Undergraduate Catalog


Applicants with this classification are not registered residents of the United States. Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) and/or undocumented applicants are welcome and encouraged to apply. Under the Education of the Deaf Act, both DACA and undocumented applicants are classified under international status.

International applicants must be at least a current high school student. They should apply as freshmen, even if they are high school or A-Level graduates, or hold an International Baccalaureate Diploma.

International applicants who are seeking college credit and transferring from another university should apply as a transfer student. This also applies to international applicants enrolled as degree-seeking students at another university in the United States, but with the added requirement that they submit an F-1 Transfer Request form.

International applicants who possess degrees from colleges or universities other than Gallaudet--and have never previously attended Gallaudet but want to get an additional degree at Gallaudet--should follow procedures in the Applicants Seeking a 2nd Degree section.

International hearing applicants may apply as non-degree or degree-seeking students through the ISSP.

For more information, please visit: International hearing applicants

Transfer Credit Evaluation

If international applicants want to have their international college courses evaluated, they must submit official transcript(s) in their country's native language, accompanied by certified English translation(s), to World Education Services (www.wes.org). Applicants should request that their evaluated transcript(s) be sent to Gallaudet University's Office of Admissions, along with English-version course descriptions and/or syllabi.

English Language Skills

Gallaudet will determine the skill level in English that it feels is appropriate to help ensure an applicant's academic success at the University. For undergraduates, these standards comply with ACT, and for graduates, they comply with the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or by an alternative measure adopted by certain graduate programs. If the applicant has difficulty in taking these tests, an alternative test may be acceptable, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), although any alternative must be approved by Gallaudet. The applicant should arrange to have the English test results provided to Gallaudet by the application deadline.

American Sign Language Skills

For undergraduate admissions, the University does not require an applicant to have a specific level of ASL competency prior to admission. Admitted students without prior knowledge of ASL are encouraged to participate in the Summer JumpStart program, which acquaints them with ASL and learning in a visual environment, and/or take ASL classes online or in the first semester after being admitted to the University.

At the graduate level, applicants who seek to become special (non-degree) students are required to possess "working knowledge" of ASL, as interpreted by each department within the Graduate School and specified in the 2020-2021 University Catalog. Graduate applicants are referred for ASL skills evaluation that is based on their proposed area of study. If the applicant has prior sign language skills and has been evaluated after taking the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview test, the student must provide the results of the test; if not, department administrators will interview the applicant to determine his/her readiness to study at Gallaudet without classroom communication support.

Application Deadlines

International applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure a smooth admissions process. All completed applications and official documents must be submitted by the following dates so that an admissions decision can be made and immigration paperwork can be processed in time for the appropriate term:

  • June 1 for the Fall Semester
  • November 1 for the Spring Semester

Financial Information

International applicants are asked to document how financial support will be provided for their first year at Gallaudet, a requirement of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Without completed *Certification of Finances and Sponsor's Affidavit of Annual Cash Support forms, applications are considered incomplete. After evidence of adequate financial support has been submitted and the student has been accepted, the Office of Research Support and International Affairs (RSIA) can issue an I-20 or DS-2019 form. This form is needed to secure, transfer, and extend a student visa. Students will have a hold placed on their account until a good faith deposit, financial support, or notification of support is received by Student Financial Services. The University reserves the right to require advance payment of one full academic year's costs before issuing this form. The payment will be held in trust by Student Financial Services and applied to a student's account when the student officially enrolls. If the student is unable to enroll due to visa denial or to other reasons, the money will be refunded upon written request.

International applicants are not eligible for financial aid or merit scholarships in their first year of study at Gallaudet University. However, limited aid is available from the second year onward.

Please visit the Mandatory Payments Requirements for International Students for detailed procedures on payments.

International applicants must submit the following materials:

Completed application $50 application fee
High school transcripts College transcript(s), if applicable
One letter of recommendation One written English essay and one video ASL essay
Test scores Audiogram
Certification of Finances form Sponsor's Affidavit of Support form
Copies of high school/secondary school records, including any secondary external examinations  F-1 Transfer Request form (if transferring from a college in the U.S.)

Important Note: All original documents submitted with applications that are not in English must be accompanied by certified English translations. See the World Education Services site (www.wes.org) for translation services.

*Certification of Finances and Sponsor's Affidavit of Support form deadline: In order to receive a Form I-20, the student must complete the Certification of Finances form (Graduate or Ph.D. Student Form/Undergraduate or Readmitted Student Form) and the Sponsor's Affidavit of Support form Sponsor's Affidavit of Annual Cash Support Form. These forms must be submitted to RSIA no later than June 30 for the Fall Semester and no later than November 30 for the Spring Semester. If any documents arrive after June 30 (Fall Semester) or November 30 (Spring Semester), the student is automatically deferred to the next semester. Please be aware that photocopies and faxed documents will not be accepted.

For more information, please visit Research Support and International Affairs

International Student Orientation

International students who are starting at Gallaudet in the fall semester are required to participate in a three-day pre-orientation in addition to New Student Orientation or Graduate Student Orientation.

