Deaf Education Colleges and Schools: How To Choose

People with a desire to work with deaf children can pursue studies in deaf education. Graduates work in educational settings with students of all ages. Degrees in deaf education are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

How to Select a Deaf Education School

A select number of 4-year colleges throughout the country offer degrees in deaf education. Some programs are open to anyone interested in pursuing a degree in deaf education, while others require knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) and completion of some deaf education classes.

List of Important Considerations

  • Degree level
  • Internship opportunities
  • Facilities
  • Combined programs
  • Focus

Degree Level

Bachelor's degree programs are usually appropriate for individuals interested in learning ASL and entering this profession. Master's degree programs are geared towards those with an undergraduate degree in deaf education, elementary education, speech pathology or a related area.

Internship Opportunities

In addition to student teaching requirements, many deaf education programs either require or encourage students to work with the deaf or hearing impaired in various settings, including at home and in schools and other institutions. Schools offering degrees in deaf education vary in their graduation requirements, and most have more requirements than a standard education degree. For example, students in some programs must complete a thesis, even at the bachelor's degree level.


Laboratories and equipment are another area prospective students might want to research. Prospective students can look for schools that offer multi-media labs, state-of-the-art equipment, archives and extensive libraries.

Combined Programs

Students planning to eventually earn master's degrees in deaf education can look into schools that offer dual degrees or 'fast track' programs. Some schools design their bachelor's degree programs with the intention of helping students move directly into the master's program and graduate with required teaching certifications.


Most colleges' deaf education programs are aimed at training future teachers who will work with deaf and hearing-impaired children. However, some take a broader approach geared towards producing graduates capable of working in a number of areas, such as in the homes of deaf children, private and government agencies, hospitals and other institutions.

Deaf Education Program Overviews

Bachelor's Degree in Deaf Education

Bachelor's degree candidates in deaf education gain the knowledge necessary to teach deaf and hearing-impaired children at all grade levels. They usually must complete student teaching requirements, as well as internships and research projects. Students take courses in topics such as:

  • Deaf culture and history
  • Phonetics
  • ASL
  • Psychology of the deaf

Master's Degree in Deaf Education

A master's degree program in deaf education is aimed at preparing students to work at a higher level with the deaf and hearing impaired. Extensive time outside of the classroom, research projects and collaboration with professionals are part of most programs. Coursework is varied depending on the student's focus, but likely includes classes such as:

  • Intervention, counseling and therapy
  • Language development
  • Literacy

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