Gallaudet University Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?




The pro and con of this school is that you really don't feel like you are in college. Its not the school to go to if you want to learn a lot. However, it is the school to go to if you want to interact with the Deaf culture and people who are deaf. The cafeteria is open all day, you can go in there whenever you want and eat whatever you want. This is a plus, so get a good meal plan because the food is pretty good. (pizza, french fries, salad bar, sandwich bar, soup bar, greens, a vegetarian bar, smoothies, pasta bar...etc.). Since there is only one main place to eat (not counting the student union), you see everyone at each meal, the tables are all in circles, so it forces you to sit with other students and interact during meals. This is good to meet new people but bad if you are shy. I would have to say the food is my favorite part of going to the school. Mostly because you can get ice cream every day. I would change the academics, the school tells you when you apply that "there is lot of help for students" naming that they have a tutoring center for everyone and it is free. However, they only have a few subjects that they tutor in regularly, if its not a super basic course, its really hard to get a tutor. I signed up on one of the first days of school and reminded them like 10 times over and over again that I needed help in my classes and they did not find tutors to help me the entire semester and I ended up failing those classes. The teachers when you go to their office hours usually shew you away saying something to the degree of "look in the notes you took, I taught the class about that topic already". They are really not helpful and are always trying to make it hard for you so that you will fail their classes. The school is very small. If you live on campus it feels very small because you see the same people over and over again. There is a lot of bullying on the campus between students because of this, not physical so much but more like making fun of people and tons of gossip between groups of students. When I tell my friends that I go here, they usually says "what, where the heck is that school" no one has heard of it unless they live in DC or they know people that are deaf. I spend most of my time in my room because the library sucks here. It is darkly lit, and no one studies in there unless they are super desperate to get away from their roommates or friends to hide out. There are not too many books in there, but there is a mac lab on the bottom floor where you can make media presentations. The school is really big on apple computers, almost all the rooms have them. This is not a PC campus at all. Gallaudet's stongest point is the fact that you can take out books and take classes at other schools in DC for free if gallaudet does not have the class you want (most likely they won't have the class). You can also go to the library at other schools in DC with your Gallaudet ID. There is no college town, on the weekends its very boring here, there is really nothing to do but study, study, study....but no one really does that, so you can go to a football game if they have one. The administration is hidden in a building no one goes into. Its more like...does it exist? The people that admit you to the school are amazing kind, they call you back on time, they smile and are super friendly. The biggest controversy on campus is the way that hearing students "talk" on campus that makes the Deaf students very angry. For example, if a hearing student is talking in the dorm lounges, the Deaf students may talk badly about them to other students and insult them for coming to "their school", like the Deaf students "own" the school. School pride? I think the alumni that come back (like you see 50 year olds at homecomming) they have pride since they keep coming back. People here seem to feel pride since they feel they "fit in" if they are part of the Deaf culture. Other than that, day to day pride, you don't see it around campus. Once in a great while you may see someone wearing a t-shirt with the name of the school on it,but that's about it. The most unusual thing...well just about everything is unusual about this school. The minority students (deaf) in public society all of a sudden come to this school and become the majority. So, they rule the school. This is a very strange feeling since it feels like you are not living in america any longer. Its a cool feeling if you are Deaf to be the majority for the first time in your life. Not all classes are taught in sign language- this is a common misconception students have when they come here. I will always remember when I first came here and had no idea where to go or what to do for the first time since there were no signs of where to "check in" , so I was circling around the campus a few times before I stopped at a random building and had to ask where the check in was. It shows how the organization at this school is from the first day of check in. Most frequent student complaints...well there are so many, people are always complaining here. Let start with the actual school, the academics, they stink. to be honest, you don't come to Gallaudet to get "smart". You do come though to make Deaf friends and interact with the Deaf culture. The teachers that are here, whether the teach well or not, it does not matter, they will not be fired ever, because can you imagine the school trying to find for example "not only a great biology teacher, but also one that can teach it in sign language". So the teachers have to much power because they will never feel like they can lose their job if they are bad teachers. They are hired because they know sign language and they had a degree somehow in what they are teaching. Other complaints are that "gallaudet does not know how to teach students". They don't offer enough support for students that need extra help in a specific subject.


I am graduate student so my experience is probably not representative of the average undergraduate, but my impression is that the majority of academics have been really, really easy. As a rule, professors have been standoffish and not very interested in teaching. Homework assignments are often reading comprehension checks and there is rarely time for creative discussion.