Certificate in Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment


UMass Boston’s Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) Certificate focuses on training professionals to effectively assess and provide needed services to students diagnosed with cortical/cerebral visual impairment. It’s designed for teachers of students with visual impairments, vision rehabilitation therapists, and orientation and mobility specialists who want to understand the visual brain, the brain-based causes and manifestations of CVI, current CVI-specific assessment methods, how to apply assessments for students with CVI, and how to apply current promising practices for the different manifestations of CVI.


Explore cutting-edge research, perspectives, and approaches to responding to the needs of students with CVI, and gain practical hands-on experience through fieldwork. Apply these skills to assist students with CVI — working directly with students, their families, school districts, medical professionals, and researchers.

More than half of TVI and O&M specialists’ caseloads now include students with a diagnosis of Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI). These brain-based visual impairments present quite differently than ocular based visual impairments and additional training specific to this type of visual impairment is critical to effectively assess and provide services to students with this diagnosis. New work and research is being done to look at the neurophysiology of CVI and how it impacts learning.

As a university, we want to make sure that professionals in the vision impairment community are provided with an inclusive training that considers all research, perspectives and approaches so that they can effectively and clearly respond to the needs of students with CVI, their families and school districts. UMass Boston’s Vision Studies Program will be collaborating with Perkins to share resources and to offer quality courses that lead to a graduate certificate in CVI skills, knowledge and proficiency.

The five courses, which include CVI specific content, will cover the essential components for vision professionals to more deeply understand the visual brain, the brain based causes and manifestations of CVI, the current CVI specific assessment methods, how to apply assessments for students with CVI, how to apply current promising practices for the different manifestations of CVI and how to effectively collaborate around CVI with medical professionals, researchers, parents and school team members.

Learn more about this program:

Click here for more information on the Certificate in Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment.


Please contact the program advisor for information on tuition and fees.


The Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment Certificate is fully accredited by ACVREP, Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals.

The University of Massachusetts is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).



Application Checklist

  • Online Application
  • Transcripts — Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. A 3.0 undergraduate GPA is required.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation — Emphasis should be on academic and professional references.
  • Test Scores: GRE, MAT, or MTEL — If you do not have a master’s degree, you will be required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), or Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL).
  • Statement of Interest and Intent (Required Writing Sample) — Submit a two-part essay:
    • Explain your reasons for wishing to pursue graduate studies (approximately 300 words).
    • Indicate your specific interest in Cortical/Cerebral Visual Impairment and discuss the type of work you would like to do in this field (at least 1,200 words).
    • This statement will be reviewed for both your overall message and your ability to write at the graduate level. Proofread your writing carefully; it is ranked according to its clarity, grammar, and syntax.
    • Personal Interview with Faculty Member — When the Office of Graduate Admissions has notified us of your completed application, we will contact qualified candidates to arrange an interview (either in person or via teleconference).
    • International Applicants Only — TOEFL Test Scores
Financial Aid: 

Availability of financial aid varies depending on matriculation and course status. Please check with your program manager or advisor to determine your eligibility. Generally, if you are matriculated in a degree program and are enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits each semester, you may qualify for financial aid. Please review our Financial Aid Checklist below.

  1. Fill out the FAFSA form at https://studentaid.gov. It is important to list the University of Massachusetts Boston school code number 002222.
  2. For more information or if you have further questions, please contact Financial Aid Services at 617.287.6300 or at finaid@umb.edu


For more information or if you have further questions, please contact Financial Aid Services at 617.287.6300 or at finaid@umb.edu.

Request Information

Laura Bozeman
Tuition Per Credit: 

Contact program manager for tuition and fees

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