Master of Science in Secondary Education


The Master of Science program in Secondary Education of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing is designed for deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing students with a passion for teaching in mind. As an MSSE teacher-candidate, you’ll earn dual certification to teach a secondary school content area for students who are hearing or deaf as well as in deaf education for grades K-12, taught by renowned faculty at one of the most innovative campuses in the world.

If you’re interested in the rewarding field of teaching and shaping the future of deaf and hard-of-hearing children by helping them succeed in school and in life, take a closer look at the MSSE program at Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

The MSSE program will prepare you to help meet the national need for highly qualified deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing teachers and leaders in the field of deaf education.

As a graduate student in the Secondary Education program at RIT, you will enjoy small class sizes, one-to-one discussions and advisement with world renowned faculty in small classes that allow you to build your strengths and develop your skills.

RIT/NTID is a unique educational community with a diverse communication environment. All community members share responsibility for effective communication and are expected to respect the language preferences of students, faculty and staff. The rich inclusive communication environment at RIT/NTID will prepare you for the broad array of communication styles you will encounter in the classroom as a teacher of the deaf.

You can become the teacher you always hoped to be through the MSSE program at RIT.

With the pressing need for more secondary education teachers, especially in science and mathematics, the strong foundation RIT provides in these areas creates an exceptional environment for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing students to pursue a teaching degree.

MSSE offers the following advantages:

  • Personal attention from program faculty members
  • Dual certification in a secondary school content area in grades 7-12 for students who are hearing or deaf as well as in deaf education for grades K-12.
  • Strong faculty with expertise in: pedagogy, language development, teaching and curriculum, speech development, research, educational technology, youth and adolescent development, student advisement and placement, and educational issues
  • Variety of student-teaching placement options
  • Access to a wide array of research materials
  • Extensive library resources on education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing, Deaf culture, sign language, and curriculum materials
  • Thorough and thoughtful personal advising
  • Close proximity to schools for deaf students and mainstream programs
  • A vibrant Deaf community in Rochester, N. Y.
  • Numerous seminars and workshops focused on contemporary educational and cultural topics
  • Immersion in sign language
  • Collaborative projects with faculty, staff members and students
  • Do you want to teach deaf and hard-of-hearing students?
  • Do you want to teach math, science, social studies, or English and respond to the need for more high school teachers?
  • Do you want to teach in a variety of K-12 mainstream and residential/center school settings?
  • Are you fascinated by the cognitive, cultural, and language characteristics of deaf and hard-of-hearing students?
  • Are you looking for personal attention and advisement from faculty and staff who are leaders in the field?
  • Would you like to learn, live and work on a campus designed for collaboration between deaf and hearing students?
  • Do you want training in evidence-based instructional approaches?

If you answered yes to these questions, then find your future in the MSSE program at RIT/NTID!

CAEP logoCouncil on Education of the Deaf logo

Rochester Institute of Technology's MSSE program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Council on Education of the Deaf (CED).

Reporting outcomes and student achievement data is available for review.

Degrees and Programs

A deaf education degree designed for teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing children. You'll earn dual NYS certification in deaf education and in a secondary content area (math, science, social studies, or English). 

Learn more about the Secondary Education of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing MS program 

Degree and Certification

When you successfully complete the program, you will have earned:

  • A Master of Science degree
  • Initial Certification from New York State to teach in an academic subject area at the secondary school level (grades 7-12). Subject areas include biology, chemistry, earth science, English, math, physics, social studies or American Sign Language
  • Initial certification from New York State in education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing, grades K-12
  • Initial certification from Council on Education of the Deaf

Note: To be eligible for initial certification, you are required to take and pass the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE). There are four tests:

  1. Educating All Students (EAS)
  2. Content Specialty Test (CST), Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  3. Content Specialty Test (CST), in the academic subject area for which you wish to become certified to teach.
  4. edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment)

Learn more about the MSSE curriculum

  • American School for the Deaf
  • Atlanta Area School for the Deaf
  • California School for the Deaf-Fremont
  • California School for the Deaf-Riverside
  • Capitol District BOCES
  • Clarke County School District
  • Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind
  • ECHO Program-Deaf & Hard of Hearing Program
  • Greece Central School District
  • Indiana School for the Deaf
  • Lexington School for the Deaf
  • Mill Neck School for the Deaf
  • Minnesota North Star Academy
  • Model Secondary School for the Deaf
  • Monroe County Board of Cooperative Educational Services #1
  • National Deaf Academy
  • New Mexico School for the Deaf
  • New York School for the Deaf
  • Ohio School for the Deaf
  • Oregon School for the Deaf
  • Oswego County BOCES
  • Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
  • Phoenix Day School for the Deaf
  • Pikes Peak Board of Cooperative Educational Services
  • PS 47- The ASL and English Secondary School
  • Rochester City School District
  • Rochester School for the Deaf
  • Scranton State School for the Deaf
  • Texas School for the Deaf
  • The Learning Center
  • Tompkins/Steuben/Tioga BOCES
  • Ulster County BOCES
  • Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind
  • Washington School for the Deaf
  • Westlake Middle School 

The RIT 4+2 Teacher Education Program

Be part of an exciting new program that creates a bridge between a four-year RIT bachelor’s degree and RIT’s two-year Master of Science degree program in Secondary Education (MSSE).

The RIT 4+2 Teacher Education Program is a truly exceptional value and an outstanding choice designed to give you the skills you need for a successful teaching career. In the 4+2 program you will:

  • receive dual certification in education of students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing as well as in an academic subject such as science or math
  • enjoy small class sizes and one-to-one discussions with faculty who are international leaders in research and the art of teaching
  • have the opportunity to gain valuable real-world teaching experience before you graduate
  • enjoy a top-quality education at a substantially reduced rate
  • You must be accepted to an RIT bachelor’s degree program in one of the following areas:

You can find all of these majors listed in the Application for Admission.

  • Once you are enrolled in one of the bachelor’s degree programs for at least two years, you can complete the application for graduate study to MSSE (during your 4th year of study). You must interview with the MSSE Department Chairperson prior to your admission to qualify for the program.
  • Upon completion of your bachelor degree program, you must have:
    • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not needed.
    • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.8-3.24, GRE scores must be submitted (combined score of at least 280 and analytic writing score of 3.0 or better).
    • Completed 30 credits and earned a 3.0 GPA in your academic subject area (ex. math, science, history/social studies or English)
    • Successfully taken and passed at least ASL I and II through RIT's College of Liberal Arts, or earned credit by exam.

For more information on the RIT 4+2 Teacher Education Program, contact the NTID Office of Admissions.

Affordable Choice

When you study in the MSSE program, you receive a substantially reduced tuition rate. Because RIT receives special federal support, you will pay less than one-half of RIT's regular tuition. Visit the graduate tuition and fees page, and click on "Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing NTID-Supported Students" for more information.

Beyond RIT's reduced tuition, RIT also offers a full range of traditional financial aid programs and a number of innovative financing plans. Approximately 60 percent of our full-time graduate students receive financial aid awards from RIT. A student's financial need is determined by analysis of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available online at RIT has four general categories of financial aid: scholarships, grants, loans and employment. An applicant for financial aid is considered for each of these categories.

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