Become proficient in American Sign Language and develop a deep understanding of the culture and community of individuals who are Deaf and hard of hearing.
Deaf Studies Program Coordinator
Hours by Appointment
From your very first courses in American Sign Language (ASL), you are immersed into Deaf Culture. Faculty members share their own experiences and help students more fully grasp what it means to be Deaf or hard of hearing in a hearing world.
Students interact with members of the Deaf Community at a variety of on- and off-campus events. Join the ASL Club on campus or live in the ASL Residential Learning Community, and gain more confidence in your receptive skills and ability to communicate in ASL. You also have the option to complete a semester as a visiting student at Gallaudet University and/or a summer program learning Italian sign language and Italian Deaf Culture in Siena, Italy.
The American Sign Language (ASL) Community is a residential learning community for Deaf students and students committed to improving and/or maintaining their ASL language skills. The community is open to students in the Deaf Studies major, students who use ASL in their everyday lives, and students who affiliate with the Deaf community. Click here for more information!
Students participate in off-campus service learning experiences and attend Deaf events. Each student completes an internship at an organization serving the Deaf Community. Your internship gives you hands-on experience in potential careers and prepares you to work for agencies, schools and other organizations that provide services to the Deaf Community. Your internship and Deaf Studies coursework will prepare you for entry into positions such as a teaching assistant, job coach, residential dorm counselor, case manager, program coordinator or administrative specialist. Your Deaf Studies degree will also prepare you to enter graduate programs in Deaf education, psychology, social work, counseling, interpreter preparation, and many more.
View degree requirements and course descriptions for the Deaf Studies major in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Students who enroll as double majors in Deaf Studies and Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology continue studies at the graduate level to become certified as speech-language pathologists or audiologists. The double major combination prepares students to provide services to individuals who use ASL. Take a look at the program of study for the double major.
Consider selecting a minor in Deaf Studies. This program focuses on developing ASL skills and offers students the opportunity to take electives in Deaf Culture, history, and other areas.
For more information about this program, please download the Deaf Studies Overview (PPT).
The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) is the national certifying body for sign language interpreters. As of 2012, the RID requires completion of a bachelor’s degree to apply for certification. Currently the Deaf Studies major does not provide an interpreter preparation program. However, students who complete the Deaf Studies major and develop proficiency in American Sign Language are qualified to enter programs that prepare graduates to earn RID certification.