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Academic Program Guide

Visual Disabilities Education

College: Education
Degree: Combined BS/MS
Limited Access: Yes

Contact: Robert Birken or Frank Amidon
Address: 2301 Stone Bldg., FSU Tallahassee, FL 32306-4460
Phone: (850) 644-3760

Description of Major
The objective of the Visual Disabilities Education program is to prepare individuals to work with children who are blind or have low vision. Following graduation, the teacher may be employed in a variety of settings, such as a resource room or as an itinerant teacher in a public school, at a school for the blind, or at an agency serving children who have visual impairments. Most graduates find immediate employment in this field and lead satisfying professional lives facilitating the development of skills of children with visual impairments.

Upon graduation, students will earn both a both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Visual Disabilities Education and will be eligible for a Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate in Visual Impairment (K – 12). The Visual Disabilities Education program is a Florida state-approved initial teacher preparation program.

Combined BS/MS Degree Program Notice
The Visual Disabilities Education program is a combined BS/MS degree program. The BS/MS program requires two years of upper-division undergraduate coursework plus one additional year of graduate coursework. Admission to the graduate portion of the combined degree program requires a 3.00 upper-division undergraduate GPA and official GRE scores (Verbal: 146, Quantitative: 140, Writing: 3.0). Students must complete the Master's portion of the combined-degree program to receive the Bachelor's degree.

Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite Coursework: (3 hours)

Pre-Education Coursework: (3 Credit Hours)
The following coursework must be completed with a grade of C minus or better.
EDF X005 (3) Introduction to Education

Limited Access/Enrollment Notice
Visual Disabilities Education is a limited access/enrollment program and admission to the program is selective. *Meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not guarantee admission to the program.*

Admission to Educator Preparation
Admission to Educator Preparation is separate and distinct from admission to upper-division from lower-division or admission to the university as a transfer student. All prospective students for Visual Disabilities Education must apply for formal admission to Educator Preparation through the College of Education. The Educator Preparation application is available online at

Application Deadline
The Visual Disabilities Education program only accepts applications for the Fall semester. Educator Preparation applications are due April 1. All application materials including official transcripts and official FTCE General Knowledge Exam scores must be received by application deadline. The College of Education reserves the right to deny any application that is not complete by the application deadline.

Common Admission Requirements
All prospective students to Educator Preparation must meet the following minimum requirements for admission:

1. Complete 60 credit hours of college-level coursework.
2. Earn a 2.50 cumulative GPA in all attempted college coursework.
3. Complete FSU General Education curriculum or earn AA degree from a Florida public institution.
4. Complete a Natural Science Lab course with a C minus or better.
5. Complete Oral Communication Competency (Speech) requirement with a C minus or better.
6. Complete Computer Skills Competency requirement with a C minus or better (EME 2040 recommended).
7. Complete Diversity requirement with a C minus or better (EDF 2085 recommended).
8. Complete EDF 1005 - Introduction to Education with a C minus or better.
9. Earn passing scores on all four sections of the FTCE General Knowledge Exam.

Additional Requirements for Transfer Students
Transfer students must satisfy the university’s minimum requirements for admission including demonstration of satisfactory academic progress, college-level English and mathematics proficiency, and world language proficiency. See for details.

FTCE General Knowledge Exam
The FTCE General Knowledge Exam (GK Exam) is a state-mandated entrance exam for all Educator Preparation programs in the State of Florida. No student may be admitted to an Educator Preparation program without official passing scores on all four sections on the GK Exam. There are no exceptions to this policy. For more information on the GK Exam including test preparation resources please visit


Major Program of Study at FSU: (84 hours)

Undergraduate Coursework: (51 hours)
EEX 4770 (3) Study of Human Exceptionality
EVI 4011 (3) Introduction to Visual Disabilities
EVI 4110 (3) Assessment of Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4121 (3) Anatomy and Diseases of the Eye for Blindness Professionals
EVI 4211 (3) Literary Braille
EVI 4212 (3) Nemeth Code and Supporting Math Instruction for Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4220 (3) Introduction to Orientation and Mobility
EVI 4230 (3) Educational Management of Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4250 (3) Teaching Social and Career Skills to Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4254 (3) Teaching Independent Living Skills to Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4311 (3) Teaching Reading and Writing to Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4312 (3) Academic Modifications for Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4314 (3) Low Vision
EVI 4324 (3) Assistive Technology for Students with Visual Impairments in the Schools
EVI 4330 (3) Teaching Students with Visual Impairments and Other Disabilities
RED 4310 (3) Early Literacy Learning
TSL 4324 (3) ESOL Instruction in the Content Areas

Graduate Coursework: (33 hours)
EEX 5017 (3) Typical and Atypical Early Development
EEX 5708 (3) Teaming with Families, Schools, and Community
EEX 5xxx (3) Advanced Methods in Visual Impairment
EEX 8966 (0) Master's Comprehensive Exam
EVI 5131 (3) Teaching Individuals with Deaf/Blindness
EVI 5226 (3) Developmentally Appropriate Orientation and Mobility
EVI 5355 (3) Issues of Blindness in Society
EVI 5935 (3) Studies in Research on Individuals with Visual Impairment
EVI 5942 (12) Student Teaching in Visual Disabilities

University Wide Graduation Requirements

Computer Competency: (3 hours) Completed within General Education/elective coursework

Oral Communication Competency: (3 hours) Completed within General Education/elective coursework

Natural Science Lab: (1 hour) Completed within General Education/elective coursework

Scholarship-In-Practice: (3 hours) Completed within major coursework (TSL 4324)

Upper-Division Writing: (3 hours) Completed within major coursework (RED 4310)

Program Completion
All Educator Preparation candidates must demonstrate mastery of the Florida Department of Education Uniform Core Curriculum and positive dispositions prior to graduation. Upon admission to the program, students will receive a cohort specific Educator Preparation Handbook that outlines these requirements in detail. A copy of the current Educator Preparation Handbook is available online at

Minimum Program Requirements – Summary

Total Hours Required: 145
General Education: 36
Lower Division Elective Coursework: 15
Computer Skills: 3
Oral Communication Competency: 3
Natural Science Lab: 1
Pre-Education Coursework: 3
Undergraduate Major Coursework: 51
Graduate Major Coursework: 33

Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system. Academic progress is monitored each Fall and Spring semester to ensure that students are on course to earn their degree in a timely fashion. Transfer students must meet mapping guidelines to be accepted into their majors. You may view the map for this major at

1. A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000 level or above, 30 of which must be taken at this University.
2. All of the major course semester hours must be completed in residence at this University.
3. The final 30 hours must be completed in residence at this University.

Employment Information
Salary Information: National Association of Colleges and Employers, Occupational Outlook Handbook

Representative Job Titles: Resource Room Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, Itinerant Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, Transition Specialist for students with Visual Impairments, Preschool Specialist for Young Children with Visual Impairments, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Program Specialist, ESE Administrator, Agency Director, Principal, Superintendent of School for the Blind, Educational Diagnostician, Educational Consultant.

Representative Employers: School Boards, Rehabilitation Centers, Community Agencies, Governmental Agency Schools, Division of Blind Services, Private Residential Schools.

View Visual Disabilities Education Academic Map