The University of Alabama’s College of Education offers courses, which lead to certification to teach the Gifted and Talented. This program includes students who are working towards a master’s degree in special education with an emphasis in the gifted and talented. It also consists of students who already hold a master’s degree and who are just working toward a certification in gifted and talented. Emphasis is placed on experiences that will lead to an understanding of the special nature and needs of students who are gifted and talented, application of a variety of instructional models, and differentiated educational programs.

Application Process

  1. Complete the Application Form.
  2. Pay the application fee. The application fee is $65 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $80 for international students. Please note that application fees are non-refundable. The application fee is waived for the following groups:
    • Veterans and current members of the US military (please email your DD 214 or current assignment orders to gradschool@ua.edu).
    • Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program students (please email gradschool@ua.edu for more details).
    • University of Alabama undergraduates applying to a graduate program in the same subject area. To qualify for this application fee waiver a student must have no time break between the undergraduate and graduate program and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or greater.
    • Applicants who have previously enrolled in Graduate School at The University of Alabama.
  3. Within 48 hours of completing steps 1 and 2 you will receive an email with your Campus Wide Identification (CWID) number. It is VERY important that you keep this number somewhere safe.
  4. Submit supporting documents and check application status by selecting Manage Documents.

Admission Requirements

An applicant whose credentials meet both of the following minimum requirements may be considered for admission:

  • GPA: The applicant must have a grade point average of 3.0 overall, 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours in a degree program, or 3.0 for a completed graduate degree program.
  • Admission Test Scores: The applicant must have a score on the appropriate admissions test (e.g. GRE, GMAT, MAT) that is acceptable for regular admission if required by the department or degree program to which the applicant is seeking admission.

An applicant may also be considered for admission if he or she meets EITHER the GPA requirement for admission (GPA of 3.0) OR the admissions test score requirement for admission (if required by the program). In situations where another part of the application is particularly strong, applicants may be considered for admission if both the GPA and admission test score are below the thresholds above. In cases where an admission test score or GPA are below the numbers stated above, permission to continue is granted at the end of the first 12 hours of graduate credit by earning a minimum GPA of 3.0.

  • Bachelor level teaching certificate;
  • A minimum of 300 on the combined verbal and quantitative sections of the revised GRE or a score no lower than 50th percentile on the MAT.
  • Applications accepted year round;

Program Requirements

  • MA Program of Study for Gifted Education
  • A Comprehensive Exam must be passed in order to receive certificate/degree.
  • The PRAXIS must be passed or receive certification in the field.
  • During the Graduate Orientation Module all students will be asked to create a portfolio and submit artifacts of prior teaching and/or scholarship related to the College of Education’s Dispositions in via by Watermark (formerly LiveText). via by Watermark (formerly LiveText) is a valuable technology tool that will provide you with a convenient means to document and assess your own efforts through enhanced organization and productivity; online collaboration; access to digital resources and course management tools; and creation of a personalized electronic portfolio. As you progress through the program you will receive multiple assessments of your work, especially your demonstration of the Dispositions, Clinical Experiences, and impact on student learning. During specific courses, you will be asked to submit related artifacts in these areas to your portfolio. In addition, at the end of your program, you will be asked to submit your entire portfolio with reflections to your departmental faculty as a condition of program completion. When you apply for your comprehensive examination, you will receive portfolio submission information.

Required Courses

  • SPE 581: Psychology of Gifted and Talented Children and Youth
  • SPE 582: Teaching the Gifted and Talented
  • SPE 583: Creative Problem Solving Seminar
  • SPE 584: Special Populations in Gifted Education
  • SPE 585: Teaching Thinking Skills: Integrating Programs
  • SPE 589: Internship in Gifted and Talented
  • SPE 589: Internship in Gifted and Talented (or 3 approved hours from a previous Class A master’s level certification program)
  • SPE 501: Diagnosis and Assessment of Exceptional Children and Youth
  • Foundations Course – approved by advisor


  • SPE 606: Topical Seminar in Special Education: Bibliotherapy for Exceptional Students – suggested course; other electives must be approved by advisor.

SPE 500: Introduction to Exceptional Children and Youth is required for those who have not taken a special education survey course. This course does not count towards the program’s 30 credit hours.