Specialization (9 credits)

  • The Deafness Specialty Program (D.S.P.) is a graduate-level sequence that prepares professionals to work with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing across the lifespan.
  • The three-course sequence examines the social, cognitive, linguistic, and cultural factors that influence overall development and communication development. 
  • Become prepared to interact with children and families who are linguistically and culturally diverse and who use a wide range of communication methods and strategies including listening and spoken language, visually supported spoken language (Cued Speech and sign-supported speech), and American Sign Language.
  • The Deafness Specialty Program is open to graduate-level matriculated and non-matriculated students in speech-language pathology and inclusive childhood or adolescence education. 
  • Practicing professionals in a variety of disciplines can pursue the concentration as non-matriculated students for continuing education credits at half the price of regular course tuition to get a continuing education certificate. Fill out the Deafness Specialty Course Approval form.

D.S.P. is Ideal For

  • Matriculated or non-matriculated graduate-level students seeking a specialization in deafness, including individuals pursuing degrees in speech-language pathology, and inclusive childhood or adolescent education.
  • Certified teachers or speech-language pathologists seeking additional education for teaching students who are deaf or hard of hearing

Career Information

  • Half of speech language pathologists in schools have at least one deaf or hard of hearing child on their caseload, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's 2014 Schools Survey.
  • There is a continued shortage of highly qualified professionals with the knowledge and skills in evidence-based practices to support individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Recent employment data on graduates with this specialization indicates that employers recognize the value of this certification and are seeking professionals who have this specialized knowledge.


Grants, scholarships, veterans benefits, partner benefits, loans, and undergraduate loan forgiveness are options for paying for education graduate degrees. Nazareth’s Graduate School of Education tuition per credit hour.

What to Expect

  • Three specific courses are required (detailed below under curriculum), offered in the evening during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
  • Practicum opportunities with children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing, for matriculated students
  • Receive a local certificate of specialization in deafness from Nazareth University upon completion
  • Earn continuing education units or professional development credits upon completion

Curriculum (9 credits)

  • Language and Communication in Deaf or Hard of Hearing Children: Birth to Five
  • Language and Communication in Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students: School-Age and Beyond
  • Facilitating Language & Communication Through Technology for Persons Who Are Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Registration process

  • Current Nazareth students: Talk to your academic program director to determine whether you are eligible to enroll in this program.
  • Non-matriculated students: Contact the program director.
  • Registration occurs on a rolling basis. Starting classes in the fall is recommended.
  • If you have questions, contact the program director listed on this page.

Ask a Question