Online Special Education:Gifted and Talented
Masters, Endorsement or Certificate

An Online Program (with short summer on-campus visits) for Teaching the Gifted, Talented and Creative

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Help gifted and talented students develop to their full potential and reach your own potential with an endorsement, certificate and/or a master’s degree focused on educating the gifted and talented. The curriculum for this program was developed through a collaborative effort of UNC faculty, colleagues from the public schools, and the Colorado Department of Education to specifically address the new standards for gifted and talented educators.

The online program options are

  • Master of Arts in Special Education: Gifted and Talented Emphasis with Gifted and Talented Specialist Endorsement (36 credits)
  • Special Education: Gifted and Talented endorsement-only option (24 credits)
  • Special Education: Gifted and Talented Certificate (12 credits)

Each of these online programs will next begin Fall term 2014 after 2-day Summer orientation that will be held on July 17 and 18, 2014.

Students enjoy the benefit of short on-campus experiences aligned with the UNC Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) for fifth through tenth grade learners who are gifted, talented and creative. There is a 2-day, on-campus orientation the summer prior to the program start; an optional on-campus field experience during the first summer of coursework; and the program culminates with students completing a 2 1/2 week practicum on campus teaching in the SEP.

Become Highly Effective in Teaching the Gifted, Talented and Creative

With the master's plus endorsement, endorsement-only and certificate options, our Gifted and Talented teaching program can serve both those with a bachelor's degree and teacher licensure, and those with a master's degree in education seeking the Gifted and Talented Endorsement. Graduates of the UNC Gifted and Talented graduate programs have a 98% 1st-try success rate on the state PLACE Endorsement exam.

Nationally Recognized in the Field of Gifted Education
The UNC Gifted and Talented master’s degree program received the status of “Nationally Recognized Program” from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) in conjunction with The Association for the Gifted (TAG) of the Council for Exceptional Children and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP, formerly NCATE). UNC’s gifted education program is currently the only program with that distinction in the western United States.

More Resources

We also encourage you to visit the Center for the Education & Study of Gifted, Talented, Creative Learners who develop and administer this program.

Contact the Program Coordinator

Special Ed: Gifted and Talented Programs Off-Campus Coordinator

Stuart Omdal
(970) 351-1674

Course of Study

Gifted and Talented Certificate

The certificate is 12 credit hours and is completed in 3 academic terms.

Gifted and Talented Specialist Endorsement-Only

The endorsement is 24 credit hours and is completed in 16 months (4 academic terms) plus one practicum the following Summer session at the UNC Summer Enrichment Program. The 24 endorsement credit hours also count toward the 36 credit hours completed by Master of Arts students.

Special Education Master of Arts: Gifted and Talented Emphasis with Endorsement

The MA degree is 36 credit hours and is completed in 2 years.

Courses and Requirements

* = Required for MA program only
# = Certificate Program Options

July 17 and 18, 2014: 2-day Orientation in Greeley, CO, during the Summer Enrichment Program.

  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1

EDSE 682 Foundations in Gifted Education (3 cr)

EDSE 686 Social and Emotional Needs of the Gifted & Talented (3)#

1-day (July) Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) Planning Preview

EDSE 683 Nature and Needs of Learners who are Gifted (3)#

EDSE 685 Curriculum for the Gifted & Talented (3)#

EDSE 687 Program Strategies and Services for the Gifted & Talented (3)#


EDSE 689 Creativity in Gifted Education (3)*#



SRM 600 Introduction to Graduate Research (3)*

Year 2

EDSE 688 Communication and Leadership in Gifted Education (3)

EDSE 690 Highest Levels of Learning for the Gifted & Talented (3)*

EDSE 691 Practicum in Teaching the Gifted & Talented (3) – The practicum is the culminating activity and is completed in July at the Summer Enrichment Program in Greeley, CO


EDSE 684 Identification and Assessment for the Gifted & Talented (3)

EDSE 691 Practicum in Teaching the Gifted & Talented (3)*

Admission Requirements and Transfer Credit

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, with a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of college credit.
  • If your G.P.A. in your last 60 hours is below 3.0 you must submit GRE results from within the last five years.
  • A teaching license (if you plan to use this degree to teach)

See the Get Started section for steps on how to begin the application process and submit your materials.

