American Sign Language - BA

The ASL major at St. Kate’s allows students to study the language and culture of American Deaf people. As an ASL major, students will constantly strive to increase communicative competence in ASL as well as their ability to comprehend and appreciate ASL literature. Students will also study principles of translation, working from written texts and video texts. All courses students take with an ASL prefix will be taught in ASL, without the use of spoken English. As an ASL major, students are strongly  encouraged to pursue a double major or a minor in a discipline that supports their interest in working with the Deaf Community.   Students are also encouraged to participate in a study abroad program to further their knowledge of language and culture. Many ASL majors choose to double major in communication studies, education, nursing or psychology or pursue a master’s degree in ASL or a related field. 

While at St. Kate’s, students will find many opportunities to use what they learn, both on and off campus. On campus, students may participate in the ASL Club, which organizes cultural and social events on campus such as ASL poetry readings or theatrical performances.  They may also choose to live in the ASL Living and Learning Community (LLC), a residence hall floor for students interested in living in an environment that promotes the use of ASL.  Students have also participated in the Assistantship Mentoring Program as research assistants, program assistants and teaching assistants. Off campus, students have found volunteer and Community Service opportunities at local Deaf schools, government agencies, theatrical venues, community organizations and political organizations. Nationally, students have attended and volunteered at conferences and internationally, they have participated in volunteer efforts in countries such as Kenya and Jamaica. 

In their senior year, students may complete a community-based internship, which may take place in a variety of settings, including education, government, non-profit, human services or performing arts. Students help determine their placement, working in a setting where they are actively using ASL in meaningful work or pursuing a project related to ASL linguistics or other related topics. 

The ability to communicate in ASL and in English is critical to both professional responsibilities and personal relationships, therefore:

A minimum grade of B- (2.667) is required for all prerequisite courses to be considered for admission into the major.

A minimum grade of B- (2.667) is required for an ASL or INTP course to be counted toward the major.

If a student does not receive a minimum grade of B- (2.667), credit toward the major may be gained only by repeating the course and not by proficiency exam. Courses may be repeated once.

A minor in ASL is also available.

See also: Interpreting.

This major is offered in the College for Women only.


ASL 2010Introduction to American Deaf Culture4
ASL 2500Fingerspelling Lab1
ASL 3110Advanced American Sign Language I4
ASL 3120Advanced American Sign Language II4
ASL 3130Conversational ASL4
ASL 3330ASL Classifiers4
INTP 3050American Sign Language and English Text Analysis4
INTP 3060American Sign Language/English Translation4
INTP 4210WSenior Seminar2
An additional course or learning activity with departmental advisor4
Prerequisite Course Work
ASL 1110
ASL 1120
Beginning American Sign Language I
and Beginning American Sign Language II
ASL 2110
ASL 2120
Intermediate American Sign Language I
and Intermediate American Sign Language II
Required Supporting Course Work 1
ENGL 2402Language in Society4
ENGL 3400WLanguage as Power4
COMM 1020Interpersonal Communication (or one other course selected with a department advisor)4
SOCI 3250Cultural Anthropology 24
or SOCI 1000 Principles and Concepts of Sociology
Total Credits67

American Sign Language majors satisfy the Writing Requirement for Majors and the fourth writing requirement by completing INTP 4210W Senior Seminar and the two writing-intensive supporting English courses. They complete the Liberal Arts and Sciences Core Writing Requirement with two other writing-intensive courses (CORE 1000W The Reflective Woman or CORE 2000W The Reflective Woman, and CORE 3990W Global Search for Justice).