Graduate School

Will Hearing Loss Jeopardize Admission?

Question: I'm an international student, and I'm applying for graduate study in the US. I have a moderate hearing loss but I can communicate and participate in a class quite normally. Will my disability jeopardize my acceptance, particularly because I'm a foreign student? Do I need to describe this problem in an application in detail and prove that I'm capable of studying normally?

Since you are applying as a graduate student, U.S. admission officials will be interested in your undergraduate college record, not your disability. You can, if you wish, mention in your essay or in a supplemental letter that you have this moderate hearing loss but that you do not require any special accommodations to communicate and participate normally. You need not go into great detail, and--if anything--providing this information should work in your favor, not against you. If your academic record is strong, the admission folks will see that you've had to overcome an obstacle to succeed, and they will value that.


Good luck to you as you make your plans.