Graduate Special Students

Graduate special students are those who have earned a bachelor's degree and wish to take graduate courses without pursuing a program leading to an advanced degree. Graduate special students must still apply to the University.

1. What does it mean to be a graduate special student at Gallaudet?

Anyone wishing to register for a graduate class (both Gallaudet employees and non-employees) must apply and be accepted for graduate special student status. Graduate special students may enroll in graduate-level courses offered by departments but do not pursue a program of study leading to a graduate certificate or degree. Graduate special students are not eligible for financial support from Gallaudet University (except those who are also employees of Gallaudet University and who qualify for ordinary employee benefits for waiver of tuition). Continuation as a graduate special student depends on the academic standards that apply to all graduate students.

2. What are the requirements for graduate special student status?

To take courses as a graduate special student, you must have a bachelor's degree with at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) cumulative grade point average. You must complete a short application form, submit a copy of your B.A. or B.S. transcript and pay the $75 non-refundable application fee.

3. I took a graduate-level course five years ago as a graduate special student. Do I need to apply again before I may take another course as a special student?

Graduate special student status remains active for five years. You begin your status as a graduate special student once you are admitted to Gallaudet as a graduate special student. If it has been more than five years since you took a course, you will need to reapply.

4. Are there limitations on the courses that I can take as a graduate special student?

As a graduate special student, you must obtain the instructor's permission to register for any course. Not every course is open to graduate special students. For example, enrollment in certain graduate courses is limited to degree-seeking students. Check with the department offering the course to be sure.

5. What if I want to become a full-time Gallaudet graduate student after taking a few courses as a special student?

There may be a limit on the number of credits that may be applied to a degree program. If you plan to seek admission as a degree-seeking student in the future, you should check with an advisor in the department to ensure that the courses you take as a graduate special student will be acceptable for the program. Admission as a graduate special student neither implies nor guarantees subsequent admission to a degree program at Gallaudet University.

6. How do I register for classes at Gallaudet as a graduate special student?

Application as a Graduate Special Student

  • You must apply to become a Graduate Special Student.
  • Once you have been accepted as a graduate special student, you must fill out a Course Selection Form.
  • Check with the departments offering the courses you want to take. You must meet all prerequisites, and you must obtain the instructor's signature, granting permission to take the class.
  • Obtain the signature of the Assistant Dean in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, who acts as the advisor for graduate special students.
  • Submit your Course Selection form to the Registrar's Office and contact Student Accounts about paying for the course (business registration).

Application as a Graduate Special Student during Summer Sessions

  • Summer enrollment is handled by the Center for Continuing and Online Education (CCOE). Contact that office, see the summer catalog, or go to the website for specific information.