Graduate Catalog

M.A. in Deaf Studies: Early Language Advocacy


Dr. Erin Moriarty Harrelson, Program Coordinator


The Concentration in Early Language Advocacy is designed to train students in front-line language advocacy work within the fields of education and deaf community advocacy organizations. Knowledge of Deaf studies lens, advocacy tools, educational approaches, policy-making and legal mechanisms all are an integral part of the curriculum. At the heart of the program is an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on socio-cultural, political and educational aspects of how deaf children acquire language from birth. Students will gain a hands-on understanding of the dynamics of advocacy and policy-making in education through field-based projects.

The curriculum for this Concentration contains a number of courses offered under Gallaudet University's Infant, Toddler, and Family (ITF) Graduate Certificate Program. The program is a hybrid program. Students take online classes in Deaf Studies and ITF during the school year, with selected required face-to-face courses with the Infant, Toddler, and Family Graduate Certificate Program being on campus during three summer residency sessions.

Admissions Procedures and Requirements

Applicants for the M.A. in Deaf Studies must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions web site for more information and a checklist of application requirements. Detailed program information and course descriptions are also available under the 'Overview' and 'Courses' tabs.

First Date for Consideration of Application: November 15
Due Date for Completed Application: February 15

Program Specific Requirements:

  • Three letters of reference
  • ASL Essay: Personal Statement. In video format, submit a personal statement of interest in the program. This essay will be used for 2 purposes. It will give help us understand your personal interest in our program and will also be used to determine your proficiency in ASL. Why are you applying for this degree? What do you hope to gain from the degree? What are your professional interests after you graduate?
  • Transcripts
  • ASLPI 3 or above.
  • GPA 3.0 or above.

Recommended Prior Coursework:

  • Introduction to Deaf Culture
  • Introduction to ASL Structure

Plan of study

Fall 1

DST 703Deaf Cultural Studies


DST 705Language, Culture, and Power


DST 740Studies in the Human Rights of Deaf People


Spring 1

DST 710Cultural Practices in the Deaf Community


DST 712Enforcing Normalcy: Deaf and Disability Studies


DST 741Development of the Transnational Deaf Public Sphere


Summer 1

ITF 700Socio-Cltrl & Political Ctxts for DHH Infants, Toddlers and their Families


ITF 701Com, Language & Cognitive Dev: DHH Infants and Toddlers


Fall 2

DST 743Language Advocacy in Deaf Communities


DST 780Deaf Studies Master's Project I


ITF 702Ldrsp Persp on Families with DHH Infants and Toddlers: Their Cultures and Comm


Spring 2

DST 737Law & Public Policy: The Deaf Community


DST 781Deaf Studies Master's Project II


ITF 703Strategies for Developing Com, Lang & Cogn for DHH Infants and Toddlers


Summer 2

ITF 704A Developmental Approach to Programming for Infants/Toddlers and their Families


Total Credit Hours: 45