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Ph.D. in Critical Studies in the Education of Deaf Learners


Web: Education

Dr. Christina Yuknis, Program Director

Fowler Hall 409B

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Critical Studies in the Education of the Deaf Learner emphasizes critical pedagogy as the foundation for advocacy in the education of deaf individuals. Graduates are prepared to be agents of change in their roles as practitioners, administrators, teacher educators, and researchers through a critical examination of educational, social, and political issues. Our doctoral program provides a balance between a required core program of study and an individualized study in a concentration area in which the student plans a course of study with the guidance of the faculty advisor. In completing the concentration area requirements, the student engages in independent study courses, seminars, and research internships directly applicable to the area of research pursued. To succeed in the doctoral program in education, students must possess a high degree of initiative, self-direction, and commitment to inquiry.

Upon completion of all program requirements except the dissertation, students in the doctoral program may apply to be awarded an Education Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) degree. The Ed.S. degree is typically awarded after passing the comprehensive examination, and is not a terminal degree. The Ph.D. is a terminal degree and is awarded upon successful completion of the dissertation requirements.

Admissions Procedures and Requirements

Applicants for the Ph.D. in Critical Studies in the Education of Deaf Learners must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information and a checklist of application requirements.


First Date for Consideration of Application: As reviewed
Last Date for Completed Application: April 15

Program Specific Requirements

  • Scholarly ASL Sample: Submit one or two videos showing your work in the field.
    Sample may be an ASL publication, a video essay or presentation from your
    previous graduate work, or a response to an article from your field*.
  • Scholarly English Sample: Submit one to two writing samples showing your work
    in the field. Sample may be a publication, a paper from previous graduate work, or
    a response to an article from your field*.
  • Interview
  • MA in field related to professional goals
  • Minimum 3 years experience with deaf children, youth, and/or adults

*The program will identify articles to share with applicants.

Prior Educational Background

MA in Field Related to Professional Goals

Prior Professional Qualifications

Minimum of 3 years experience with deaf children and youth (preferred)

Transfer Credit Hours

A maximum of 12 post-master’s semester credit hours taken before admission to Gallaudet’s Ph.D. program may be transferred to Gallaudet’s Ph.D. program on the condition that:

  1. course grades are B or better
  2. courses are relevant to the planned program; and
  3. credits have been earned within five years prior to admission into the doctoral program.
  4. A maximum of 12 additional credits of coursework may be transferred into the Ph.D. program after admission on the condition that: (1) the coursework was pre-planned and pre-approved by the Department of Doctoral Studies Committee, and (2) the sum of all transfer credits applied toward the P.D. core coursework does not exceed 24 credits.
Available In:

Courses & Requirements

Prerequisite course
Core Competency Area I - Foundations of Critical Studies in Deaf Education (12 credits)
Core Competency Area II - Design, Research, and Implementation (19 credits)

Required Sequence:

Core Competency Area III - Scholarly Development (21 credits minimum)
Core Competency Area 4 - Develop Expertise in Concentration Area

Select an area:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Education Leadership & Policy
  • Bilingual Education
  • Teacher Education
  • International Deaf Education
  • Deaf Students with Disabilities
  • Self-Designed Concentration (must get Program Advisory Committee approval)

The following lists are rough outlines of courses that students in each Concentration area could select from. If students need to take courses at other universities for their Concentration area, they may transfer in up to 15 credits, per graduate school policy. Consortium courses do not count toward this limit.

Early Childhood Education (18 credits)
Education Leadership (18 credits, at least one from each category)
Curriculum and Instructional Leadership
Professional Development and Supervision
Legal and Ethical Issues
Resource Management, Public Relations, and Administration

Taken via consortium:

  • American University: EDU 631 Educational Leadership and Organizational Change (3)
  • American University: EDU 694 School Improvement, Organization and Administration (3)
Bilingual Education (18 credits)
International Education (18 credits)
Teacher Education (18 credits)
Deaf Students with Disabilities

EDU 670 or equivalent is a prerequisite for this specialization


Admissions Requirements

Hearing Undergraduate