Application Procedure

Program Overview
We are a 15-month Summer/Online program.  In typical 2-year graduate programs, there are four semesters of study.  Our four consecustive semesters of study begin with the first semester occurring during the Summer, the second semester during the Fall, third semester during the Spring, and the fourth and final semester during the following Summer.

Students begin the program mid-May online, then arrive on campus for required face-to-face courses early in June through the end of July.  In other words, these courses are not fully online, and not fully face-to-face, but considered hybrid courses, a combination of online and face-to-face education.

The fall and spring semester courses are entirely online and do not require on-campus presence.  We do offer some face-to-face options for students who wish to remain local/on-campus, however there are limited space in those on-campus classes.  On-campus students who take increased number of courses during the year may be eligible to march for graduation after three semesters of study, in May, provided they have only two courses or less in the final semester (summer) of study. 

To ensure your spot in on-campus classes during the year, you may want to consider applying to the graduate Certificate in Deaf Studies program in addition to a Masters degree in Sign Language Education.

The final set of summer courses begin online in mid-May, and require on-campus presence mid-June through end of July, with students applying for August graduation. Please contact us for more details at

*The Masters in Sign Language Education program is not a state approved licensure program or part of the professional programs unit accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Instead, our students are required to successfully complete national certification with the ASL Teachers Association (ASLTA) prior to graduation. If you are seeking employment in K-12 school settings, you would be best advised to contact your state office of licensure and certification to see if our program meets their requirements. We are happy to assist with this process.

Admissions Procedures and Requirements 
 Applicants for the M.A. in Sign Language Education 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 in the Graduate Catalog.

Please complete the four requirements as outlined on the Graduate Admissions website:
1)      Online graduate application and $75 application fee
2)      Goal statements (emailed to
3)      Submission of all official postsecondary transcript(s)
4)      Three letters of recommendation (Follow this link, too, for further instructions)

Mail the official transcript(s) and letters of recommendation to: 
Graduate Admissions 
Kendall Hall 101 
Gallaudet University 
800 Florida Avenue NE 
Washington DC 20002

Application Opens:  August 1st

Deadline for Application Review/Screening:  February 1st

Frequently Asked Questions:

- Can I apply to enter any semester during the year?  
Students are admitted to the Sign Language Education masters program once a year (Summer), with the program starting online in mid-May.  If you want to start taking some courses, you can apply as a graduate special student.  For more information about being a graduate special student, please check:

- I'm going to graduate from my college with my bachelor's degree the same month I'd like to start with Masters in Sign Language Education program, can I do that?
Graduate Admissions will need a letter from your college/university's Registrar's Office stating that you will be graduating and/or has completed the program requirements on a specific date, and that an official transcript will be sent as soon as grades are posted.  If you are accepted in our program, you will receive a letter saying that you are accepted conditionally, until Gallaudet Graduate Admissions receives your official bachelor's degree transcript.  

- I have my ASL results from a different organization.  Will you accept those instead of an ASLPI result?
Unfortunately, to ensure consistency, reliability and validity across test results of our applicants, we can only accept results from one testing agency, and that is the ASLPI unit housed at Gallaudet University.  

- But I can't afford to come to Washington, DC for my ASLPI interview.  What can I do?
ASLPI interviews can be done via videophone!  The interview will be recorded and then analyzed by their raters later, just like regular, in-person interviews.  

- I'm Deaf and I've been signing all my life, is that enough?
No, sorry.  Just like everyone else needs to take the SAT, ACT, GRE, and more-- they've been speaking English all of their lives, right?  The same goes for ASL.  Everyone needs to take the ASLPI.  ASLPI measures your ability to converse in ASL with little or no influence from English and that is often the reason a number of our near-native/native applicants struggle with receiving a result of 4 or above.  Please check out samples of each result so you can get an idea what an interview looks like (and what is expected for a result of 4 or 5) here:

- I'm hearing and I sign.  Can I apply?
Absolutely!  We welcome all people from all walks of life to apply for the Masters in Sign Language Education program.  To ensure everyone has the language proficiency to teach ASL, we require an ASL Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) result of 4 or up from everyone, and a result of 3+ or up for those teaching other signed languages (e.g. LSF, LSM, SASL, and so on). 

Program Recommendations
Since the field of sign language pedagogy is a relatively recent phenomenon, we understand many of the applicants for our program do not have a Bachelor's degree in a related field such as ASL, Deaf Studies or Linguistics.  For those who do not have a degree in a related field, we strongly recommend including in your application a list of professional development events, lectures, workshops or conferences attended.  Professional development topics vary and can include Sign Language pedagogical strategies, Deaf history and culture, Sign Language linguistics, discourse and structure, classifiers and/or depiction, fingerspelling and numbers, non-manual signals and markers.  Professional development does not include your work (teaching) experience or courses that are already on your undergraduate/graduate transcripts. Undergraduate/graduate transcripts are required by Graduate Admissions, and will be reviewed separately. Document your professional development in a list format, where the name of the workshop is listed, the dates, sponsoring agency and the number of hours attended, with a running total at the end of the list. For ASL educators, we highly recommend becoming active members in your local ASL Teachers Association (ASLTA) and attending the bi-annual national ASLTA conference and annual national ASL RoundTable conference to help strengthen your application and preparation for the very competitive Masters in Sign Language Education program.

