Jun 15, 2024  
Graduate Record 2018-2019 
Graduate Record 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Gifted Education (PhD)

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Doctor of Philosophy in Education - Gifted Education

The study of gifted and talented individuals offered through the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, is a program area specialty within the department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education. A strong foundational knowledge of principles of development (human, child, and/or adolescent), and concepts from the fields of assessment and research form the basis for understanding these exceptional learners.

The primary purpose of the Ph.D. program is to prepare highly qualified scholar-researchers who will be able to take a variety of positions in higher education settings (both public and private). Graduates will be well prepared for employment as research scholars, policy analysts, and faculty members in higher education programs where the emphasis is on the production of scholarship, rather than application to practice.

Core Requirements

The Ph.D. program in gifted education requires a minimum of 72 credits including regular coursework, research mentorship credits, and credits related to the dissertation research study. Required courses include 6 credit hours of foundational courses related to development and assessment; a 3-hour departmental requirement on reading the research, 24 credit hours in core courses of the field of gifted education which include 12 credit hours in advanced seminars in the field of gifted education; 21 credit hours in research core courses; up to 6 credits of gifted education and/or general electives depending on courses taken at the master’s level; and 12 or more credits associated with research mentorship and dissertation study work. Students may enroll and up to 3 credits of research apprenticeship per semester, but does not include internship and dissertation credits. Students must complete at least 54 credits of coursework which includes content courses and research methodology courses, and up to 3 credits of research apprenticeship per semester. Internship and dissertation credit does not count toward the 54. At least 36 course and apprenticeship credits must be completed after admission to the program. Students can apply up to 12 credits of dissertation work towards the total of 72.

Possible Core Courses

  • EDIS 8170      Advanced Seminar on Creativity (3 credits)
  • EDIS 8180      Advanced Seminar on Curriculum  (3 credits)
  • EDLF 7390      Differentiated Instruction (3 credits)
  • EDIS 8200      Issues in Gifted Education (3 credits)
  • EDIS 8855      Education and Diversity (3 credits)
  • EDIS 8210:     Advanced Seminar on Special Populations of Gifted Students (3 credits)

Research Requirements

A minimum of 24 semester hours of core coursework is required. Required research courses:

  • EDIS 7852      Reading the Research (3 credits)
  • EDLF 7300      Foundations of Educational Research (3 credits)
  • EDLF 5330      Descriptive and Inferential Statistics: Stat I (3 credits)
  • EDLF 7404      Qualitative Analysis (3 credits)
  • EDLF 7420      Experimental Design & Statistical Analyis: Stat II (3 credits)

Other Requirements

Research mentorship

A minimum of 12 semester hours of research mentorship must be completed.

Preliminary Examination

Completed after the first year of full-time coursework.

Qualifying paper/Comprehensive Examination

Completed after the second year of full-time coursework.


A minimum of 12 credits hours must be completed.

Culminating Experience

Ph.D. students in Gifted Education must successful design, implement and defend the dissertation project in accordance with the Curry Dissertation manual.