Graduate School of Education - George Mason University
Graduate School of Education - George Mason University

Our Graduate School of Education is the alma mater for one third of teachers and administrators in Northern Virginia’s world-class school systems. Each year, more than 3,000 graduate students enroll in our innovative academic programs, which include advanced study for teachers and school leaders, instructional design and technology, and a renowned PhD in Education program that is among the largest in the country.

School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism - George Mason University

The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (SRHT) offers exciting, career-ready majors in dynamic fields such as athletic training, tourism and events management, health and physical education, kinesiology, sport management, and recreation management. SRHT features renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, six laboratories and centers, and a diverse student body of more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Each major requires one or more internship or clinical experiences, ensuring that students graduate not just with a transcript but with a resume that demonstrates their professional aptitude and skills.

The program provides strategies and tools that help students with visual impairments learn about the world, perform everyday activities, and participate in the general curriculum and other activities in school.

Special Education: Visual Impairments Licensure (PK-12) Graduate Certificate with MEd Option

This certificate offers the required coursework for Virginia PK-12 teacher licensure in Teaching Students with Visual Impairments.

Master's Option

Students who are completing the Master's in Special Education in conjunction with their licensure program will need to complete the following courses to meet the MEd course requirements. Click here for a chart showing overlap in coursework of the licensure certificate and MEd.

Delivery Format

Coursework is offered primarily online with a face-to-face weekend for hands-on training in orientation and mobility. Internships and field placements occur in the Northern Virginia area.

Tuition Assistance and Grant Funding

Visual Impairments Consortium: The Virginia Consortium prepares teachers to be highly skilled at working with students with visual impairment and blindness. The consortium is supported by a grant from the Virginia Department of Education. Every semester, a limited number of tuition stipends are awarded to qualified applicants.

Graduate Research Assistantships: Part time positions are available for students interested in providing research support to faculty.

Undergraduate Studies

The Visual Impairments coursework offers the skills and knowledge to teach students with blindness and visual impairments. The Bachelor’s in Special Education, PK-12 Blindness and Visual Impairments concentration, is a state-approved Virginia teacher licensure program and provides students with the coursework needed to submit for a full teaching Virginia license. Completing the minor partially fulfills requirements for teacher licensure in Virginia. Students can complete a minor in Visual Impairments, start their graduate program as a student in the Accelerated Master’s program, or just take a few classes to begin to explore the field as a career option.

Bachelor’s Requirements

Mason Core (37 credits)

Foundation Requirements:

  • Written Communication - ENGH 101 Composition is recommended course (3)
  • Oral Communication (3)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (3)
  • Information Technology and Computing (3)
    Exploration Requirements:
  • Arts (3)
  • Global Understanding (3)
  • Literature (3)
  • Natural Science (7)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (3)
  • Western Civilization/World History (3)
    Integration Requirement:
  • Written Communication - ENGH 302 Advanced Composition (3)
  • Writing Intensive (fulfilled by major requirements)
  • Synthesis/Capstone (fulfilled by major requirements)

Special Education Core Requirements (45 credits)

Concentration in Blindness and Visual Impairments PK-12 Licensure (BVI) (38 credits)

Electives (12 credits)

Select an additional 12 credits from any course.

Non-course Requirements

Total credits: 120

Minor Requirements

Total: 17 credits

Students may request permission to take additional Special Education graduate courses for undergraduate credit or for reserve graduate credit.

Accelerated Master’s

Qualified undergraduates may be admitted to a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's program and obtain either a BA or BS in any degree area and an MEd in Special Education within an accelerated time frame. The Accelerated Master’s program allows students to apply six credits, taken while an undergraduate, toward both their Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Additionally, students can take an additional six credits as reserve graduate credit in order to start their MEd program with twelve graduate credits already completed.

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A Critical Need for Visual Impairment Teachers

There is currently a nationwide shortage of trained professionals qualified to work with students with visual impairments. The Mason program prepares teachers to be highly skilled at working with students with visual impairment and blindness. Completion of the program meets Virginia Department of Education’s required competencies for teachers of students with vision impairments.