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Secondary Education of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing MS

Program overview

The master of science degree in secondary education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing prepares students to meet the national need for teachers of secondary students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The program prepares teachers not only as effective and ethical practitioners but also as scholars and leaders in the profession.

Faculty members are international leaders in research and are highly skilled in the education of deaf people. A carefully designed system of faculty advisement is a prominent feature of the program. On-campus facilities, state-of-the-art technology, and a well-established system of educational access services combine to make this a vital program for both deaf and hearing students who desire careers as professional educators of deaf students.


Secondary education for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, MS degree, typical course sequence

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
MSSE-700 History of Deaf Educational Thought and Practice 3
MSSE-701 Psychology and Human Development 3
MSSE-703 Special Education in the Social Context 3
MSSE-710 General Instructional Methods 3
MSSE-712 Practicum 2
MSSE-713 Assessment Principles and Practices 3
MSSE-715 Issues in Mainstreamed Education 3
MSSE-725 Structures of ASL and English 3
MSSE-726 Language Acquisition and Learning 3
MSSE-727 ASL in Instructional Delivery 3
MSSE-785 Foundations of Educational Research 3
Second Year
MSSE-702 Educational and Cultural Diversity 3
MSSE-704 Teaching Deaf and Hard of Hearing Learners Special Educational Needs 3
MSSE-714 Curriculum Content and Methods of Instruction 3
MSSE-722 Educational Audiology and Spoken Language Development 3
MSSE-728 Literacy and the Deaf Adolescent 3
MSSE-760 Student Teaching I* 6
MSSE-761 Student Teaching II* 6
MSSE-790 Professional Portfolio 3
MSSE-794 Inquiry in Teaching (elective) (3)
Total Semester Credit Hours 62

* Students are required to complete a minimum of 250 hours of supervised student teaching, working with deaf and hard-of-hearing students at the secondary (7–12) grade level. In addition, 100 hours of field experience must be completed before the first student teaching placement.

Degree requirements

Course work requires a minimum of four semesters. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 must be maintained. Before graduation, students are expected to have at least intermediate-level signing skills as determined by a Sign Language Proficiency Interview.

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in secondary education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university,
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Have a basic knowledge of American Sign Language as measured by a departmental skill assessment, or willingness to take American Sign Language I (or its equivalent) at NTID or another college prior to beginning the program,
  • Have a level of writing proficiency appropriate to graduate study as indicated by a review of undergraduate writing-intensive courses and an expository essay,
  • Submit letters of reference and an expository essay that indicates evidence of professional commitment and potential for success in the program,
  • Submit scores from Graduate Record Exam (GRE),
  • Participate in an individual interview, and
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum scores of 550 (paper-based) or 213 (Internet-based) are required.

Additionally, 30 semester credit hours in a content area are required by the New York State Education Department for initial certification to teach a secondary (grades 7–12) content area. Students who do not have the required number of hours must complete the additional credits before applying for New York State certification. Secondary academic subjects include American Sign Language, English, mathematics, social studies, or science. Please note: The social studies content area includes economics and government, and at least 21 semester hours in the history and geography of the United States and the world.

Additional information

Financial Aid

NTID tuition is approximately one-third of RIT's tuition. Approximately 60 percent of NTID’s full-time graduate students receive financial aid awards. A student’s need is determined by the analysis of the Free Application for Federal Students Aid (FAFSA). RIT has four general categories of financial aid: scholarships, grants, loans, and employment. RIT has grant funding available to address the financial need of all graduate students. Though funds are limited, RIT strives to meet as much of a student’s financial need as possible.

Students who pursue the program and plan to teach in the content areas of math or science upon graduation, may be eligible for a scholarship of up to $6,000 per year for two years. Up to 10 such scholarships are offered on an annual basis. Students who plan to teach other content areas such as English and social studies may be eligible for scholarships for up to $4,000 per year for two years.

All full-time students in the program are offered opportunities to work as graduate assistants with members of NTID faculty and staff. These paid positions range from teaching and research assistants to program assistants and tutors. Graduate assistants are required to work five hours per week and receive a stipend. There also are numerous on-campus student employment opportunities available.

Career Outcomes

Job Titles

Secondary Education Teacher

Recent Employers

Schools for the deaf in Connecticut, New Mexico, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, as well as mainstream programs throughout New York and Florida.

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