Graduate Catalog

Graduate Special Student Admission Requirements

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

Individuals who are not currently enrolled in a graduate or certificate program at Gallaudet University (including Gallaudet employees) who wish to register for any graduate course(s) must apply and be accepted as a graduate special student. Typically graduate special students are not eligible for financial support from Gallaudet University; however, Gallaudet employees may qualify for a tuition waiver.

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

Graduate special student status is open to US citizens and permanent residents who have earned a bachelor's degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. To apply, one must complete a short application form, submit an official undergraduate transcript, and pay a $75 non-refundable application fee.

3. How long does graduate special student status last?

Graduate special student status begins when the student is matriculated and continues for up to 5 years, provided that the student remains in good academic standing, satisfying the academic standards that apply to all graduate students.

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

Graduate special students must satisfy course prerequisites and obtain permission prior to completing course registration. Enrollment in certain graduate courses is limited to degree-seeking students.

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

Admission as a graduate special student neither implies nor guarantees subsequent admission to any program at Gallaudet University. If an individual plans to seek admission as a certificate- or degree-seeking student in the future, s/he should check with the graduate program coordinator/director to determine whether courses taken as a graduate special student will be acceptable for the program and to learn about limits on the credits that can be applied to a degree program.

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

  • Apply to become a Graduate Special Student.
  • Upon acceptance as a graduate special student, contact the Assistant Dean in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, who serves as the advisor for graduate special students and will provide assistance with course registration.
  • Complete business registration (including promissory note).

For veteran applicants:

Certification of GI Bill Education Benefits for Veteran Non-Matriculated Students

VA defines matriculated as having been formally admitted to Gallaudet University as a degree-seeking student. The VA will allow certification of GI Bill Education Benefits for non-matriculated students in the following situations:

  • A student is pending admission to Gallaudet University.
  • A student who fits this category can be certified for two semesters and the courses eligible for certification are only those that are required for admission and those required if admitted.

Concurrent enrollment is when a student is enrolled at both the primary school and secondary institutions simultaneously. VA will pay for the combined credit, taking overlapping enrollment dates into account.

The School Certifying Official at the primary institution will provide a letter addressed to the Certifying Official at the secondary institution indicating courses that will be accepted as transfer credit that apply to the student’s degree requirements.

To request a “Parent School Letter” to be sent to the secondary School Certifying Official, submit the following information to your GU School Certifying Official via email to

  • Course schedule from secondary school
  • Secondary School Certifying Official contact information (email address, fax, etc.)