Eligibility by State

UNC has secured approval from almost every state, as required by new federal regulations, so that students are eligible to apply to online programs at UNC. However we are unable to accept applications at this time for our online programs from students residing in a few select states because their requirements, particularly application fees, for such approval are prohibitive. Please verify your Eligibility by State before applying.

Note: All international students residing outside of the United States are eligible to apply to our online programs. Students attending online while residing outside of the United States do not need student visas for admission.

Transferring Credit

Applicable graduate credit may be applied towards this academic program. In order for credits to be accepted toward a degree they must be graduate level credits, be approved by the Academic Advisor, and have a grade of A or B.  Once approved by the advisor, students must complete a Petition to Count Work in a Degree Program to have the credit approved by the Grad School.  Master’s degree students must complete a minimum of 24 credits at the University of Northern Colorado. All work counted in a degree program must be within five years for a master’s degree and six years for a specialist degree.  The time limit is calculated from the beginning of the first class transferred in and counted in the degree program.

Tuition, Financial Aid and Health Insurance


This program is offered through the UNC Office of Extended Studies, which means a flat per-credit tuition rate for all students in the program. There are no student fees.  Certain courses may carry specific course fees for additional services and materials.

Tuition rates are set each academic year (which begin each Fall semester). The tuition rate for the 2013-14 school year for this program is $456 per credit hour.

Financial Aid—Master of Arts Degree Students

Students who cannot pay for tuition alone are encouraged to apply for federal financial aid. Students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA priority filing date for each academic year (which begins each August) is March 1. Late submissions of the FAFSA are still accepted but may not be considered for the maximum amount of aid.

Master’s degree students require a minimum of 5 credits per academic term for financial aid eligibility. Full time enrollment is based on 9 credits.

To apply for federal financial aid assistance
Fill out the FAFSA form at

Extended Studies degree seeking students may contact Aimee Rogers in Financial Aid for more specific help at (970) 351-2502 or visit UNC Financial Aid website.

Students can also find information in the Guide to Federal Student Aid at

Financial Aid—Endorsement-only or Certificate

Endorsement-only program students (non-degree seeking) aren’t eligible for aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Details about the federal aid program are available at Your program coordinator may be aware of your eligibility for any discipline or campus-based aid if available.

Extended Studies students may contact Aimee Rogers in Financial Aid for more specific help at (970) 351-2502 or visit UNC Financial Aid website.
Students can also  find information in the Guide to Federal Student Aid at

Master of Arts—Student Health Insurance

The University of Northern Colorado offers a Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) to all degree-seeking students who enroll in courses on our main UNC Campus, an Extended Studies Center or Online.

Degree-seeking graduate students enrolled in 6 or more credit hours will automatically receive this benefit each term. SHIP premiums will appear on your semester bill. If you have comparable insurance coverage, and do not want to be charged for SHIP coverage, you must opt out of this plan each Fall via an online waiver process.

Please visit for more information about the insurance plan.

Get Started

The online program will next begin Fall term 2014 (after 2-day Summer orientation). Candidates for the 2014 online program should contact the program coordinator (info above) to express their interest in that program start.

  • Proof of your active teaching license (if you plan to use this degree to teach)
  • Two Official Transcripts from all accredited institutions attended since high school (except any UNC credits/degrees)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Goal and Philosophy Statement

Once you apply to the UNC Graduate School and your application packet is complete, admission to this program is a two-stage process. Your application will be reviewed by the graduate school then sent to the faculty/program for an admission decision. A completed application typically takes four to six weeks to process.

Take the Next Step—Begin the Application Process

Apply Now - Detailed Instructions from School of Special Education

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