M.S. in Deaf Education

Two McDaniel College Deaf Education master's candidates in conversation. illustration


Come connect with an energetic community of individuals pursuing teaching credentials for Deaf Education at elementary or secondary levels.

You will be prepared to teach others with the Master of Science in Education for the Deaf degree. McDaniel College has been highly regarded nationally for its Deaf Education program since its inception in 1967. As a joint effort between McDaniel College and the Maryland School for the Deaf, grew a robust and well-established program that today continues to produce qualified and caring educators who strive for excellence in both ASL and English.

M.S. in Deaf Education Course Catalog »


Key Features of the Deaf Education program include:

• Hybrid model with students taking courses online and on-campus;

• Student Teaching Internships for candidates interested in obtaining certification;

• Experienced and practiced faculty in the field.

Students will experience courses in topics such as Adolescent Development, Reading for Deaf Students, American Deaf Culture, or Linguistics of ASL to name a few. Candidates have the option of taking Comprehensive Exams at the completion of their course work or writing a thesis as their capstone experience. McDaniel College’s M.S. in Education for the Deaf pedagogical, linguistic, and cultural mission include preparing knowledgeable and competent teachers who:

• challenge and empower students

• have a lifelong enthusiasm for learning

• value the unique contribution of Deaf and hearing teachers

• serve as role models for all students

• develop in their students an appreciation and respect for bilingual fluency

Why McDaniel

  • Get the support you need through our ASL lab, English Lab, Academic Skills Center and interpreting services
  • Receive a bilingual experience in a sizable and diverse community that remains small enough to allow close learning relationships
  • Expands your career and learning opportunities through internships in premier bilingual programs across the United States and Canada
  • Balances full-time faculty with adjunct instructors who draw course content from best practices in the field
  • Offers convenient schedules to fit your busy schedule: full-time, part-time, or summers-only options
  • Become certified to teach in Maryland, which extends to many other states through reciprocity
  • Highly competitive tuition

Admissions Requirements

• Completed application for graduate study

• Submit the non-refundable application fee

• Official transcripts verifying completion of an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5

• Passage of the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI)

• Passage of the English Proficiency Exam (EPE)

Degree Requirements

• Minimum 3.00 G.P.A., limit one course grade of “C”

•  Satisfy the ASLPI with the required minimum exit score for your program

•  Satisfy the English Proficiency Essay with required minimum exit score

•  Successful completion of a comprehensive exam or thesis


Mark Rust

Dr. Mark Rust, Program Coordinator, Deaf Education
410-857-2503 v/vp



Eddy Laird

Dr. Eddy F. Laird, Associate Professor


Mr. Paul Fitzpatrick, Lecturer


Career Opportunities for Graduates

The Deaf Ed. Program prepares graduates for the following career paths:

• Certified teacher of Elementary and Middle school deaf students (K-8)

• Certified teacher of Secondary school deaf students (6-12)


1. What certification options are available upon completion of the M.S. in Deaf Education at McDaniel College?
When you successfully complete the M.S. degree, you will be qualified to work in deaf schools and mainstream programs at elementary or secondary levels:

Maryland Deaf Education teaching certification (grades K–12)
Council on Education of the Deaf (CED) Elementary or Secondary levels

2. How and when do I register for classes?
After completing the application process, new students registering for Summer or Fall should register for the following CORE courses:

  • DED:511 Foundations of Deaf Education
  • DED:518 Assessment and Instruction
  • DED:541 First and Second Language Development
  • DED:517 Reading for Deaf Children
  • RSM:509 Writing and Information Literacy

Because no CORE courses are offered in the Spring, students applying for Spring classes are encouraged to look at prerequisite classes or make an appointment with an advisor to determine what class schedule would best suit them. Deaf Education classes fill quickly so early registration is strongly encouraged.

3. Do you need to know Sign Language to participate in the program?
Yes. All classes are taught in ASL, and students must score at a certain level on the ASL Proficiency Interview before entering the McDaniel College graduate program.

4. What kind of support is offered for hearing and deaf individuals in the program?
Students are well supported through the American Sign Language Lab, the English Lab, and the Academic Skills Center, as well as through interpreting services.

5. I heard we had to pass a writing test. Is that true?
Yes, beginning in the fall of 2002, all entering students must demonstrate competency in written English by taking the English Proficiency Essay or, meet Maryland score requirements on the GRE, SAT, ACT or Praxis I.

6. When are the CORE courses offered?
All CORE courses in the Deaf Education program are offered in sessions of 6–8 weeks, which run from late June to early August.