Young children learning through the PACS program.

The Master of Science in Deaf Education (MSDE) program prepares early interventionists and teachers to work with infants and children who are deaf or hard of hearing (d/hh). The early identification of hearing loss and advanced hearing technologies have increased the national need for professionals with experience in listening and spoken language to work in early intervention and as teachers of the d/hh, creating opportunities for our graduates across the country and in a wide variety of settings.

With origins dating back to 1914, the program is recognized internationally as one of the most prestigious of its kind. Our program’s intensive curriculum, emphasis on immersion in practice teaching, and experienced faculty attract students nationally from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Two curriculum paths are available.

The Certification Track is a four-semester curriculum that is rooted in the development of speech, language, and academics. With that as a foundation, students study the factors necessary for high-quality education for children who are d/hh. The MSDE program is recognized as an approved teacher training program, with graduates of the Certification Track eligible for teacher certification recommendation in the State of Missouri (Deaf/Hearing Impaired, Birth-Grade 12) and national certification by Council on Education of the Deaf (CED).

The Degree-Only Track is a two-semester intensive curriculum that provides advanced education and experience in deaf education. This track is designed for qualified students with a degree and teacher certification in deaf education and for related professionals seeking to expand their training in deaf education. Coursework and experiences are tailored to meet the individual interests and background of each student who enrolls. The Degree-Only Track does not lead to recommendation for teacher certification or licensure.

Deaf Education: A listening and spoken language approach

95% of children who are deaf or hard of hearing have parents who can hear and want their child to learn to listen and talk. Teachers who specialize in this educational philosophy help children develop their spoken and written language skills through current teaching strategies and auditory technologies, such as cochlear implants and digital hearing aids.

Detailed application information »

William Hendry, portrait

“There truly is no program like the deaf education program here at Washington University. The world needs more educators and…it’s honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made so far.”

William Hendry, MSDE (2023)
teacher, Central Institute for the Deaf (St. Louis, MO)