Special Education Master of Arts, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Emphasis

Typical Length 2 years

Delivery Online


Add a Field


Stipends Available

The University of Hawaii at Mānoa and the Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE) have partnered in providing a stipend opportunity for current HIDOE teachers to pursue add-a-field certification specializing in Deaf/Hard of Hearing (Deaf/HH). This master degree program is offered online through the University of Northern Colorado (UNCO) and will not require any travel.

Learn more detailed information about the UNCO program.


UNCO Program Eligibility/Requirements

  • Possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better (on a 4.00) scale for the most recent degree earned

To be eligible for HIDOE funding, candidates must:

  • Hold a current Hawaii teaching license in general or special education
  • Currently teach or have access to Deaf/HH students for field experiences and practicum
  • Have written consent from their principal or other appropriate supervisor (District Resource Teacher of District Educational Specialist) indicating need for becoming licensed in Deaf/HH and having access to these students for field experiences and practicum

Competency Exam Requirements:

Candidates will need to pay for, and pass, two competency exams while enrolled in the program using their own funding:

  • American Sign Language (ASL) proficiency examination* ($165)
  • Praxis – Special Education Specialist Deaf/Hard of Hearing ($120)

Both exams must be passed prior to entering practicum.

*Candidates must be able to demonstrate level 3 proficiency in ASL prior to enrolling in their final semester of practicum. Students at level 3 proficiency are “able to sign ASL with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, and professional needs.”

Tuition & Funding

Program Costs

Tuition Cost: $555/credit (including student fees), 43 credit program = $23,865
Financial Aid (FAFSA) is available for this program as a part-time student. Submit your free application to see if you qualify for student loans: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa

HIDOE Stipends

DOE Stipend (43 credits, $23,865) available for six to eight selected candidates who agree to teach Deaf/HH in a Hawaii DOE school for a minimum of 3 years after program completion.


The Master of Arts degree in Special Education, Deaf/Hard of Hearing prepares candidates to work with students from early childhood through high school and post-secondary education. This program is dedicated to developing teachers who are skilled and knowledgeable at meeting the communication, academic, social and emotional needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The program includes extensive field-based experiences and supervision is provided via distance technology. Courses are delivered entirely online, which allows candidates to continue working while obtaining the degree.


ASLS 266: Normal Speech and Language Development (3)
ASLS 370: Basic Audiology Seminar in Education (4)

Required Research Course
SRM 600: Introduction to Graduate Research (3)

Emphasis Credits
EDCS 510: Foundations of Special Education (3)
EDCS 511: Learning Environments and Cultural Considerations (3)
EDCS 512: Assessment, IEP Development and Instructional Planning (3)
EDCS 550: Foundation of Deaf Education (3)
EDCS 651: Collaboration – Deaf/HH (3)
EDCS 652: Auditory Skill Development – Deaf/HH (3)
EDCS 653: Speech – Deaf/HH (3)
EDCS 654: Language – Deaf/HH (3)
EDCS 655: Literacy – Deaf/HH (3)
EDCS 656: Curriculum and Instruction – Deaf/HH (3)
EDCS 657: Practicum* – Deaf/HH (3-6)

*Candidates must pass the ASL proficiency and designated Praxis exams prior to enrolling.

Credit Transfer/Waiver

Up to six credits may be brought into the UNCO program or waived if candidates have similar/same coursework on their transcripts. For UH Mānoa graduates, if previously taken, two courses have already been approved for waiver: SPED 304 and SPED 613.

How to Apply

Continuous Year-Round Application Period

Step 1: Apply to the University of Northern Colorado (UNCO)

Go to: admissions.unco.edu/account/register

  • Complete online application form
  • Select: Special Education M.A. – Deaf and Hard of Hearing Emphasis (Extended Campus)
  • Request two (2) academic or professional letters of recommendation from those who can attest to your academic potential and abilities. You will be asked to supply information for your recommenders in the application
  • Submit the application and pay the non-refundable application fee ($50)

Step 2: Send Official Transcripts

Request one official transcript where a bachelor’s degree or higher was earned, and send to:

Graduate School and International Admissions
University of Northern Colorado
Campus Box 135
501 20th Street
Greeley, CO 80639

Official electronic transcripts from U.S. institutions should be sent directly from the institution to: grad.applicationmaterials@unco.edu

Step 3: Upload Supplemental Materials

Once you submit the application, you will be assigned to an Admissions Portal, allowing you to upload your supplemental items, as listed below, and track your application through the admissions process:

  • A one-two page statement of academic and professional goals
  • Proof of a current teaching license in a PDF format

Step 4: Apply for HIDOE Stipend

Once admitted to UNCO, candidates must contact the UH Mānoa Department of Special Education to apply for the DOE stipend. Candidates will need to submit the following:

  • Stipend application form*
  • UNCO program acceptance letter
  • Letter of approval from admin or supervisor

*To request the stipend application form, please email vkoseki@hawaii.edu

Contact Information

Please contact the University of Northern Colorado to inquire about the program or how to apply.

Dr. Sandy Bowen
Phone: 970-351-2102

Please contact the UH Mānoa Department of Special Education to inquire about the HIDOE stipend opportunity by using the program interest form: bit.ly/spedinfo