Gifted Learners in PreK-12 Education Certificate


The Gifted Education Certificate provides practicing teachers with the skills and knowledge to identify and meet the needs of highly able students from diverse backgrounds. This 12-credit course series is available completely online and can be started anytime—spring, summer, or fall.

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.

Program Overview

The Gifted Education Certificate is a stand-alone, graduate certificate designed for teachers of students in grades 1-12. It is a part-time program and available online for your convenience. Our intimate class sizes provide for collaborative thought exchange and meaningful discussions, and are taught by top-tier Curry School faculty.Candidates may begin the program starting in the spring, summer, or fall terms.

The Certificate constitutes 12 credits that can be applied towards the 30-credit Master's Degree in Education with a focus in Gifted Education if you wish to obtain your master's degree in the future. Due to graduate school limits on credit transfers, students who wish to apply certificate credits to the M.Ed. should apply to the M.Ed. program before taking their third certificate course.

Program and application details are below.

Program Details


  • Prerequisites and Admission Requirements

    Prerequisiteundergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution (or international equivalent) with an overall GPA of at least 3.00

    Any student who wishes to apply for the Gifted Learners in PreK-12 Education certificate must submit an online application (no TOEFL score reporting is required), two letters of recommendation, a statement of professional goals (1-2 pages), resume, and transcripts from prior post-secondary degree(s). Applicants may submit unofficial transcripts with their application; however, official transcripts are required prior to matriculation. The GRE is not required for admission.

    Applicants who wish to take courses for the add-on endorsement or for professional development must fill out the Non-Degree Student form at least a week before the start of the desired term (spring, summer, or fall). Early submission is recommended to secure spots in desired classes.

    It is possible to apply up to three (3) graduate credits toward a certificate, with advisor approval and provided the coursework is no older than five years at completion of the course of study. All other University of Virginia course work must be earned after admission to the certificate program. Students are responsible for knowing the requirements for admission to, and completion of, the Gifted Learners certificate and for contacting their advisor for planning.

    Writing Sample Directions

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be read and may be cancelled if left incomplete. Materials should be tracked using the checklist in the application.

  • Application Due Date

    ALL application materials, including test scores, transcripts, and recommendations, must be received by the deadlines below in order for an application to be considered complete.

    The deadlines for applying to the Gifted Learners in PreK-12 Education certificate program are:

    • Fall entry: Priority deadline -  April 15; Final deadline - June 1
    • Spring entry: Priority deadline - November 1; Final deadline - December 15
    • Summer entry: Priority deadline - March 15; Final deadline - April 15

    Decisions will be available 6 weeks after the deadline. Applicants will be assigned an advisor after they accept their offer of admission.

    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all required materials are submitted by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be read and may be cancelled if left incomplete. Materials should be tracked using the checklist in the application.

  • Degree Requirements

    Twelve (12) hours of course credits are required.

  • Funding Opportunities

    Discounted tuition is available for Virginia preK-12 educators. To receive the discount, educators must fill out a form. Districts enrolling cohorts of teachers may also receive a group discount.

  • Typical Length of Study

    Students may begin taking courses in either the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Enrollment is part-time.

  • Course Overview

    The Gifted Learners certificate consists of 12 hours of coursework in required gifted education areas. Upon completion of the program, candidates who have also completed at least one year of teaching or a 45-hour instructional teaching practicum can apply for the Commonwealth of Virginia's gifted education endorsement to be added to her/his teaching license. 

    All courses are conducted online and largely through discussion boards. Courses have set deadlines for assignments and begin and end according to set schedules, generally coinciding with the UVa academic calendar. Candidates should contact their advisors to ensure courses are taken in the correct sequence.

    Required Courses

    Course 1 - EDIS 7220: Intro to the Gifted

    Course 2 - EDIS 7250: Models and Strategies for Teaching the Gifted

    Course 3 - EDIS 7270: Differentiation of Instruction for Gifted Learners

    Course 4 – EDIS 7230: Curriculum for the Gifted and Talented

    • Sample Jobs After Graduation

      Many graduates become teachers of gifted students, coordinators of gifted education programs, or obtain administrative positions. 

      Endorsement Procedure:

      Upon completion of the program, and after at least one year of successful teaching or a 45-hour instructional teaching practicum with gifted learners, graduates can apply for the Commonwealth of Virginia's K-12 gifted learner endorsement to be added to her/his teaching license. 

      Candidates who have completed at least one year of full-time teaching must document their experience through a letter on division or school letterhead from a principal or gifted education supervisor. Candidates who have not completed at least one year of full-time teaching must finish a 45-hour instructional teaching practicum with gifted learners (not offered in the UVA online course series), which can be documented through a letter on division or school letterhead from a supervisor or administrator, who is endorsed in gifted education, recording the aforementioned practicum. In addition, graduates must also send a cover letter to VDOE requesting endorsement. If you have a UVA-supervised internship, please contact Rebecca Harrison at rsh6w@virginia.edu for details as to how to complete your application package to the VDOE.

    The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.