects of creative thinking. Participants review studies of the characteristics of creative children and adults, the creative process, and the identification of potentially creative children and adolescents. The course introduces teaching strategies and curriculum materials for fostering creative behavior in all subjects at both the elementary and secondary school levels. Participants will review studies of creative people and teaching strategies that foster creative behavior. Strategies for teaching higher level critical and creative thinking will be explored and practiced. (3 Credits)
885.510 Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction for Gifted Learners
Students explore the various approaches to differentiating curriculum, instruction, and assessment for gifted students. Strategies and techniques that are supported by research and best practice are discussed and analyzed. Comparisons of existing programs, theories, concepts, and ideas related to instructional programs for gifted students are encouraged. Students design interventions for translating theories about gifted education into practice in their personal workplaces.
885.512 The Gifted/ Learning Disabled Learner
Participants review recent research-based findings into identification and programming for the gifted child with learning disabilities. Participants consider appropriate strategies and teaching techniques for the remediation of difficulties, as well as the development of enriched content and accelerated and innovative approaches for maximization of potential in areas of giftedness.
885.604 Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted
Participants will examine the unique social and emotional needs of gifted and talented learners and their families. Primary emphasis will be on consultation, guidance and counseling strategies for use with diverse gifted learners including those from special populations.
885.515 Program Development and Assessment in Gifted Education
Students will consider all the parts of a successful system-wide program for gifted and talented students. Emphasis will be on finding and serving diverse populations, using various assessment methods to identify and place students in a gifted program, monitor progress, and measure value added for students.(3 credits)
885.516 Action Research in Gifted Education
Students explore the role of the educator as an action researcher, with special emphasis on formulating and refining research questions as well as on selecting appropriate methodologies for classroom or school-based research. Students review research as a tool for assessing and improving teaching/learning environments. (3 credits)
885.820 Practicum in Gifted Education
Students participate in a supervised practicum experience in an educational setting under the direction of the faculty. Individual assessment sessions are held. Students must receive written approval at least two months prior to registration.
885.519 Seminar in Gifted Education
Students will explore current issues in gifted education at the local and national levels, including ways to advocate for Gifted and Talented programs and services, how to find and use current research and the roles of a leader in the field. (3 credits)

 In addition, students must take two 3-credit elective courses.

Admissions Requirements

  • Completion of online application
  • Submission of application fee
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (Cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or better)
  • Essay
  • A current resume or CV
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Selected applicants who meet the entrance requirements may be invited to interview

For more information on the application process, please view the SOE Admissions page.

Note: Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Education: Gifted Education program may not simultaneously enroll in, nor are they eligible to earn, the Graduate Certificate in Gifted Education.


Contact Us

Master of Science in Education: Gifted Education
Faculty Contact
Jonathan Plucker

Graduate Certificate in Gifted Education
Faculty Contact

Keri Guilbault

Academic Coordinator
Kyuanna Napper
(410) 516-5747