Interpreting - BA

St. Kate's offers students a nationally recognized education in ASL-English interpretation. As an interpreter, students will need excellent analytical skills, ethical decision-making skills and communication skills, as well as in-depth cultural and linguistic knowledge. A strong liberal arts background is also crucial in order for students to develop the knowledge and competencies they will need to work in the interpreting field.

The interpreting major helps students develop a specialized ability to support communication access for the Deaf community, with the goal of passing the national interpreting certification exam. As an interpreting major, students will be constantly striving to increase their language proficiency and range, both in ASL and English. All courses students take with an ASL prefix will be taught in ASL, without the use of spoken English. Majors are also encouraged to pursue a minor in language studies and/or participate in a study abroad program to further their knowledge of language and culture.

The push for greater access for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people has increased the demand for well-educated, professional interpreters. When students graduate with a major in interpreting, they may find career opportunities in a variety of settings. Interpreters are needed in many situations, including professional meetings, prenatal classes, medical appointments, parent-teacher conferences, counseling, job interviews, concerts, theater and city council meetings. There is also a rapidly expanding job market for video relay interpreting.

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 such as ASL poetry readings or theatrical performances.  They may choose to live on the ASL Living Learning Community (LLC), a residence hall floor for students of ASL who wish to live in an ASL environment.   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 Learning 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 will complete a community-based internship, which may take place in a variety of settings, including education, healthcare, government, non-profit, rehabilitation or human services. Interpreting students help determine their placement and have completed their internships in agencies across Minnesota as well as in Iowa, California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Washington state and Washington D.C.

St. Kate's is a leader in interpreter education and has received grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration to advance interpreter education since 1999.  If students are interested in a discipline that includes the study of language, culture, ethics, critical thinking and communication, interpreting may be for them!

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.

See also: American Sign Language

This major is offered in the College for Women only.


ASL 2500Fingerspelling Lab1
ASL 2010Introduction to American Deaf Culture4
ASL 3330ASL Classifiers4
INTP 2020Introduction to the Interpreting Profession2
INTP 3050American Sign Language and English Text Analysis4
INTP 3060American Sign Language/English Translation4
INTP 3210Ethics and Decision-Making4
INTP 4050ASL/English Interpreting I4
INTP 4060ASL/English Interpreting II4
INTP 4210WSenior Seminar2
INTP 4604Internship4
Select at least one of the following:4
Conversational ASL
Healthcare Interpreting
Educational Interpreting
Total Credits41
Prerequisite Courses
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
ASL 3110
ASL 3120
Advanced American Sign Language I
and Advanced American Sign Language II
Total Credits24
Required Supporting Course Work 1
Select two English courses from the following:8
Language in Society
Language as Power
PHIL 2200WEthics4
THR 2140Acting: Leadership in Performance4
or THR 2300 Voice in the Workplace
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 Credits24

Interpreting majors satisfy the Writing Requirement for Majors by completing INTP 4210W Senior Seminar. They complete the Liberal Arts and Sciences Core Writing Requirement with three other writing-intensive courses (CORE 1000W The Reflective Woman or CORE 2000W The Reflective Woman, CORE 3990W Global Search for Justice, and any other writing-intensive course in another department).