gifted and talented badge 01Gifted, Talented, and Creative students are a unique set of learners who tend to be sensitive, inquisitive, motivated, humorous, and intense. Teaching these types of learners is incredibly rewarding and comes with its fair share of unique challenges. In today’s diverse classroom teachers are faced with diverse learners who require differentiated individualized lesson plans that meet the needs of these curious learners. Imagination, creativity, drive, research, and integrity are at the heart of these top 10 Master’s degrees for gifted, talented, and creative learners. You will learn how to design curricula to meet the needs of your students, engage with technology so that it is a positive ally in your learning environments, communicate effectively to all staff and parents that make up the team who will ensure these learners succeed, assess and acknowledge the very specific gifts of children and youth. The outcome of these programs aim to fully prepare you to create a world of imagination in your classrooms. If you are passionate about meeting the needs of gifted learners, these programs are the most affordable, flexible, and highest ranked programs online.

  • Affordability (1/3): the estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour (if applicable).
  • Flexibility (1/3): the number of flexibility-enhancing program components, including generous transfer policies, intensives, accelerated courses, asynchronous courses, credit for prior learning/experience, and so forth.
  • Academic Prestige (1/3): the relative academic prestige, as measured by metrics such as average class size, the percentage of faculty with terminal degrees in their field, and so forth.

1. University of Nebraska

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The University of Nebraska is a public flagship research university that is ranked, according to U.S. News as the 111th best school in the nation. There are over 20,000 student enrolled in this top public school and the student-to-faculty ratio is 22:1. The Carnegie Foundations classifies the University of Nebraska as a “Doctoral University with the Highest Research Activity” The Higher Learning Commission accredits a bachelor’s through to doctoral degree programs as well as professional certifications. Their athletics program, known as the Cornhuskers is a member of the Big Ten Conference. Additionally, The Princeton Review lists the University of Nebraska as a “best value” public university.

The University of Nebraska made it to the top of our list because it ranks as one of the leading schools in our nation, offers this degree at a low cost, and provides comprehensive programming that equips you as an educator. The Masters of Arts in Education with an Emphasis in Gifted Education is offered for just $415 per credit hour and requires 36 credit hours for completion. In-state tuition is just $285 per credit hour! This fully online program is highly interactive and includes faculty and group discussion, forums, and chat groups. You’ll learn about educational research, curriculum development and design for gifted/talented learners and engage in a practicum in gifted/ talented. We like the focus on program design as well as the practical implication of educational philosophy. The total cost for tuition is $14,940.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $415

2. University of South Florida

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The University of South Florida is a public research university located in Tampa, Florida and is the fourth-largest university in the state of Florida. There are 42,067 students currently enrolled at USF where the student-to-faculty ratio is 24:1. The Commission on College of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits USF to offer bachelor’s to doctoral programs. U.S. News ranks USF as the 159th best school in the nation, 83rd best public school and 116th best engineering program for doctoral candidates and a top business program. The stated vision for USF is to remain a global research university that embraces scientific discovery, strengthens communities, and provides local and global integrated collaborative scholarship and artistry.

The University of South Florida presents a fantastic Master of Arts in Gifted Education that is relevant for students who are also teachers. This program focuses on 12 traits that represent giftedness outside of the area of IQ including: sensitivity, memory, imagination creativity, curiosity, motivation, humor, reasoning, insight, problem solving, intensity, communicative skills, and interest. The program teaches teachers to understand these characteristics of gifted and talented learners, places the learner in the shoes of the gifted individuals and enables students to consult with their families and teachers. We love this program for its thoughtful evidence-based approach, practical implementation and affordability as this degree costs just $347 per credit hour and requires 36 credit hours to complete the master’s level requirements.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $347

3. Grand Canyon University

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Grand Canyon University is a for-profit Christian research university that is based in Phoenix, Arizona. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer bachelor’s to doctoral degrees. There are eight colleges that offer academic programming in areas like business, education, nursing and health care, fine arts and production, theology, and doctoral studies. Online, Grand Canyon University offers an impressive number of degrees that range from the bachelor’s to doctoral level including a PhD in psychology among several others. There are also a large number of theology degrees offered completely online. We like Grand Canyon University for its accelerated online programming, and affordable flexible offerings.

