Samford University’s Master of Science in Education (M.S.E.) in Gifted Education is designed for teachers who feel called to teach gifted and talented students or plan to work with students, their families, and teachers as a certified gifted specialist for grades P-12. Samford’s M.S.E. in Gifted Education has been awarded National Recognition of Specialized Professional Associations through CAEP, the accrediting body for university schools of education. This program is the only graduate program in Alabama that has received this prestigious approval.

Gifted specialists understand the uniqueness and the characteristics of gifted learners. Our program graduates are prepared to develop appropriate learning opportunities that aid gifted students in reaching their full potential.

The program is delivered in a blended format, ideal for educators working full-time. Blended courses offer the same quality education as students receive in a face-to-face classroom, including strong relationships with classmates and faculty, small class sizes and a blend of theoretical concepts with practical, hands-on experiences. Courses are delivered by award-winning faculty who are invested in preparing the next generation of teacher leaders.

The program was developed to help certified teachers continue their education, take on leadership roles, and conduct powerful practitioner research that has the ability to have a direct impact on their practice and the practice of others.

I thank Dr. Patti Wood and the Samford Gifted Education program for an incredible career working with gifted and talented youth. What I learned in the program helped me in my teaching and leadership roles. Everything could be immediately applied to the classroom and many of the projects I created during the program were ones I used throughout my teaching career to engage students.Dylan Ferniany `09

Objectives and Curriculum

The M.S.E. in Gifted Education is designed for those who have completed a bachelor’s degree in elementary, secondary or special education but desire to gain knowledge and understanding of pedagogical concepts to meet the needs of gifted students in the P-12 classroom.

The program can be completed in just 18 months through a blended delivery format. Candidates are expected to attend an on-campus orientation at the beginning of the program at which time a program overview, introduction to the online learning management system and course expectations will be presented. During each of the courses in the gifted teaching field, there will be both on-campus and online (virtual) class meetings. Accommodations may be made for individuals who are unable to attend on-campus class meetings. At the end of the program, all candidates are expected to attend the on-campus class meeting for presentations of their portfolios and program debriefing.

The Gifted Education Program at Samford University includes the following:

  • A blend of theoretical concepts with practical hands-on experience
  • A focus on the nature and needs of gifted, talented, creative learners in order to meet their educational, social emotional, creative and critical thinking needs
  • A strong practicum component, operating under the direction of university faculty
  • On-campus and online instruction that features content delivery based on gifted education pedagogy

The curriculum requirement for the program is 30 credit hours. Students must have a 3.25 or higher cumulative GPA at Orlean Beeson School of Education to graduate. Please view our full list of completion requirements.

For more information about the graduate courses and electives offered at Orlean Beeson School of Education, please visit the Orlean Beeson School of Education section of the Samford University Catalog.



Application Deadlines

Fall term: July 15
Spring/Jan term: November 15
Summer term: May 15

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the gifted education master’s program you must:

  • Possess a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Hold a Class B teaching certificate in Early Childhood/Elementary, Elementary, Secondary or Special Education

For an application to be considered complete, we must receive all of the following*:

  • Online application for admission. Please be sure to list your personal e-mail address on the application.
  • $35 Application Fee. This non-refundable fee is payable by credit card and is waived for Samford alumni, and current Samford students, faculty or staff.
  • Official Transcript showing bachelor’s degree. Transcripts are considered official only when they bear the issuing institution’s seal and arrive with the seal intact. Transcripts can be sent electronically to or by mail.
  • Official GRE or MAT Scores. Applicants should request for GRE or MAT scores to be sent to Samford University from the testing agency. Waived if applicant has already completed a graduate degree from an accredited university.
  • Writing Sample: highlight one problem facing education today.
  • Dispositions form filled out by current supervisor. May not be the same contact as the letter of recommendation.
  • Interview with program director.

To check the status of application items, you may login to your application account and view the list of application items received.

Apply Now

Is This Program for Me?

If you have a desire to help gifted and talented students reach their full potential, this program is for you. This program will help you enhance your skills and your career. As gifted educators, we believe it is our responsibility to find the unique gifts of talented students and give them the opportunities they need to thrive. By completing the program, you will become well-versed in the theories, research and strategies that best serve gifted students.

If you have a Class B teaching license in elementary, secondary or special education but desire advanced knowledge in gifted education, you could be a candidate for the master’s in gifted education program.

I entered Samford’s gifted education program at a time when I need a spark to re-energize my twenty-five year education career. The gifted program was exactly what I needed. I obtained a new world of concepts, strategies and techniques that helped me to understand exactly what my gifted students needed. I came away from the program not only with a new credential but with the tools and skills necessary to empower and instruct my gifted students. Every day I use something I learned, and I continue to feel the camaraderie and support I found in the program!Amy Hill `17

Career Opportunities

  • Gifted Education Specialist

Tuition, Scholarships and Financial Aid


Please visit our Tuition and Fees page for more information, or contact the Graduate Admissions Coordinator.


Orlean Beeson School of Education is proud to award graduate students in its master's, certificate, and specialist program a scholarship. Graduate students do not need to apply for this scholarship as it is automatically applied. The school will continue providing a scholarship until coursework is complete. Any additional scholarships are the responsibility of the applicant to secure.

Financial Aid

A financial assistance program administered by Samford One Stop has been established to aid students in attending Samford University.

Education students have the ability to utilize Stafford Loans and Grad PLUS Loans. As an education student, a FAFSA is required to receive either of these loans.

To learn more about financial aid options, please visit the Samford One Stop or call 205-726-2905.

Certificate in Gifted Education

Candidates currently holding a master of science degree in a teaching field from an accredited college/university and Class A certification in an education field from the Alabama State Department of Education may be eligible for the 18-hour certification program rather than the full degree program. Upon a successful completion of six prescribed courses (18 semester hours) the candidate will be eligible for the Class A Certificate in Gifted Education.

Admission Requirements

  • Application
  • Application fee of $35 made payable to Samford University (waived for all Samford alumni)
  • Essay
  • Official transcript showing bachelor’s degree and master’s degree
  • Class A teaching certificate, any field
  • Dispositions form filled out by current supervisor
  • Interview with program director

Plan of Study


Nature and Needs of the Gifted Learner

Jan Term

Current Issues in Gifted Education


Differentiating Instruction and Teaching Gifted in the Regular Classroom

Summer I

Curriculum Materials/Methods for the Gifted

Summer II

Developing Creative/Critical Thinking Skills

Fall or Spring

Practicum in Gifted