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  • Visual Disabilities- Graduate

    The overall mission of the Curriculum and Instruction Visual Disabilities program is to prepare highly qualified individuals who have a personal and professional commitment to improving the opportunities for individuals who are blind or who have low vision. As such, program graduates will have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide appropriate services to the diversity of individuals with visual impairments and their families in a variety of education and community settings.

    Access to opportunity is the foundation for instructing, supporting and providing services to individuals who are blind or who have low vision. Because people with visual impairments cannot incidentally access the environment with ease, they require direct experiences with, and specific instruction about, their world. Individuals with visual impairment require instructional techniques that are unlike the strategies needed by other populations of learners, with or without disabilities. The professional educator’s role is to provide meaningful experiential, hands-on activities in natural, flexible learning environments that promote access to opportunities for maximum independent functioning and ultimate inclusion as adults in society.


    Admission Requirementsexpand menu

    In order to meet minimum University admission requirements, applicants must have:

    • A bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA – An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution, with a minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA) in all coursework attempted while registered as an upper-division undergraduate student working towards a bachelor’s degree.
    • GRE test scores. Official test results are required from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). These scores are considered official only when they are sent directly to the Office of Admissions from the testing agency. Examinee copies are not considered official. Graduate Record Exam (GRE): http://www.ets.org/ – FSU Institution Code: 5219.

    M.S. and Ed.S. Applicant Target Scores:
    Verbal – 146+
    Quantitative – 140+

    Ph.D. Applicant Target Scores:
    Verbal – 151+
    Quantitative – 145+
    Writing – 3.5+

    The Educational Testing Service (ETS) do not retain scores longer than five years. If your test scores are older than five years, you may have to retake the test to have official scores sent directly to FSU from the testing agency. If you have the report that was mailed to your home address for older scores, then FSU will accept that report.

    • Passing FTCE scores (for applicants to the teacher certification track MS only): Must pass all sections of the General Knowledge (GK) portion of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE). Visit www.fl.nesinc.com for information on how to register for the General Knowledge exam.
    • Language proficiency test (international students only)– FSU accepts scores from TOEFL (minimum 80), IELTS (minimum 6.5) and MELAB (minimum 77).
    • Transcripts – Applicants must submit an official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college and/or university attended to the Office of Admissions. The address for submitting transcripts is:

    Florida State University
    Office of Admissions
    282 Champions Way
    P.O. Box 3062400
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400

    Applicants must upload the following REQUIRED supporting documents to the Admissions Application Portal:

    • Statement of purpose – should describe your purpose for pursuing a degree, qualifications and long-term career goals.
      • At least one (1) page for M.S. and Ed.S. applicants
      • At least two (2) pages for Ph.D. applicants
    • Letters of recommendation
      • Two (2) for M.S. and Ed.S. applicants
      • Three (3) Ph.D. applicants
    • One page resume/curriculum vitae
    • Writing Sample – it is acceptable to submit a paper used in another class, or one that was published.

    Application Deadlinesexpand menu

    Fall: July 1st

    Spring: November 1st

    Summer: March 1st

    Apply Now
    Apply Now- International Students

    Degree Requirementsexpand menu

    Scholarships & Aidexpand menu

    Students in the Visual Disabilities Education program may be eligible for grant support from the U.S. Department of Education. Eligible students can get half of the cost of in-state tuition covered, plus a stipend of $1000 per semester (undergraduates) or $2500 per semester (graduates).  Acceptance of these funds requires a commitment to work with students with visual impairments (ages birth to 22) in the United States. Please contact Dr. Sandy Lewis for more details.

    To learn more about other financial aid opportunities for College of Education students, please see Scholarships and Aid.

    Career Opportunitiesexpand menu

    Every year in Florida, jobs go unfilled and students go unserved because so few people know about this rewarding and satisfying field of education.

    Results from a recent study indicate that there is a need for 5,000 new Teachers of Children with Visual Impairments (TVIs) and a need for 10,000 new Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialists to work with children and adults with visual impairments across the U.S.

    These teachers and specialists help children and adults who are blind or who have low vision to achieve their educational goals and prepare for the future. They work with individuals with visual impairments and their parents, educators, rehabilitation centers, and community agencies.

    Admissions Contactexpand menu

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