Special Student

There are four types of Special Students at Gallaudet University:

    • Visiting Student
    • Exchange Student
    • Non-Degree Special Student
    • Online Non-Degree Special Student

All deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing students are welcome to attend Gallaudet University under the classification of special student. Special students have access to a wide array of university resources, including the expertise of faculty and staff.

All students in this classification may need to take placement tests. Students should follow their academic advisor's instructions on which tests they will need to take. Visiting students interested in taking Interpretation courses will also need to take the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) after being admitted to the program. Please visit the ASLPI website for more information.

Visiting Student and Exchange Student applicants are strongly encouraged to complete their applications as early as possible. Course availability is not guaranteed, but every effort will be made to accommodate students who apply early. Transfer credits may be evaluated and used as pre-requisites for courses students plan to take at Gallaudet. Contact the Transfer Credit Specialist in the Registrar's Office for more information.

For hearing students without additional disabilities, applicants should understand that once admitted, no voice interpreters or language accommodations will be provided. 

Visiting/Exchange Student applicants must submit the following materials:  

·completed application ·$50 application fee each semester
·copies of transcript(s)* ·one letter of recommendation
·one essay ·hearing applicants only: ASL video essay

*Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by certified translations..  

In addition, Visiting/Exchange Student applicants must submit a letter of verification of enrollment with the school seal and dean's signature. After all application documents have been received, applicants may be asked to undergo an informal interview to assess their signing and receptive skills in American Sign Language via Skype, videophone, or similar technology.

Visiting Students

Visiting student applicants are sophomores, juniors, or seniors currently enrolled in and attending colleges/universities. They must hold a GPA of 2.5 or higher and possess working knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL). Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing applicants are welcome to apply as visiting students and attend Gallaudet for up to two semesters. Special consideration will be given to deaf and hard of hearing students who are currently of freshman status and in good academic standing at their colleges/universities.

Exchange Students

Exchange student applicants are juniors or seniors currently enrolled in and attending either Oberlin College or McDaniel College. They must hold a GPA of 3.0 or higher and possess working knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL). Exchange students are welcome to attend Gallaudet for one semester and receive college credits toward graduation at either Oberlin or McDaniel College.

Non-Degree Special and Online Non-Degree Special Students

Non degree special student applicants are those who wish to take courses at Gallaudet University, but do not plan on earning a degree. Applicants may be admitted as Non-Degree Special Students if their objectives are approved by the Office of Admissions. Applicants must possess working knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL). The Non-Degree Special Student application must be completed and submitted each semester. An application fee of $50 payable to Gallaudet University must accompany each application. Non-degree special students may take one or more courses at Gallaudet University - up to 19 credits each semester. If such students later wish to become candidates for degrees, then they must meet the undergraduate admission requirements of the University. Application for a change to degree status must be made to the Office of Admissions. All of the above information applies to those applicants seeking admission as an Online Non-Degree Student. 

Certification of GI Bill Education Benefits For Veteran Non-Matriculated Students 

VA defines matriculated as having been formally admitted to Gallaudet University as a degree-seeking student. The VA will allow certification of GI Bill Education Benefits for non-matriculated students in the following situations: 

  • A student is pending admission to Gallaudet University.
  • A student who fits this category can be certified for two semesters and the courses eligible for certification are only those that are required for admission and those required if admitted.

Concurrent enrollment is when a student is enrolled at both the primary school and secondary institutions simultaneously. VA will pay for the combined credit, taking overlapping enrollment dates into account.

The School Certifying Official at the primary institution will provide a letter addressed to the Certifying Official at the secondary institution indicating courses that will be accepted as transfer credit that apply to the student’s degree requirements.

To request a “Parent School Letter” to be sent to the secondary School Certifying Official, submit the following information to your GU School Certifying Official via email to Registrar.Office@gallaudet.edu:

  • Course schedule from secondary school
  • Secondary School Certifying Official contact information (email address, fax, etc.)