International Students and SEVIS

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an Internet-based system that requires schools and the USCIS to report information and exchange data on the status of F-1 and J-1 international students and scholars. Accurate and current information is transmitted electronically throughout an F-1 or J-1's academic career in the United States. U.S. embassies and consulates also have access to SEVIS. Dependents of F-1 and J-1's are also included in the SEVIS reporting requirements. Gallaudet University is required to report the following information for all international students and scholars:

  • Confirmation that they have enrolled within 30 days, or give notification of their failure to enroll.
  • Changes of legal name and/or address.
  • Graduation prior to the end date listed on the I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1).
  • Academic or disciplinary actions taken due to a criminal conviction.
  • Failure to maintain a full course of study (see Full Course of Study section), unless given permission by RSIA.
  • Dismissal or withdrawal date, and the reason for dismissal or withdrawal.
  • Procedures such as program extensions, school transfers, changes in level of study, employment authorizations, and reinstatement.

International Business Registration

All international students are required to attend International Business Registration prior to registering for classes. During business registration every fall and spring, RSIA reviews each student's immigration documents, confirms in SEVIS that the student has arrived on campus, and then releases the restriction on the student's registration. Students who do not attend International Business Registration or check in with RSIA before the last day of the add/drop period will be encumbered and not be permitted to register until the following semester

Full Course of Study

A full course of study means 18 credits per semester for English Language Institute (ELI) students, 12 credits for undergraduate students, and 9 credits for graduate students. *If an international student drops below a full course of study without prior approval from RSIA, it will be reported to the USCIS through SEVIS and the student will be considered "out of status." The student may apply to USCIS for reinstatement only if the violation resulted from "circumstances beyond his or her control." Acceptable reasons for applying for reinstatement, as specified by USCIS, include "serious injury or illness, closure of the institution, or natural disaster."

International students are not permitted to audit courses unless it is in addition to an already established full course load.

International students unable to complete a full course of study in a timely manner may apply through RSIA for a program extension. Students must apply 30 days before the completion date on their Form I-20 or DS-2019. Once a student consults with RSIA about the need for a program extension, RSIA will ask the student's academic advisor for endorsement of the student's request.

A student may be able to enroll for fewer credit hours if she/he:

  • Is in the final semester of the course of study and does not need to enroll full time to meet degree requirements.
  • Is taking all available courses to meet graduation requirements.
  • Is in the first academic year and is having difficulty with the English language or reading requirements.
  • Is in the first academic year and is unfamiliar with American teaching methods.
  • Has been advised to drop a course because of improper course level placement.
  • Has specially documented medical conditions.

*Important Note: Only the Designated School Official (DSO) or Responsible Officer (RO) can authorize a reduced credit load. Academic and ELI advisors do NOT have this authority.

Online Courses

The use of online courses is an integral part of most universities' academic curriculum. However, U.S. federal regulations limit the number of online courses that an F-1 student can count towards a full-time course load during a required semester. F-1 and J-1 students are required to maintain a full course of study that leads to the attainment of a specific educational or professional objective.

F-1 students can count only one online class (3 credits) per semester toward the full course of study requirement.

This means, for example, that if an undergraduate student is enrolled for 12 credits, only 3 may be online credits (three 3-credit courses = 9 credits in class + one 3-credit course online = 12 credits). However, if the student is taking more than 12 credits, she/he may take additional credits online (9 credits in class + 3 credits online = 12 [full course of study requirement met] + 6 additional credits online = 18 total credits). A student who takes 6 credits in class and 6 credits online would be in violation of the full course of study requirement and would lose his/her F-1 status and have to apply for reinstatement.

International students in their last semester who have only one course left to take must physically take that course on campus, a regulation governing F-1 students.

J-1 students cannot use online or distance education classes to satisfy the full course of study requirements. All classes a J-1 student--undergraduate or graduate--registers to take require physical classroom attendance.

Class Attendance Policy

To maintain legal status, international students are responsible for regular attendance in all classes in which they are officially enrolled. The University's class attendance policy can be found at the link: Class Attendance Policy

It is the student's responsibility to notify instructors of any situation that causes him/her to miss class. The student is to notify the instructor through official University email; the student is also required to check email frequently for communication from instructors or RSIA. Communication from a personal email account is not acceptable.

USCIS and the Department of State require the University to report any international student in breach of the attendance policy. The University Faculty is bound by federal regulations to report to RSIA if a student stops going to class for two weeks or more without a compelling reason. RSIA, in turn, is required to report the student to SEVIS within 21 days of when the student ceased attending class.

Before RSIA reports to SEVIS, the student and the Academic Advisor will be contacted via email to ascertain the circumstances for the classroom absence. If there is no response from the student within five (5) working days, the student's immigration status (F-1/J-1) will automatically be terminated.

Grading Policy

As long as an international student is registered, attending all classes and meeting Gallaudet University's academic standards, the student is considered to be maintaining status and making normal progress. A student placed on Academic Suspension will no longer be considered enrolled in full-time study or pursuing an educational objective, and therefore not maintaining status.

A student placed on Academic Probation or Suspension who is not able to complete his or her program by the completion date may not be eligible for an extension of stay, unless there is a compelling academic or medical reason to support the extension request.