CAGS in Education of the Deaf

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) sequence in Education of the Deaf is a one-year, full-time specialization for students who wish to enhance their current careers by acquiring knowledge and experience in Deaf studies or to attain the background necessary for further graduate study or a career change.

The coursework is based on the streamlined version of the requirements for obtaining a licensure in Deaf Education. The program is designed for students who are interested in working in the field of Deaf Education in a non-teaching position.

The CAGS program shares many elements of the EdM, but is specifically designed for students entering with a master’s degree in another field. Current teachers seeking more training to become an educational specialist often find the CAGS program a good fit. Teachers of the Deaf may also use the additional course credits toward the Council on Education of the Deaf (CED) requirement for professional and ongoing certification. Coursework may be tailored for more emphasis in one of the following areas: ASL and ASL linguistics, Deaf culture and history, Deaf literature and education, counseling, linguistics, psychology, literacy, or bilingual/bicultural education.

Students interested in doctoral work in these areas should refer to the description of the EdD in Developmental Studies under Literacy & Language Education. Alternatively, a PhD in Applied Linguistics may be earned in the Boston University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.


Coursework in American Sign Language, language acquisition, and general education is required before entering graduate-level courses. Some prerequisites may be offered at Boston University in the summer. Others may be taken during the course of the program. Students are required to meet these prerequisites by taking the classes below at Boston University or by providing proof of equivalent coursework taken at another institution.

  • SED DE 570 American Sign Language I
  • SED DE 571 American Sign Language II
  • SED LS 565 Introduction to Language and Linguistics
  • SED LS 566 Language of Acquisition
  • SED LR 501 Teaching of Reading

Required Courses

All courses are 4 credits unless otherwise noted

  • SED DE 555 Literacy Skills in Deaf Children
  • SED DE 552 Seminar: Selected Topics in Deaf Studies
  • SED DE 572 Psychology and the Deaf
  • SED DE 573 Expressive/Receptive Vocal Processes (2 cr)
  • SED DE 575 Language and the Deaf Child
  • SED DE 576 Advanced Language and the Deaf Child
  • SED DE 591 American Sign Language IV
  • SED DE 672 American Sign Language Structure
  • SED DE 551 Deaf Literature and ASL Folklore
  • SED LS 727 Topical Seminar in Literacy, Language, & Cultural Studies (variable cr)
  • SED DE 592 American Sign Language V: Academic Language (2 cr)
  • SED DE 693 American Sign Language VI (2 cr)
  • SED DE 691 Advanced Seminar: Learning and the Deaf (2 cr)
  • SED DE 700 Clinical Practice: Education of the Deaf
  • One research course

Additional Requirement(s)

Competency in American Sign Language: Coursework is offered in American Sign Language to develop a level of performance and competency required for the completion of the program. Students must complete an ASL proficiency examination to participate in student-teaching and to graduate from the program.

Comprehensive Examination: CAGS candidates must file a formal application for a departmental comprehensive examination with the department chairman and faculty advisor. The examination must be completed successfully.