Gifted Education

All students have gifts, but some have exceptional strengths. However, gifted students aren’t always identified and their abilities understood. As a Gifted Education teacher, you choose to become the person who elevates those strengths and helps these students reach their full potential. At the Curry School, your studies will focus on ways to recognize these students and develop strategies for working productively with them in a variety of settings. Also in this program, you will evaluate existing and new gifted education methodologies and services, as well as analyze and contribute to research in the field.

The Curry Impact

At the Curry School, we believe a strong foundational knowledge of the theories of learning, principles of development (human, child, and adolescent) and concepts from the fields of assessment and research form the basis for understanding exceptional learners. While the majority of our students in Master’s and Doctoral programs pursue a degree full time, many others working full time as teachers, counselors, administrators or specialists pursue their M.Ed. on a part-time basis either online or in-person. Others earn the online Gifted Education endorsement and add it to their teaching licenses.

The Gifted Education program at Curry has four key objectives:

  • Help students develop a deep understanding of the field of gifted education and gain competency in the techniques to advance the knowledge base of gifted education.
  • Enhance opportunities for students to develop their own strengths and pursue their specific career goals.
  • Strengthen and enhance students' leadership abilities in the field of gifted education.
  • Strengthen the program for all by admitting and graduating students from all racial, ethnic, gender and cultural backgrounds.

Our current research and service work is making a deep impact in the study of exceptional learners. These efforts focus on a broad spectrum of giftedness and talent, including investigation of specialized programming for gifted students in pull-out programming, as well as identifying and developing potential giftedness and talent in students from underrepresented groups.


Graduates with a degree or endorsement specializing in Gifted Education find meaningful, impactful employment as teachers of gifted students, gifted education coordinators, curriculum developers, textbook contributors and researchers in university-level Gifted Education programs.

Explore Our Degrees

Choosing the right degree within our program is important to ensuring that you achieve an outcome that supports your career goals. Let us help guide you through your choices.

  • Gifted Education Online Course Series

    The Gifted Education Online Course Series prepares you to better address the characteristics and needs of gifted children. Topics covered in this course include an overview of issues in the definition of giftedness, identification, curriculum, instructional strategies, program options, special populations, and evaluation. Please note that a mentor holding a valid license with an endorsement in Gifted Education must be assigned to the you as you seek this important endorsement.

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  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - Online

    With an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - Gifted Education focus, you will have a strong foundational knowledge of curriculum and instruction principles and the opportunity to explore educational assessment concepts. At the Curry School, we offer the convenience of earning your M.Ed. degree online part-time.

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  • Ph.D. in Education - Gifted Education

    The primary purpose of the Ph.D. in Education program is to prepare you to take a variety of positions in higher education settings, where you will produce scholarly works on Gifted Education as a research scholar, policy analyst or faculty member.

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  • Gifted Learners in PreK-12 Education Certificate

    This certificate prepares teachers and administrators to lead the development, implementation, and supervision of gifted education curriculum and programming that equitably serves talented learners. Candidates will build specialized knowledge, from shaping instructional strategies to creating research-based program options, that encourages gifted learners to reach their full potential.

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  • Ed.S. in Curriculum & Instruction

    The Ed.S. in Curriculum & Instruction is a terminal graduate degree designed for the professional educator offered full or part-time in Charlottesville and part-time online. The program offers an area of emphasis in Gifted Education. Graduates of this program often pursue teaching at district or college levels, community college teaching and administration, central district office supervisory positions and administrative positions.

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Curry Curriculum & Instruction Program by the Numbers

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