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M.A. in Deaf Education: Advanced Studies

Web: Department of Education

Dr. Nena Theoharis, Program Director
Fowler Hall, Room 307

The Advanced Studies in Deaf Education master of arts program is designed specifically for teachers of deaf and hard of hearing students who have state licensure in deaf education or provisional CED certification (or the equivalent) and who are currently working in the field. This on-campus program is a self-paced, individualized degree program offering specializations based on the interests of the candidate and his/her educational background and teaching experience with deaf and hard of hearing students.


Admissions Procedures

Applicants for the M.A. in Deaf Education: Advanced Studies must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions web site for more information and a checklist of application requirements. Detailed program information and course descriptions are also available under the 'Overview' and 'Courses' tabs.



First Date for Consideration of Application: Feb. 15th
Last Date for Completed Application: No set date

Program Specific Requirements

  • ASLPI result of 2 or above. Applicants must have at least sufficient signing skills to be considered candidates. The degree to which students' current level of signing will allow them to be successful in the classroom will be determined during the application process.
  • Three Letters of Reference

Prerequisite Coursework

A bachelor's degree in deaf education from an accredited institution with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.

Prior Professional Experience

Provisional-level CED certification or state licensure in the education of deaf and hard of hearing students

Program of Study

Program Requirement

Candidates in the Advanced Studies program are required to complete a capstone project that will result in a product and presentation. Each candidate works with the advisor to establish a committee of three, including the advisor and two faculty members, and to develop a capstone proposal, due to the committee no later than November 1. The capstone proposal must include: (1) a justification for the project; (2) goals and learning outcomes; (3) learning activities; and (4) assessments of the learning outcomes. The proposal must also specify the nature of the product and a plan for the presentation. The committee will meet with the candidate to review and approve the proposal within two weeks of the submission. An approved capstone proposal must be signed off by the MA program director no later than December 1. The capstone project, including the presentation, must be completed on or before April 15th.

Course of Study

The advanced studies course of study is individually designed by the student and advisor within the following framework (approximate credit hours indicated):

  • Advanced foundations in education (16 credits covering the following 5 areas):
    • EDU 771 Trends in Special Education (3)
    • EDU 707 The Structures and Applications of ASL/English in the Classroom (4)
    • EDF 720 Introduction to Research (3)
    • EDF 731 Home, School, and Community Collaboration for Diverse Learners (3)
    • DST 714 Critical Pedagogy (3)
  • Bilingualism (6);
  • Professionalism (Content areas or Specializations) (11-12)

Advanced foundations in education (16 credits covering the following 5 areas):

DST 714Critical Pedagogy3
EDU 707The Structures and Application of American Sign Language and English in the Classroom4
EDU 720Introduction to Research3
EDU 731Home, School, and Community Collaboration for Diverse Learners3
EDU 771Trends in Special Education3

DST 714 - Critical Pedagogy (3)

This course focuses on the field of inquiry known as Critical Pedagogy, which examines the role that education plays in shaping and transmitting the ideology of those in power. This course also inquires into the use of education as a means of resistance and emancipation. Particular focus will be given to the disparate conditions relating to the education of those populations considered to be in the margins, i.e.,class, race, ethnicity, gender, and disability.

EDU 707 - The Structures and Application of American Sign Language and English in the Classroom (4)

This course is designed to provide the students with the knowledge of the specific linguistic structures and introduce them to basic similarities and differences in the linguistic structures and uses of American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Examining categories from a universal perspective, the linguistic contrastive analysis is accomplished by focusing on: phonological and morphological processes, syntactic properties, discourse types, word classes, and linguistic variation in Deaf and Hearing communities in the United States. Also, the students will examine the basic phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic features of ASL and English. Application of the instructional ASL/English linguistics and structures in the classroom and activities will be presented. Students will develop activity plans, and adapt and implement the methodologies and materials used in ASL/English learning to the needs of the individual Deaf/Hard of Hearing child.

  • Pre-requisite: Admission to the program or permission of the program director.

EDU 720 - Introduction to Research (3)

The focus of this course is research as a strategy of inquiry for improving practice and advancing our professions. The general principles of qualitative, quantitative, and action research designs will be considered, along with related problems of measurement, statement and clarification of research problems, and basic statistical methods for describing data. The goal is to produce professionals who are consumers of research in their fields who can apply research for the improvement of their school or work settings.

EDU 731 - Home, School, and Community Collaboration for Diverse Learners (3)

This course focuses on developing knowledge, skills, and dispositions in creating and maintaining meaningful collaboration among home, school, and the community for diverse learners (from birth to 21 years old) and their families. The course prepares students to achieve collaborative and respectful relationships with student's family and community as valuable contributors to the educational process. The course also includes developing knowledge in multicultural education and culturally pluralistic educational practices for all students. 25 hours of related field experience is required.

  • Pre-requisite: Admission to the Department of Education or the consent of program director.

EDU 771 - Trends in Special Education (3)

This course uses a disability studies approach to familiarize students with major trends and issues in special education, including: historical roots, perception of disability, policies impacting students with disabilities, labeling, overrepresentation, and discipline. Other topics in the course include developing Individualized Education Plan (IEPs), examining instructional practices, and working with families. This course will prepare teacher candidates to work with children and youth with a broad range of disabilities and educational needs.

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