We selected Grand Canyon University for its accelerated coursework and generous transfer allowance. Candidates may transfer upwards to 12 credit hours which is 1/3 of the programming offered and courses are just 6 weeks long. The cost for this program is $515 per credit hour and requires 32 credit hours for completion. The curriculum focuses on multicultural gifted education curriculum and development, brain-based learning, educational research, creativity and talent development, as well assessing and identifying gifted learners. We like that this program focuses on the unique minds of the learners and does non shy away from addressing social-emotional learning. Common career outcomes include elementary, junior high or high school gifted or AP teacher, program facilitator, curriculum specialist, and gifted programs coordinator. The total cost for tuition is $16,480.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $515

4. University of North Dakota

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The University of North Dakota is a public flagship institution located in Grand Forks- bordering Minnesota. There are nearly 15,000 students enrolled who represent 50 states and 85 countries. An average class size is still only 24 with a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1. UND has a space grant and has competitive programming in aerospace, environmental protection, a top aviation school, air traffic management, a highly ranked rural medicine program and more. According to U.S. News UND ranks highly as a national school and a top public school. Rodale Wellness lists as the fittest college in America .The athletics division is part of the Big Sky Conference with one of the top hockey teams in the nation. The Higher Learning Commission accredits programs from the bachelor’s to doctoral level and there are over 225 fields of study. We ranked UND highly due to its academic rigor, high rankings across programs and its affordable tuition rate.

We selected the University of North Dakota for its highly ranked programming and affordable tuition rates. UND offers an M.Ed or an MS in Special Education with an area of concentration in Gifted and Talented. This specialization are focuses on children with outstanding talents where the curriculum focuses on the characteristics, assessment, curricular development, methods and strategies used when instructing gifted and talented students all applied in a gifted and talented internship. According to UND the program focuses on the recognition and worth of all individuals, development and implementation of individualized creative programming for exceptional learners, and collaborative community efforts to improve outcomes for those individuals. This focused degree program is a minimum of 32 credit hours and costs just $410 per credit hour.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $410

5. Drury University

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Drury University is a small private university located in Springfield, Missouri. Originally known as Springfield College, this liberal arts school enrolls just over 1,500 students. The intimate setting means that students enjoy an extremely low student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. More than 70% of classes will have fewer than 20 students. According to U.S. News Drury University is ranked as the 11th best school in the region and the 18th best value school and in fact has won the number one slot for “great schools for great prices” five years in a row! The graduate programs focus on business, communication, education, and nonprofit and civic leadership. The school of education offers 7 fully online master’s degree in education. Distance learning is growing at Drury where the college of continuing and professional studies alone enrolls over 3,000 students. Drury University is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.

Drury University offers a M.Ed with an emphasis in gifted education for elementary and secondary teachers. We selected this program for its great price, and high quality educational opportunities. The cost is just $352 per credit hour and requires 36 credit hours for completion. The program is divided in two 18 credit parts— one half is the core material and the other half is the emphasis in gifted and talented. The curriculum addresses everything from social justice and diversity in education to digital literacy and includes a capstone seminar. The intensive practicum involves the application of skills and strategies in the gifted and talented setting. The summer is time for practicum as each year over 600 children from Pre-K to high school attend Drury’s residential and non-residential pre-college programs. This program is also unique for the state of Missouri as it is the only true college center for gifted education.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $352

6. Arkansas State University

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Arkansas State is a public research flagship university that enrolls 13,410 students. This research university requires its tenured professors to continually engage in research meaning that the students receive the latest in their field. The current student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1 and the average classroom size is 29. According to U.S. News Arkansas State University is the 59th best school in the region and 20th best public school. Additional accolades include a “best college for veterans” top business program as well as a top engineering program. Online, Arkansas State University offers everything from an A.A.S in emergency management to a M.B.A. In fact, there are 28 degrees and certificates now offered online through Arkansas State. Additionally, the tuition is the best of our top picks.

Arkansas State University offers an MSE in Gifted, Talented, and Creative completely online at a fantastic rate. We chose Arkansas State because the price is great, and the programming is world-class. This 30 credit hour degree costs $288 per credit hour and can be completed in as little as 18 months. Each class is 7 weeks long and the curriculum looks at identification nature and needs of the gifted and talented, education procedures and materials, current issues in gifted education, affective programming in the classroom, creativity, assessment, philosophies statistics and finishes with an internship and capstone experience. We like that this program includes creative thinkers in their language and the evidence-based practice and research that informs the curricular development. The total cost for tuition is just $8,640!

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $288

7. Lamar University

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Lamar University is a public doctoral/research university located in the Beaumont, Texas. There are nearly 15,000 students enrolled in both on-campus and online programs. Students enjoy smaller classroom sizes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits more than 100 programs of study that lead to a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. Lamar University offers our lowest price per credit hour. U.S. News ranks Lamar University highly for its business programs, and engineering programs. The school of education and human development offers a number of programs online including educational diagnostician certification, mental health counseling, and special education among several others. According to the university page, Lamar is internationally recognized for innovative, quality academics, diversity and accessibility. All reasons we selected Lamar University as one of our top 10 programs.

