Gifted education

University of Missouri-Columbia
Master of education in special education
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Master of education

As an educator, you teach a variety of students — each with unique traits and strengths. Some individuals seem more curious, readily applying new information to solve problems or going beyond the assignment to learn more. Others impress you with artistic abilities exceeding grade-level expectations. Positioning you to identify and engage these students, the online master of education (M Ed) in special education with a specialization in gifted education program from the University of Missouri (Mizzou) equips you to design classrooms for this unique and diverse group of learners.

Courses focus on helping you guide and empower students with exceptional academic, creative and critical thinking abilities. In the process, you understand how to spot, cultivate and assess these learners and develop curriculum plans that both help them grow and hone their strengths.

The 23 hours of gifted courses in the master’s program meet Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirements for Missouri gifted education certification.

Top-ranked programs

Mizzou's online master's in education programs ranked among the nation's finest in U.S. News & World Report 2024.

Quick facts

Official name

Master of education in special education with an emphasis in gifted education


University of Missouri-Columbia

Program type

Master's degree

Academic home

College of Education & Human Development | Department of Special Education

Delivery mode

100% online


Higher Learning Commission, Teacher Education Accreditation Council

Credit hours


Estimated cost


*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

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Career prospects

Deepen your expertise as an educator to reach all learners while expanding your awareness of the instructional landscape.

Through the online master’s in gifted education, you commit to supporting this group of students during their educational journey and grow as a leader and curriculum developer in the process. As a result, completing the program not only fulfills DESE requirements for adding gifted education certification to your existing license but also shows your readiness for proposing and directing various enrichment programs at the K-12 level.

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting consistent demand for kindergarten and elementary to high school teachers through 2032, the online M Ed in gifted education adds to your credentials as a:

  • Career or technical education teacher
  • Instructional coordinator
  • Occupational therapist
  • Recreational therapist
  • School counselor
  • Special education teacher
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
Employment growth
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
median salary

About the online master’s in gifted education

Gifted and talented students span a broad range of characteristics. Some display outsized abilities in one subject — while others appear eager to investigate and question any concept that crosses their paths. Some might appear average academically but flourish in the art studio or school orchestra. Added to this, students from all backgrounds and abilities possess the drive, complex mindset or creative vision that positions them to thrive in a gifted and talented program, whether through supplementary instruction or after-school enrichment.

The online master’s in gifted education builds on your previous education and experience, preparing you to create dynamic, inclusive classrooms. In courses and a practicum assignment, you explore what gifted and talented students need from their schools. With this information, you learn to translate theories and research into more effective programs, curricula, interventions and assignments.

M Ed in gifted education students:

  • Learn to create interventions that identify and support academically and artistically gifted students
  • Explore the roles creativity and problem-solving play in the gifted and talented classroom
  • Understand how to advocate for and challenge all types of gifted learners, including neurodiverse students and those from traditionally underserved backgrounds
  • Prepare to conduct and apply research to develop gifted and talented programs
  • Grow their knowledge of learning theory and instructional strategies to specifically serve gifted and talented students
  • Discover how technology enhances the gifted and talented classroom

Program structure

The M Ed in gifted education requires 30 credit hours split between gifted education courses (15 credit hours) and core subjects (15 credit hours). Along with virtual, asynchronous classes, students apply their knowledge in a field experience, where they observe and assist a gifted and talented classroom or program.

Delivery of this program is 100 percent online; no campus visits are required.

Courses are semester-based. Students typically take one or two classes each semester and finish in two to three years.

Course work includes

Through both segments, prepare to explore:

  • How humans learn
  • Culturally responsive teaching practices
  • Special education research and its applications
  • Identifying and engaging gifted and talented students
  • Curriculum development and instructional methods for gifted and talented classrooms
  • Methods for designing and managing gifted and talented programs

Review all requirements for the online M Ed in gifted education.


100% online

Calendar system


Typical program length

2 or 3 years

Typical course load

1 or 2 classes each semester


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The College of Education and Human Development is a member of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the Department of Special Education