Gallaudet has the only graduate counseling training program in the world that specializes in preparing counselors to serve the deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deaf special needs populations. Graduates are prepared to seek licensure and/or certification necessary for full-time employment in mental health and rehabilitation settings and schools based on the program of completion.

The Master of Arts in Counseling degree is offered with specializations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling.


The graduate program in Counseling was established in 1986 in response to a national need to provide appropriate counseling and mental health services to deaf and hard-of-hearing adults, children, and adolescents in schools, mental health centers, psychiatric hospitals, community programs, addiction programs, and psychosocial rehabilitation programs.

The need for qualified clinical or community mental health counselors specializing in serving deaf, hard-of-hearing and deaf special needs people is growing. This is a unique opportunity for well-trained counselors to find work in a growing array of counseling jobs that meet the unique needs of the deaf and hard-of-hearing.


Resources at Gallaudet University include the world's largest collection of printed material on deafness, and the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. The amount of information Gallaudet has to offer, along with total immersion with deaf and hard-of-hearing students creates an ideal learning environment for our students. Our faculty are experienced clinicians who are able to tie current theory with practice applications with deaf clients.


The program has been accredited by the Council for Accreditation and Related Educational Programs since 1993 and was last reaccredited in 2016 under the 2009 Standards. Accreditation assures the quality of the academic preparation of the program and the associated curriculum has been reviewed against professionally approved standards. Graduation from a CACREP accredited program opens doors to some employment opportunities that would not otherwise be available. CACREP accredited programs must engage in a systematic self-review and continuous improvement process, as well as engage in a periodic peer review process.