We selected Lamar University because this is our least expensive option, accelerated and flexible with three starting dates and a low-cost online application. The cost for this program is $275 per credit hour and requires 36 credit hours for completion. We also like the inclusion of community stakeholders ensuring that teachers are engaging effectively with not only student, but also collaborating with other teachers, faculty, parents and the community. The curriculum looks at foundations and issues in gifted education, curriculum design for the gifted and talented learners, practical leadership skills, school law, and many other relevant subjects. Each class is just 5 weeks in length and 3 credit hours in length. All students are exposed to research designed relevant to the educational setting. The total cost for tuition is just $9,900!

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $275

8. Arizona State University

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Arizona State University is a public research university that is a trail blazer when it comes to online education. U.S. News ranked Arizona State #1 for Most Innovative School above Stanford and MIT! Additionally, it ranks 61st for top public schools and 129th in the nation and among the best graduate schools in the nation. This public school is also filled with Fulbright scholars and Fulbright scholar student awards. The accolades are endless. We love ASU for it’s incredible Nobel prize winning faculty, great value, and endless flexible online opportunities. The online degrees are incredibly unique and include fields of study like anthropology, communication, global leadership, social policy, and geography just to name a few. A degree from Arizona State University also means qualified graduates according to The Wall Street Journal . We appreciate programs that truly prepare you for what to expect in the real world.

We selected Arizona State University because it is one of the leading schools in the nation and one of the best schools in the world for online education. The master of education in curriculum and instruction in gifted education prepares not only teachers but behavior analysts, school psychologists and family members to work effectively with their gifted learners. In addition to comprehensive high-quality programming, this degree is affordable at just $565 per credit hour and will be 12 credit hours without the master’s degree and at least 36 for the full degree. You will learn how to differentiate instruction to the individual, learn to advocate for you unique learners, assess specific needs, and create unique programs based on the needs of your school. The total cost of tuition is about $20,340 for this world-class degree.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $565

9. University of Cincinnati

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The University of Cincinnati is a public research university founded in 1819. There are currently over 36,000 students enrolled where 80% of the student body live off-campus. The Higher Learning Commission accredits UC to offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. U.S. News ranks the University of Cincinnati as the 135th best university in the nation and the 64th best public school. It also ranks highly for veterans. This research “heavy-weight” is awarded hundreds of millions of dollars annually to complete world-changing research. Currently, UC is working on issues related to biosafety, conflict management, veterinary care, and more. In 1906 UC invented the co-op system and is recognized world-wide for its “real world” educational practices as cooperative education connects students to professional experiences.

The University of Cincinnati offers a Master of Education in Educational Leadership for Gifted, Creative, and Talented students. This program made it to our top ten because of its high national ranking and flexibility in that it is delivered completely online. You will learn how to create an effective and rewarding classroom experience for your learners through course material like educational research, curriculum and instruction theories and trends, teaching and learning in diverse classrooms, creating learning environments for children and youth who are gifted, creative, or talented, assessing children and youth who are gifted creative and talented, advocacy and complete this program with 6 credits of practicum. This programs costs $539 per credit hour and is 33 credit hours. The total cost for tuition is $17,787.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $539

10. University of Georgia

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The University of Georgia a “Public Ivy” university known for its incredibly high academic standards, research opportunities, and innovative programming. U.S. News ranks the University of Georgia as the 56th best school in the nation, the 18th best public school and one of the best schools in the nation for veterans, accountants, business schools, real estate, insurance and research according to Carnegie . The UGA student-body is known for its tantamount philanthropic achievements, academic scholars, and active service in the community. Online, there are nearly 30 undergraduate, graduate and certification programs offered from the same fantastic faculty that teaches on-campus. On top of all that, UG is a high value school and has been listed as Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang for the Buck Colleges in the Southeast.”

The University of Georgia made it to our top 10 because of the high quality of this education. Though our most expensive pick, this is the highest ranking school in the roster. Offered through their college of education the M.Ed in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education is a world-class degree that bases its programming in the philosophy that giftedness and creativity are expressed in diverse way. The emphasis is then to tailor the education to the individual through research, instruction, and service. The minimum requirement for this degree is 37 hours of course work that culminates with a written exam. The program works in that it puts into practice the philosophical beliefs upon which it bases its curriculum. The fist year of study is the characteristics of gifted children and youth, assessment, a seminar, curriculum, and methodology while the subsequent years are tailed to your needs as each student works with an adviser to design programming. This program is absolutely comprehensive and focuses on diversity, social and emotional learning, creativity, and foundations of educational psychology. This is a 6 semester program from one of the best schools in the nation and will cost a total of $26,855.

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  • Estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour: $629