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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Special Education, Gifted (AGI)

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Master of Arts (M.A.)
CIP Code: 13.1004
College of Education (ED)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 36

Contact Information:
College of Education
Teaching and Learning Department (EDS)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue EDU105
Tampa FL  33620

Program Director or Coordinator:
Elizabeth Shaunessy
Phone: 813-974-7007


Faculty Search: Education Faculty List

Program Information

The Masters Program in Gifted Education (Plan I) provides advanced training for certified teachers to work with gifted and talented students and with other teachers on a consultant or collaborative basis. The courses for this program are offered through an on-line format, though some courses may be taken on campus. Emphasis is placed on developing specific skills in identification of gifted students; focusing on the characteristics and needs of special populations; assessing students cognitive and affective strengths; modifying educational programs to develop gifted students potential; and consulting with gifted students, their families, and teachers. This Program qualifies students for the State of Florida Endorsement in Gifted Education.

After admission to a program, the candidate and the department advisor together chart a program of study incorporating program requirements. Courses stress field based experiences. Students provide their own transportation to practicum sites in K-12 education settings. The practicum experience requires candidates to access assessment information about K-12 students in their school setting, including performance on individualized intelligence tests, achievement tests, and educational programs (EPs). Practicum coursework also requires candidates to conduct extended projects focused on the development and educational progress of K-12 gifted students. Employment in a K-12 classroom as a licensed educator is required to successfully complete program coursework. The Program also incorporates coursework in Instructional Technology, and Teacher Leadership. Electives lead to the completion of a graduate certificate in Teacher Leadership, Instructional Technology, or Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: February 15
Spring: October 15
Summer: February 15

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: February 15
Spring: September 15
Summer: January 15

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admission Requirements

For admission, all programs require earned degrees from regionally accredited institutions or an international equivalent.

Admissions requirements include:

  • An earned bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a regionally accredited college or university
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale as an upper division student in a baccalaureate degree or the following GRE preferred scores:
    • Verbal: 550 or Analytical Writing: 3.5
    • Quantitative: 520
  • Two letters of recommendation from administrators familiar with applicant's professional teaching experience that verify applicant's K-12 employment status
  • A written statement of intent to pursue degree in gifted education, including applicant's professional goals
  • Copy of professional teaching certificate (not a temporary certificate)
  • Evidence that applicant currently holds a teaching position in a K-12 setting
All materials should be forwarded to Easter Curry at or to Teaching and Learning, Gifted Education Admissions, EDU 105, Tampa, FL 33620.

International Students
Applicants whose native language is not English or who have not earned a degree in the United States must also submit TOEFL scores earned within two (2) years of the desired< term of entry. A minimum total score of 79 on the internet-based test, or 550 on the paper-based test, are required. Applications submitted with TOEFL scores that do not meet the minimum requirements will be denied. The TOEFL requirement may be waived if the applicant meets one of the following conditions:

  • The applicant's native language is English
  • Has scored 500 or higher on the GRE Verbal Test
  • Has earned a college degree at a U.S. institution of higher learning
  • Has earned a college degree from an institution whose language of instruction is English (must be noted on the transcript)
  • Has scored 6.5 on International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Admissions Status: Apply


Program Degree Requirements

Total Minimum Program Hours - 36 hours
Core requirements 9 hours minimum
Area of Study 18 hours minimum
Electives 9 hours minimum

Core Requirements - 9 hours
EDF 6481 Foundations of Educational Research      3
EDE 6486 3 Teacher Research for Student Learning

Instructional Technology: Any 1 of the following:
EME 6207 (3) Web Design
EME 6208 (3) Interactive Media
EME 7458 (3) Research in Distance Learning
EME 6053 (3) Internet in Education

Area of Study Requirements - 18 hours minimum
EGI 5051 (3) Nature and Needs of the Gifted
EGI 5307 (3) Theory and Development of Creativity
EGI 6232 (3) Advanced Educational Strategies for Teaching the Gifted
EGI 6415 (3) Seminar in Special Populations of the Gifted
EGI 6416 (3) Consultation, Counseling, and Guidance of the Gifted
EGI 6943 (3-6) Supervised Practicum in Gifted Education

Electives - 9 hours minimum
Teacher Leadership (9 hours):

  • EDE 6486 Teacher Research for Student Learning (3 hours);
  • EDE 6556 Coaching for Student Learning (3 hours);
  • EDE 6366 Professional Development for Student Learning (3 hours)
Instructional Technology (FL Digital/Virtual Educator, Distance Learning, or Web Design) (9 hours):
  • Florida Digital/Virtual Educator
    • EME 6053 Internet in Education (May be taken As Core Requirement) (3 hours)
    • EME 5403 Computers in Education (3) (Spr) (This course include 7 week internship at FLVS. The course number and title is under revision consideration) (3 hours)
    • EME6457 Distance Learning OR EME 7458 Research in Distance Learning (May be taken as core requirement) (3 hours)
    • And 1 of the following: EME 6055 Current Trends in Educational Technology, or EME 6208 Interactive Media (may be taken as core requirement) (3 hours)
  • Web Design:
    • EME 6215 Instructional Graphics (3 hours)
    • EME 6930 Web Programming 1 (3 hours)
    • 1 of the following: EME 6208 Interactive Media; EDF 6284 Problems in Instructional Design; or EME 6930 Web Programming 2 (3 hours)
  • Distance Education:
    • EME6053 Internet in Education (May be taken as core requirement) (3 hours)
    • EME6207 Web Design (May be taken as core requirement) (3 hours)
    • EME6457 Distance Learning OR EME 7458 Research in Distance Learning (May be taken as core requirement) (3 hours)

And choose 1 of the following:

  • EME6235* Technology Project Management (3 hours) OR
    • EME 7631* Research in Technology Project Management (3 hours)
      *Prerequisite: EDF 6284: Problems in Instructional Design for Computers (3 hours)


  • Autism Spectrum Disorders* (12 hours/requires only 3 hours of Supervised Practicum EGI 6943):
  • EEX 6234 - Identification and Assessment of Individuals with Low Incidence Disabilities (3 hours)
  • EED 6246 - Educating Students with Autism (3 hours)
  • EEX 6619 - Positive Behavior Support (3 hours)
  • EEX 6767 - Assistive Technology for Students with Low Incidence Disabilities in Special Education (3 hours)

Comprehensive Examination (Portfolio)
In lieu of a comprehensive examination, candidates will take the Praxis II Exam in Gifted Education and earn a score of 160/200 (80%) to pass. Candidates may take the exam after completing a minimum of 15 hours of coursework (EGI 5051, EGI 5307, EGI

College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


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Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

Use the list below to lookup graduate courses related to this program in the USF Course Inventory:

EEX6025, EDF6481, EEX6939, EEX6222, EGI5051, EGI5307, EGI6232, EGI6416, EGI6943,