MS in Education of the Deaf
For more than 50 years, we’ve trained teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing.
Our online program provides practice-based coursework focusing on communication, language and content instruction/delivery.
The MS in Education of the Deaf prepares graduates to take the TExES Deaf & Hard of Hearing (181) exam (State Board for Educator Certification through the Texas Education Agency). If you are a resident of another state, contact our department to determine whether our program fulfills requirements to take the certification exam in your home state.
Careers & salaries
This degree opens up opportunities to you as a classroom or itinerant teacher or a parent-infant educator working with families of children who are newly identified as deaf or hard of hearing.
Educators of the deaf work in the special education field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for special education teachers is $57,910.
Why this degree at TWU?
While we have one of the longest standing programs in the state of Texas, TWU offers this online program to students around the world. We offer a comprehensive philosophy of educating and communicating with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. We stress accessibility for all students and ensure our graduates have field-based experiences that enable them to be more successful as educators of the deaf/hard of hearing.
We create educators who advocate meeting the individual communication needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
This program requires:
- At least 30 semester credit hours (SCH) plus a professional practicum
- Nine semester credit hours of sign language*
- Access to a working environment with pre-K-12 children who are deaf or hard of hearing
- Successful completion of a summative program assessment
*Individuals with professional sign accreditation, native signers or others with demonstrated sign proficiency may be exempt from this requirement. Exemptions will be applied individually after consulting with the department.
Additional coursework may be required:
- Three communication sciences courses, if your undergraduate degree is not a communication sciences degree from TWU
- Five education courses (13 SCH), if you are seeking Texas teacher certification
See the Graduate Catalog for specifics on the courses in this program of study.
As a student in this program, you must have access to a working environment with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. You also must have the ability to communicate effectively in American Sign Language.*
*Sign skills will be evaluated throughout the program. If you are a non-native user of ASL or have not passed a state or national sign communication assessment, please discuss this with the program advisor.
An advantage of this master’s degree is the field-based component. Several courses include this experience. Additionally, you will earn three to six credit hours in one of three ways:
- Student teaching: Teach full-time in a deaf education classroom for 14 weeks, minimum seven weeks at elementary level and seven weeks at secondary level.*
- Practicum: Provides certified teachers with seven weeks of classroom experience.
- Internship for non-certified teachers: Allows payment for pre-service teaching experience at the discretion of the hiring school district. (not guaranteed)
*Prior to starting any work on a school campus, you must complete successfully a state criminal background check.
If you are interested in pursuing Texas teacher of the deaf certification, you must take the following exams prior to student teaching.
- Texas Assessment of Sign Communication (TASC): Required for all teachers in classrooms where signed communication is used. Must be taken in November prior to student teaching.
- Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES): Core Subjects EC-6 (291) or Core Subjects 4-8 (211) Exam (or other content area)
- TExES Deaf/Hard of Hearing (181) exam
- TExES Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities EC-12 (160)
How to apply
- Take the GRE. You must submit your GRE scores to TWU. No minimum score is required.
- Apply to TWU. Start this process at least six weeks prior to program deadlines. You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the last 60 hours.
- Apply to the Education of the Deaf program. Submit the enrollment packet, references and Statement of Intent by these deadlines:
Feb. 1 - April 15: Summer enrollment
July 1: Fall enrollment
- Submit a Graduate/Post-baccalaureate Initial Certification Application. This program prepares you for Texas teacher certification.
For more information
Chad Smith, PhD
Education of the Deaf
Tamby Allman, EdD
Graduate Student Advisor
Education of the Deaf
Page last updated 10:20 AM, October 18, 2018