The deaf studies major prepares students for a wide variety of professional careers and for graduate study. Students are prepared to enter jobs working for agencies and organizations that provide services to the deaf community. Graduates are often hired as teaching assistants, job coaches, residential counselors, case managers, program coordinators, or administrative specialists in a variety of work settings. Others enter academic programs to become sign language interpreters. Some students may obtain employment with theatre companies that target deaf audiences, publishing companies that offer literature and videos about deaf culture, or work as research assistants in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and linguistics. Some students elect to continue their studies at the graduate level in social work, deaf education, or business administration.
Students who elect to combine their deaf studies major with a second major in audiology and speech-language pathology generally plan to continue their studies at the graduate level to become certified as audiologists or speech-language pathologists. This double major prepares future professionals to communicate with individuals who use American sign language.
The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) is the national certifying body for sign language interpreters. 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 degree and develop proficiency in American sign language are fully prepared to enter programs that prepare graduates to earn RID certification. Some students elect to begin interpreting courses at the nearby Community College of Baltimore County- Catonsville while simultaneously completing the deaf studies major at Towson University. Advisors in the deaf studies program can provide more information on this option.
The following web sites provide more information on deaf culture and careers for deaf studies graduates.
For internship opportunities and general career assistance, students are encouraged to take advantage of the resources offered by the Towson University Career Center.
Captions are available on all the video links below.