Special Education: Specialization in Deaf Education
M.A., M.Ed., Endorsement
Degree: Masters Degree: Endorsement Program Type: Online Interest: Communication Disorders

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates from 2010 to 2020, overall enrollment is expected to grow in elementary and secondary schools, increasing the number of students receiving special education services. Along with enrollment growth, continued demand for services in special education is expected. Currently we are experiencing a national shortage of trained personnel in deaf education.

Online degree options can help meet this shortage. This program:

  • Can lead to a master’s degree and a supplemental teaching certificate in Deaf Education.
  • Prepares you to teach preschool, elementary, middle and high school students.
  • Is for educators interested in working with infants, toddlers and preschoolers by combining with the Early Childhood Special Education program (also available online).
  • Is certified by the Council on Education of the Deaf.
  • Meets requirements for a teaching endorsement in the area of Special Education – Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) from the Nebraska Department of Education.

We aim to assure that education for deaf or hard of hearing students is:

  • Designed specifically to meet the linguistic, cultural, social and cognitive needs of the students
  • Based on recent, quality research
  • Collaborative
  • Oriented toward improved academic outcomes

Who should consider this program

  • Special education teachers and speech language pathologists who want to increase marketability by becoming a trained specialist in the field of deaf and hard of hearing
  • Special education teachers or administrators who want to develop a quality educational environment for all students by including those who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Special education teachers needing additional graduate hours for certification or degree requirements

Ranked Among The Best

U.S. News and World Report Rankings2016 U.S. News and World Report rankings place this program 14th on the list of "Best Online Graduate Education Programs."


Tuition & Fees For Special Education: Deaf

Graduate: Application & Admission

Program & Courses


The endorsement program is a set of courses leading to minimum competencies the State of Nebraska has identified for teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Requirements for the deaf education endorsement:

  • Acceptance into the master’s degree in special education or the graduate certificate in Sensory Disabilities
  • Current initial teaching certificate
  • Course to meet Nebraska human relations requirement
  • American sign language proficiency (16 credit hours or intermediate SLPI score)
  • Core requirements, if not certified in special education (15 credit hours)
  • Required courses (30 credits)

Masters Degree

The endorsement and master's degree programs overlap almost completely, and most of our students take them concurrently.

Includes at least 36 graduate credit hours consisting of:

  • endorsement program requirements (listed above).
  • a research methods course.
  • a thesis OR research other than thesis course OR additional electives.
  • Masters Comprehensive Exam.
  • up to 18 credits of approved coursework required for the endorsement or degree can be transferred from cooperating campuses.

Number of credits required is individualized. For a review of your educational history, contact Anne Thomas (402-472-8259, athomas16@unl.edu).

Approved coursework required for the endorsement or degree may be transferred from cooperating campuses.

View Catalogs & Courses

Transfer Credits

Each degree program within the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is responsible for evaluating transfer credit and determining how the credit will apply to your specific degree program.

The evaluation of transfer credit is based on a review of the comparability of the nature, content and level of the learning experience and its appropriateness to the degree program.

If you're interested in transferring credit, you will need to consult with the UNL academic department associated with your major. In most instances, you will be requested to submit the respective course syllabus.

Transfer credit information for graduate degrees

Career Services

If you’re enrolled as a degree seeking student in a UNL program you’ll have access to the same career services as on-campus students. Don’t live in the immediate area? We’ll come to you by providing phone or Skype consultations.

After you graduate, the Nebraska Alumni Association will continue to help with resources and events for job seekers.


Online courses are taught by the same award-winning professors and researchers who teach on-campus classes.

Faculty advisers will help you choose courses that will define your personal and career goals while completing your degree.

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Ways Your Education Can Benefit Your Kids

Special education online masters program