The Deaf Studies major provides students with a solid proficiency in American Sign Language and a deep understanding of the culture and community of people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This immersion into Deaf culture begins with the very first courses in American Sign Language (ASL) which are taught by instructors who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Students are expected to continue their immersion through required attendance at Deaf community events, held on and off campus, silent lunches and dinners, and guest speaker events. During the Senior year, all students complete a 3 unit internship at an agency, organization or school that serves the Deaf community.
The Deaf Studies faculty suggests additional ways to improve and maintain ASLD skills, including involvement with the ASL Club on campus and the option of completing a semester as a "visiting student" at Gallaudet University. A semester at Gallaudet is typically completed during the Junior year, after ASL 4 and before taking the final 30 credits at Towson. For more information please contact the Deaf Studies Program Coordinator.
All DFST majors take 35 to 37 units of core courses designed to introduce students to Deaf culture, and provide an intensive push towards fluency in American Sign Language. Each ASL class must be passed with a grade of B or better in order to progress to the next level. Students then select one of two major focus areas, or can elect to complete one of two combined majors that are outlined below. All students complete an internship experience before graduation. Students must pass the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI), a standardized screening of ASL skills, before registering for the internship course.
Deaf Studies - Human Services Area of Focus: This area of focus is for students who want careers in agencies or organizations that provide services to individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The B.S. degree prepares students for entry-level work in social service agencies, and non-profit organizations. This focus area is also beneficial for students who want to continue post-baccalaureate studies in interpreter training programs.
Students from the ASL Club worked with the Curtis National Hand Center at Union Memorial Hospital to celebrate the amazing things our hands can do.
Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies