Dr. Kota Takayama, Program Director
Hall Memorial Building, S334C

The master of social work program at Gallaudet University prepares students for advanced social work practice with deaf and hard of hearing populations. Graduates possess the knowledge and skills to enter the profession as practitioners in various settings, such as schools, health care agencies, family and child welfare agencies, mental health settings, disability organizations, corrections agencies, organizations that provide services to senior citizens, etc. Graduates possess knowledge and skills in areas of direct generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Graduates may practice in areas such as policy, research, program development, and agency and community work.

The MSW program consists of 61 credit hours of study. The foundation curriculum consists of courses in eight core curriculum areas: human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, social work practice, research, field education, values and ethics, diversity, and populations at risk, including social and economic justice. Foundation students attend a concurrent field practicum with courses, entering the field of practice for two eight-hour days a week at an internship site. Students complete the first year of study with approximately 500 hours of field practicum experience in addition to course and lab credit.

The advanced curriculum concentration courses consist of advanced content in all of the curriculum areas. Graduates expand and deepen knowledge and skills acquired during the foundation year and develop special knowledge and skills needed for practice with deaf and hard of hearing populations. Students in the advanced year have a full semester of courses in the fall semester and a full block placement in the spring semester with two online courses. During the spring semester, students are placed in settings that require advanced social work practice skills. Students work at their internship sites for four eight-hour days, totaling thirty-two hours per week or 512 hours for the semester in addition to two online courses. At the completion of the second year of study, students graduate with 17 credits of field practicum (approximately 1012 hours of field practicum) and 44 course credits.  

MSW students must achieve an ASLPI rating of 2 by the end of their foundation curriculum, prior to admission into the concentration curriculum. Students are responsible for scheduling their ASLPI evaluations by appointment with the Center for American Sign Language Literacy (CASLL) on the second floor of the Merrill Learning Center early in the fall semester of their first year in the program. ASLPI scheduling at the CASLL only occurs during a two-week sign-up period only at the beginning of the semester. This is the only time during a given semester that M.S.W. students may secure individual interviews.  

Students not reaching the ASLPI rating of 2 in the fall semester must meet with their advisors to develop a plan of activities (ASL classes and interaction activities), which will facilitate skill and rating advancement. It is the student's responsibility to register for these classes and activities, and to schedule subsequent ASLPI evaluations until the required rating is achieved. A rating of 2+ is required for graduation.  Students not achieving the ASLPI rating of 2+ are required to provide a portfolio of documentation which would include the ASLPI or SCPI proficiency level(s) obtained and three letters of recommendation from individuals (internship supervisor, academic advisor, or others), along with everything else the students have done to improve their skills. Then the Social Work Department will make a decision based on that information, the student progress in the M.S.W. program, and the population and setting in which the student aims to work.


Admissions Procedures

Applicants for the MSW in Social Work must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information and a checklist of application requirements.  Detailed program information and course descriptions are also available under the 'Courses' and 'Requirements' tab.

First Date for Consideration of Application: No set date
Last Date for Completed Application: February 15

Program Specific Requirements

Three Letters of Reference
Goal Statement
Writing Sample recommended
On-Campus or Video Phone Interview Recommended

Prerequisite Coursework

30 Hours of Liberal Arts or Humanities

Conditional Admission

Occasionally, a student who is unable to satisfy a particular admission requirement but otherwise gives evidence of ability to succeed in a graduate social work program may be awarded admission conditionally. The student then has until the end of the first semester to remove those conditions. If the student does not remove those conditions, he or she will not be allowed to continue in the program.

Advanced Standing

Students graduating from a baccalaureate program in social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and who meet other eligibility requirements may qualify for Advanced Standing status. Students who are eligible for Advanced Standing are generally not required to take SWK705:Human Behavior in the Social Environment I (3) and SWK706: Human Behavior in the Social Environment II (3), SWK741: Social Work Practice I (3) and SWK742: Social Work Practice II (3), SWK744: Social Work Practice with Families and Groups (2), SWK711: Social Policy and Social Services (3), SWK755: Qualitative Social Work Research (3) and SWK756: Quantitative Social Work Research (3): SWK771:Foundation Field Practicum I (4) and SWK772: Foundation Field Practicum II (4) in the foundation curriculum equivalent to a two-semester full time load. Advanced standing students must achieve a pre-admission ASLPI score of 2 and submit a letter of recommendation for advanced standing from their BSW  Director of Field Instruction with their application.