Contains description of admissions questions (in ASL and English) beginning at around 8 minutes 45 seconds


The International Development Master of Arts Degree Program (IDMA) prepares students to advocate, design, implement, monitor and evaluate social change activities in collaboration with Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard-of-Hearing people, and people with disabilities, at local, national and international levels. IDMA coursework provides practical experience examining legal and social policy frameworks, political and economic conditions, sociocultural and language-centered values and rights, and other features of contemporary life that contribute to or impede social participation and social justice.

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Please contact idma@gallaudet.edu if you would like to request any information about the IDMA program in alternative formats (large print, plain text, etc.) or in ASL. We are committed to making our program and content accessible and welcome any questions or suggestions.


Application Requirements

  • Completed application form. See Application Instructions to learn how.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $75.
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a four-point scale) in all previous undergraduate and graduate study. (Occasionally, applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 may be admitted conditionally upon the recommendation of the department.)
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate study, including evidence of having received a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. (Those applying during their final undergraduate year will be required to submit a final transcript after completion of their bachelor's degree and before enrolling in their first semester of graduate study.) See Application Guidelines and FAQ for more information.
  • Official transcripts of all graduate study. See Application Guidelines and FAQ for more information.
  • Goals statement. See below for more information.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • February 15 - Priority application deadline (for scholarship consideration)
  • May 15 - Standard application deadline
  • Interview with the International Development Master of Arts Program. After you submit your application and all requirements, the program will contact you to arrange an interview which will take place face to face or over live video

Additional Program Requirements

  • A basic understanding of economics is necessary to complete coursework in Economic Development and Micropolitics. Therefore, students must have passed an introductory course in economics.
  • The ability to communicate across cultures in more than one language is both a distinguishing and expected skill of the international development professional. Therefore, novice ability in reading and writing another language or willingness to obtain novice ability in the first year.
  • Interview with the Department (contact the department to arrange an interview, either face to face or through technology)
  • A written response AND an ASL response to the following four goal statement questions which can also be viewed in the video on the top of this page starting at 8 minutes 45 seconds of the video. This is an opportunity to demonstrate the way that you approach the four questions in each language. The ASL response and written response can address the same key points or different points and can vary in both composition structure and content. The ASL response and written response do not need to be identical.
    • What got you interested in the International Development field? Describe experience working in deaf development organizations, community-based organizations, social justice work, international experiences, or other experiences that led you to International Development.
    • The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals describe 17 areas of global issues that include things like access to quality education, employment, food, health, gender equity, disasters and climate change, and emphasize disability inclusion in each area. What areas are you interested in studying and working on in your career?
    • In your academic, community, or professional experiences--describe a situation that required you to work with others to create a solution to a problem? What role did you take in creating that solution?
    • What kind of professional work do you envision for yourself after graduation? For example -- implementing community-based projects, developing policy, research, monitoring and evaluation of projects.
    • Provide any other information that will help us better understand you as an individual and better evaluate you as an applicant for this program.

Meet our faculty and staff

Dr. Audrey C. Cooper, PhD, MSW & MS
Associate Professor & Program Director

Samantha Hoeksema
Graduate Assistant Sonia Holzman, MA 
Program Specialist & Outreach Liaison

Maegan Shanks, MA 
Faculty & Program Assistant

Dr. Danielle Thompson, Ph.D., N.C.C., N.C.S.C.
Associate Professor