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Blindness & Visual Impairments PK-12 Licensure, MEd in Special Education or Graduate Certificate

There is currently a nationwide shortage of and critical need for trained professionals qualified to work with students who are blind and visually impaired, making this an important and in-demand career option for educators.

This master's degree (or, for experienced educators, the graduate certificate option) provides teacher candidates with the tools they need to work with students who are blind and visually impaired, including those who have multiple disabilities and diverse learner characteristics. Candidates will gain skills and knowledge to support students in a variety of settings, including general and special education, and in the core content and Expanded Core Curriculum.

Depending on students' education and experience they can choose the 26-credit certificate for licensed teachers who hold a Master's degree, or the 47-credit MEd which provides coursework for those seeking initial Virginia licensure.

  • The 47-credit MEd in Special Education with concentration in PK-12 Blindness and Visual Impairments Licensure prepares students to work with blind and visually impaired individuals, including those who have multiple disabilities. Students learn to support individuals in both general and special education settings.
  • The 26-credit Graduate Certificate in Blindness and Visual Impairments PK-12 Licensure is intended for students who already hold a teaching license in the state of Virginia in either special education or general education, and may have already satisfied professional studies requirements.


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

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 seeking teacher licensure in Virginia.

Virginia Educator Discount: A 15% discount off the university’s approved tuition rate is available for qualifying in-state graduate students who are educators in Virginia.

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

Licensure Disclosure

George Mason University will verify completion of the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) state-approved preparation program at the graduate or undergraduate level. Such verification does not guarantee the issuance of a Virginia Collegiate Professional, Postgraduate Professional, or Pupil Personnel license from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is solely the student's responsibility to comply with all requirements for licensure by the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, a social security number is required for licensure.

This program has been identified by George Mason University as one that may lead to a career requiring professional licensure/certification. Federal regulations require George Mason to disclose information as to whether this program meets/does not meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification in your state, or whether such a determination has not been made. Please consult our Licensure Disclosure Tool for the disclosure statement specific to your desired state/program combination.