Program Requirements 
 When the four items (online graduate application, goal statements, all postsecondary transcript(s), and three letters of recommendation) are on file at Graduate Admissions, you will be contacted by the Masters in Sign Language Education screening committee for a video interview.  Meanwhile, you will also need to contact ASL Diagnostics and Evaluation Services (ASL-DES) to schedule an ASL Proficiency Interview (ASLPI).  Please visit their website at

Program Requirements Checklist:
·      Video interview with the Masters in Sign Language Education screening committee
·      ASLPI result of 4 or above for ASL educators and 3+ or above for educators of other signed languages 

You are required to submit evidence of your American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) result of 4 or above to Graduate Admissions Office.

For teachers of other signed languages, you will be required to submit evidence of your ASLPI result of 3+ or above to Graduate Admissions Office.  Other types of sign language proficiency interview results will not be accepted. 

The fees for the ASLPI are outlined on this website: The ASLPI fee is waived if you are a current, full-time Gallaudet student. To schedule an ASLPI interview, please email  Please send the documentation of your ASLPI result to the Graduate Admissions Office at:

For more information about the ASLPI, please visit:
And for video samples of people with an ASLPI result of 4 and 5, please visit:

If the department decides to recommend you for admission to the Dean of Graduate School, the Dean will make the final decision regarding your application.

Graduate Application Checklist
1)     Online graduate application and $75 application fee
2)      Goal statements (emailed to
3)      Submission of all official postsecondary transcript(s)
4)      Three letters of recommendation (Follow this link, too, for further instructions)
5)     Documentation of Professional Development (recommended)

Program Application Checklist
6)     Video interview with the Masters in Sign Language Education screening committee
7)     ASLPI result of 4 or above for teachers of ASL and 3+ or above for teachers of other signed languages by March 1st.

Financial Costs for Program 
 The program is 33-39 credits in total, starting with 12-15 credit hours during your first summer in the program. The approximate minimum cost for the entire program may be $23,000 for US citizens, not including fees, room and board. Financial assistance may be available but is not guaranteed.  Please visit the Finance Office webpage for more details regarding tuition and fees:

Program Equipment
We are primarily an Apple/Mac-based degree program.  All of our courses require quality bilingual Sign Language/English submissions.  During the summers (on-campus classes), we provide a state-of-the-art 24/7 access to lab and filming studios with iMacs, loaner Canon EOS 60D cameras, tripods and professional light kits.  We expect the same video quality during the online portion of the program - fall and spring semesters, so you are expected to obtain (or ensure access to) necessary equipment prior to starting the program.

Required equipment:

  • External Harddrive (1 TB or higher)
  • Recording equipment that can record at 1080p or higher (e.g. iPad, iPhone, Canon 60D, 7D, or EOS 5D Mark II and III and many more)
  • Minimum internet bandwidth:  Download speed 10Mbps / Upload speed 2Mbps

Recommended equipment/software:

  • Apple Laptop/Computer
  • Tripod
  • Light kit
  • Final Cut Pro X
  • iWork (Keynote and Pages)
  • iPad/iPad Mini/iPhone (newest versions can film, front-facing, at 1080p)
  • Blue/green screen chroma key background (using either a chroma key cloth or paint).

Program of Study Summer I (On Campus) 
12-15 credits
 *ASL 709 Sign Language Media Production (3)

ASL 724 Sign Language Linguistics for Sign Language Educators (3)

ASL 741 Methods of Sign Language Teaching (3)

ASL 743 Curriculum Development for Sign Language Education (3)
ASL 750 Assessing Sign Language Skills (3)

Fall I (Online)
3-12 credits
LIN 510 Introduction to First and Second Language Acquisition (3)
**ASL 760 Connecting Sign Language Research to Practice (3)
ASL 762 Seminar in Sign Language Education (3)

Spring I (Online)
3-12 credits
**ASL 745 Sign Language Teaching, Culture and History (3)
ASL 762 Seminar in Sign Language Education (3)
ASL 770 Sign Language Planning and Advocacy (3)

Summer II (On Campus)
6-12 credits
**ASL 745 Sign Language Teaching, Culture and History (3)
**ASL 760 Connecting Sign Language Research and Practice (3)
ASL 777 Digital Media in the Sign Language Field (3)
**DST 705 Sign and the Philosophy of Language (3)
DST 710 Literary Traditions in the Deaf Community (3)
DST 714 Critical Pedagogy (3)

Additional Required Courses (to be taken during the program) 
ASL 752 Sign Language Practicum (3) (face-to-face or online, taken either Summer or Fall semesters)
ASL 790 Sign Language Internship (3) (face-to-face or online, taken either Summer, Fall or Spring semesters)

The practicum and internship site and cooperating teacher must be approved by the department in advance.  Candidates with extensive ASL teaching experience and full-time employment in the ASL teaching field may apply for a practicum and/or internship waiver.

*ASL 709: Sign Language Media Production can be waived with extensive media, film and editing experience. 

For ASL 709, 752, and 790 waivers, contact us for more details at

***Courses with a double asterisk are program electives, and course offerings depend on minimum enrollment.  Matriculated Masters in Sign Language Education are required to take at least two course electives (6 credits) to meet program requirements for graduation.

Depending on number of waivers, a minimum range of 33-39 graduate credits and successful completion of national certification will be required for graduation from this program.

See Academic Calendar link for Program Schedule for 2014

Email if you have questions about the program.

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