Connecting, discovering and influencing deaf education on a global scale

About Gallaudet University

Gallaudet University has been the educational, political, social, and economic engine of the deaf and signing community on a national and global scale for more than 150 years.

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Our story began in 1816 when Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet crossed the Atlantic from Paris, France, to the United States with a dream to open the country’s first school for deaf education. Then, in 1864, with the support of Congress and President Abraham Lincoln, they extended their vision by founding Gallaudet University.

Gallaudet soon became a beacon for visual learning, visual language, social justice, and full rights for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Since then, Gallaudet has grown to become a university that is beyond our founder’s wildest dreams.

We showcase the value of deaf individuals across all spectrums. An educational experience where we invite you to discover and embrace your unique identity in an environment where you can fully be yourself!

Represented across all 50 states, 100 countries, and 23,000 alumni worldwide.

The number one source for information on the deaf and signing communities.
A university that teaches and transforms unlike any other.

Unique Educational Experience

Take a quick look at where we’ve been and where we’re going


Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.


Gallaudet University will build upon its rich history as the world’s premier higher education institution serving deaf and hard of hearing people to become the university of first choice for the most qualified, diverse group of deaf and hard of hearing students in the world, as well as hearing students pursuing careers related to deaf and hard of hearing people. Gallaudet will empower its graduates with the knowledge and practical skills vital to achieving personal and professional success in the changing local and global communities in which they live and work. Gallaudet will also strive to become the leading international resource for research, innovation, and outreach related to deaf and hard of hearing people.

Gallaudet will achieve these outcomes through
providing the following:

  • A bilingual learning environment, featuring ASL and English that provides full access for all students to learning and communication.
  • A commitment to excellence in learning and student service.
  • A world-class campus in the nation’s capital.
  • A virtual campus that expands Gallaudet’s reach to a broader audience of visual learners.
  • An environment in which research can grow, develop, and improve the lives and knowledge of all deaf and hard of hearing people worldwide
We will strive to become the leading international resource for research, innovation, and outreach related to deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

The Gallaudet Promise

Our University stands on a promise to provide an inclusive, supportive, and academically outstanding environment.

The Signing Ecosystem

The signing ecosystem provides a lifetime of opportunity for our signing communities to connect, discover, and influence.

The Necessity of Now

Louise B. Miller Pathways and Gardens: A Legacy to Black Deaf Children

Belonging & Equity

Gallaudet is taking action to eradicate racism through system transformation and personal growth to ensure Gallaudet is a place where all people feel safe and valued.

Campus Design & Planning

Discover our campus’ fascinating past and the exciting future we have in store. ​