Graduate Degree Requirements
Students are responsible for knowing all policies and procedures contained in this catalog and those procedures and requirements specific to the program of study. (Student handbooks are available in most academic departments.) Requirements for degrees above the master's level are listed with individual program descriptions.
A graduate degree is conferred primarily on the basis of the quality and scope of the candidate's knowledge and demonstration of competence in the chosen field of study.
Students must complete a minimum number of credit hours of graduate work (as described in program listings) with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Transfer Credit Policy
Transfer Credit Limits
Each course that a student seeks to transfer must be reported on an official transcript from an accredited institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA), and in each course the student must have earned a grade of "B" or higher. Although the student may request transfer credit into his/her Gallaudet graduate program, the program has the sole authority to accept transfer credits ranging from zero credits up to the maximum credit hours identified below.
- For graduate programs with credit hour requirements totaling 30 to 45 credits, a maximum of 9 credits may be considered for transfer credit.
- For graduate programs with credit hour requirements totaling 46 to 60 credit hours, a maximum of 12 credits may be considered for transfer.
- For graduate programs with credit hour requirements totaling 61 to 75 credit hours, a maximum of 15 credits may be considered for transfer.
- For graduate programs with credit hour requirements in excess of 75 credit hours, a maximum of 18 credits may be considered for transfer.
- For students entering a Gallaudet doctoral program with a Master's degree from an accredited college or university, the doctoral program coordinator has the authority to accept all credits that were earned as part of the Master's degree for transfer.
Applicants must make a formal request for the transfer of specific courses from other colleges and universities into their Gallaudet program. The request to transfer credit must be made using the Transfer Credit form by the end of the student's third semester in a graduate program. The transfer request must be approved by the program coordinator and the department chair. Any exception to the specified limits must be considered and approved by the Graduate Dean.
Transfer of Credits During Matriculation as a Gallaudet Student
Occasionally, students must take graduate-level courses at other institutions as part of their studies at Gallaudet University. These courses may be taken in the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area or at another accredited college or university. These credits will be transferred into a student's graduate program at Gallaudet and do not count against the transfer credit limits identified above. Courses taken at other colleges or universities that are not required by a Gallaudet graduate program may not be transferred into a Gallaudet program.
In order to transfer courses taken at another accredited college or university into a Gallaudet graduate program, transfer credits must have been earned no later than five years prior to the student's start or entrance date into his/her respective Gallaudet graduate program.
Transfer Credits and GPA Calculations
With the exception of courses taken in the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, grades for courses transferred for credit are neither recorded nor used in computing a student's grade-point average.
Students must also successfully complete the examination requirements of the program of study. All requirements for the master's degree must be met within five years from the date of matriculation in the program of study. The time limits of doctoral programs vary. Consult program chairs for details.
Degree candidacy is the benchmark by which departmental decisions are made regarding a student's continuation in a degree program. Acceptance into a graduate program does not imply admission to degree candidacy. Each program specifies the conditions to be met for advancement to candidacy.
Typically these conditions must be met before the end of the first year of study. Students who have met these conditions must file an Application for Degree Candidacy with the dean of the Graduate School. Although advancement to candidacy is not a guarantee of a degree, it does indicate that the student is considered capable of meeting degree requirements.
Graduate students must meet the following graduate program minimal degree requirements:
Progress Toward a Graduate Degree
- Residency: Every graduate program must involve at least the equivalent of two semesters of on-site study, unless a specific exemption is granted by the Council on Graduate Education for an experimental program.
- GPS 700 Culture and Language Seminar (1): Beginning with fall 2010, GPS 700 Culture and Language Seminar is required for all incoming graduate students (with the exception of summers-only and online students) in their first fall semester at Gallaudet. The seminar was designed to prepare graduate students to understand the unique cultural and linguistic environment at Gallaudet University. Throughout the seminar, students will engage in discussions of major cultural issues in the lives of deaf individuals and their communities. Having the opportunity to explore these issues with other graduate students and faculty will deepen students' appreciation of the rich personal and academic experiences that can only be found at Gallaudet University.
- Candidacy examinations: Each program must have some form of candidacy examination, occurring near the end of the second semester of full-time study (or equivalent). The extent and nature of this exam will be determined by the department, but it must involve some active participation by the student (i.e., not solely a faculty review of past performance).
- Candidacy: After completion of two semesters of coursework (or the equivalent) and the candidacy examination, the student may petition for candidacy. The petition is reviewed and approved by the student's advisor and department chair, and by the dean of the Graduate School. Advancement to candidacy implies that in the judgment of faculty and administration, the student has demonstrated the capability to complete the degree being sought. It further implies that the institution will make a good faith effort to see the student through to successful degree completion.
- Comprehensive examination: This is required for doctoral and specialist-level degree programs. Near the end of the entire degree program, the student is asked to demonstrate mastery of the subject matter. The nature and extent of the examination are up to the department, but it is expected to be substantial. The comprehensive examination should also include a professional self-assessment and a program review by the student. The dean of the Graduate School may participate in comprehensive examinations in any department at his or her option.
- Proficiency in ASL: Graduates of Gallaudet University graduate programs are expected to have proficiency in American Sign Language. The Graduate School recognizes that professionals in different fields will be expected to demonstrate different levels of skill, depending on their professional setting. Therefore, each graduate department sets its own requirements for its candidates for graduate degrees, based upon these requirements. Students are encouraged to check with individual departments for the most current proficiency levels required for the particular program of interest.
- Thesis option at the master's level: Each master's-level program shall make explicit provision for a thesis option, unless the program includes a required master's thesis. Specific requirements for design and format are available from the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.
- Dissertation/doctoral research paper: Each Ph.D. program shall require a formal research-based dissertation. Specific requirements for design and format are available from the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.