CAGS in Education of the Deaf

The CAGS sequence in Education of the Deaf is typically a one-year, full-time specialization (36 credits) for students who wish to enhance their current careers by acquiring knowledge and experience in Deaf Studies or Deaf Education, or to attain the background necessary for further graduate study or a career change. (Individuals with no background in Deaf Studies or Deaf Education are required to take additional courses, which may extend the program.) The coursework is based on the streamlined version of the requirements for obtaining licensure in Deaf Education. The program is designed for students who are interested in working in various fields related to Deaf Education.

The CAGS takes into account the background and training those individuals bring to the program. We traditionally prepare graduate students who wish to gain expertise in the following areas: ASL knowledge, Deaf culture and history, Deaf literature, literacy, learning, or bilingual education of the Deaf.

Those individuals who have a master’s degree in a field unrelated to Deaf Studies or who have a degree in Deaf Education from another institution are required to take the following classes.

Prerequisite Courses (for all applicants)

  • SED DE 693 American Sign Language VI (2 cr)
  • SED DE 500 Introduction to the Deaf World (4 cr)
  • SED DE 550 History and Culture of the Deaf (4 cr)
  • Research course (4 cr)
  • SED LS 565 Introduction to Language and Linguistics
  • SED LS 566 Language of Acquisition

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 required classes at Boston University or by providing proof of equivalent coursework taken at another institution.

For applicants who have a master's in an unrelated field (42–44 credits total)

Required Courses (for unrelated fields)

  • 5 additional courses from CAGS core courses (20 cr)
    • SED DE 555 Literacy Skills in Deaf Children
    • SED DE 577 Instructional Strategies and the Deaf Child
    • SED DE 572 Psychology and the Deaf
    • SED DE 575 Language and the Deaf Child
    • SED DE 576 Advanced Language and the Deaf Child
    • SED DE 551 Deaf Literature and ASL Folklore
    • SED LS 727 Topical Seminar in Literacy, Language & Cultural Studies (variable cr)
  • SED DE 691 Advanced Seminar: Learning and the Deaf (2 cr)
  • SED DE 672 American Sign Language Structure (4 cr)
  • Two independent study courses (6 cr)
  • One elective course (4 cr)

For applicants who are currently licensed in Education of the Deaf and seeking CAGS degree (36 credits total)

Currently licensed teachers seeking additional training to become an educational specialist or literacy specialist often find the CAGS program a good fit.

Required Courses

  • 6 courses (24 cr) that align with the subject specialization agreed upon with the advisor
  • 2 electives (8 cr)
  • One independent study course (2 cr)
  • SED DE 691 Advanced Seminar: Learning and the Deaf (2 cr) (required)

ASL Language Proficiency Requirements

Competency in American Sign Language is required prior to entry to the program. Coursework is offered in American Sign Language to develop a level of performance and competency required for the entrance to the program. Students must complete an ASL proficiency examination to participate in the program and score at intermediate + or above on the ASLPI rating.

CAGS Graduation Requirements

All CAGS applicants will meet with their advisor to discuss, plan, and design a major research paper or thesis based on the specialized field.

CAGS candidates must successfully complete a comprehensive examination as a part of the CAGS degree. Students must file a formal application for the examination with the Program Director  and faculty advisor. This is typically done in concert with DE 691 Advanced Seminar: Learning and the Deaf.