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.

Important Notice: This certificate program does not satisfy initial teaching licensure requirements. If you are seeking an initial teaching license, please read this article and learn how you can become a teacher in Virginia.


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 University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development 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.

    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.

  • 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; applications will be accepted on a space-available basis until July 1
    • Spring entry: November 1
    • Summer entry: Priority deadline - March 15; applications will be accepted on a space-available basis until May 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.

    Courses (requires 4 courses/12 credits): 


    EDIS 7220: Intro to the Gifted (Take as first course)

    EDIS 7250: Models and Strategies for Teaching the Gifted

    EDIS 5770: Social, Emotional, and Counseling Issues in Talent Development

    EDIS 7230: Curriculum for the Gifted and Talented

    *As of August 2019, if you intend to use the courses toward the VDOE add-on endorsement in addition to the UVA graduate certificate, you should take EDIS 7220, EDIS 5770, EDIS 7250 and EDIS 7230. In addition to the coursework, you will need to complete a 45 instructional hour teaching practicum with gifted learners + letter on division or school letterhead from a supervisor or administrator who is endorsed in gifted education, documenting this practicum, OR One year of successful full-time teaching + form(Report on Experience Form in the VDOE Teaching Licensure application) filled out by the appropriate school official  noting successful completion.

  • Steps for Adding the Endorsement

    Ready to add the VDOE endorsement to your teaching license? Review next steps here.

    Note that this applies only if you intend to apply for the VDOE add-on teaching endorsement. Please disregard if you are seeking only the UVA graduate certificate.

  • Sample Jobs After Graduation

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

  • Public Professional Licensure Disclosures

    As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement, the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)).

    Upon completion of the Master of Teaching program at the UVA School of Education and Human Development, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state. Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

    Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).

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