Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments

General TVI Program Information

The Vision Studies program at University of Massachusetts Boston is the only academic center for preparing Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments in New England. The university is seeking graduate applicants in each of the six New England states, and is particularly interested in expanding enrollment of students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds as well as students with disabilities.

The UMass Vision Studies program in TVI has grant funding to address a national and regional shortage of teachers and related service professionals with specialized knowledge in visual impairments. Students meeting admission and grant scholarship requirements may be eligible for tuition support.

The UMass Boston TVI program uses a combination of web-based courses and pre-practicum field-based activities which allow students to build a portfolio of professional skills and experiences.

The M.Ed. degree program in Vision Studies: Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments track accepts students to begin in the summer. The application deadline is March 1 and all parts of the application must be submitted to Graduate Admissions by that date. The University of Massachusetts Boston is fully accredited by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the Masters in Vision Studies: Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments track.

Our programs are designed to meet the MA requirements for licensure.  However, we cannot confirm that the courses or program meets the licensure or certification requirements of the state where you reside.  Please contact the Department of Education for your state to determine whether the course or program meets the state licensure or certification requirements.

MTEL Information

Students who are accepted into the TVI program will need to pass three MTEL tests before they begin their practicum. These three tests are

  • Communication and Literacy
  • Foundations of Reading
  • General Curriculum
    • Math and
    • Multi-Subject

More information about the MTELs can be found at http://www.mtel.nesinc.com/Home.aspx 

Important notice about Braille Requirement

The final exam for each Braille course requires students in the UMass Boston Vision Studies: TVI program to be able to read unaltered, embossed Braille (visually or tactually) in order to finish the two required Braille courses and the Braille Proficiency Test.

In order to enroll for Practicum, each student is required to pass the Braille Proficiency Test. This test of the Unified English Braille code includes two sections: transcription (print to Braille) and interlining (Braille to print).

Note: Students in the Vision Studies Program must earn a B- or better in each vision core course on their program of study. Students who earn a C+ or below must repeat the course at their own expense and pay any associated fees.


Federal tuition scholarships may be available for qualifying students pursuing a master’s degree but alternate sources for tuition or financial aid are encouraged. 

For more information about federal tuition scholarships, contact the Program Coordinator, Tammy Reisman.

UMass Boston Graduate Financial Aid https://finaid.umb.edu/graduate-student-aid