Ph.D. Program

The Department of Interpretation offers a Ph.D. degree in interpretation, with a focus on signed-spoken language interpretation. This program is available for Deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing people who are experienced interpreters and who meet the University's Graduate School and Department of Interpretation admission requirements.

The program is designed to prepare future interpreter educators and researchers who will provide exemplary leadership in the interpreting field. Students may specialize in one of two theoretical and applied areas: interpreting research or interpretation pedagogy, or do a combined program. Both areas have a strong emphasis on research and require completion of original research and a dissertation.

Applicants for the Ph.D. in Interpretation must have previous graduate studies in interpretation or translation studies, or a closely related field. Successful completion and graduation from the MAI program at Gallaudet meets this requirement. Applicants must also have at least three years of full time equivalent of interpreting experience, however we strongly encourage applicants to have at least five years of full time interpreting experience. The program includes research-focused courses that address interpretation studies from various disciplines, courses focusing on critical pedagogy, research and teaching internships, and elective courses. As part of their education, students will examine curriculum and assessment at the only university currently offering a BA, MA, and Ph.D. in ASL-English interpretation.

Interpretation courses are taught in ASL by noted scholars in a variety of disciplines, including linguistics, sociolinguistics, sociology, and interdisciplinary studies. Faculty maintain active teaching, researching, and/or interpreting practices. Students have the opportunity to work with renowned interpreting scholars from around the U.S. and abroad.

We offer synchronous, remote possibilities within traditional courses; we are not an online program. While we encourage students to come to the Gallaudet University Campus, residency requirements can now be met by taking coursework remotely. On-campus students have the opportunity to learn and teach in new interpreting classrooms and labs, and experience how the GU mission is put into practice in our B.A. in Interpretation [BAI] or the M.A. in Interpretation [MAI] programs. Ultimately the doctoral program aims to produce interpreting scholars prepared to research, teach, and become leaders in the field of interpretation.

Gallaudet provides a unique opportunity for doctoral students to live and study and interact with people from across the country and around the world.

If you are unsure that you meet the requirements for the PhD program, please contact the PhD coordinator before you apply.

Admissions Procedures

Applicants for the Ph.D. in Interpretation 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.



First Date for Consideration of Application: February 15
Last Date for Completed Application: February 15

Program Specific Requirements

  • MA in interpretation, translation or related field
  • A 15-20 page academic writing sample, or a 15-20 page essay, including references and citations (APA style) on the following: Please describe and assess three peer-reviewed articles or books in the field of Interpretation Studies that have shaped your thinking about the interpreting process and/or the role of the interpreter.
  • Evidence of professional certification as interpreter
  • Minimum 3 years interpreting experience (five years strongly encouraged) 
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