Undergraduate Programs

The Department of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies gives students an opportunity to acquire an understanding of the deaf community as part of human diversity. The courses are designed to prepare students to spend their professional or social lives after graduation in the deaf community or to make further contributions in a chosen academic discipline.

The Department of ASL and Deaf Studies offers an introductory course (DST 101) to help all entering students develop a special focus on the sociological, historical, and linguistic aspects of deaf and hard of hearing people. If interested, students can then explore further by majoring in either ASL or Deaf Studies, providing that pre-major course requirements are met. Core programs in both majors are designed for students to develop a multidisciplinary approach in the areas of teaching, language, community, history, culture, and literature to the study of deaf and hard of hearing people.

Gallaudet University also offers extension classes in American Sign Language (ASL) through the Center for Continuing Studies.

Declaring a Major

Requirements for Admission to a Major in American Sign Language

All of the following (or evidence of) are to be sent electronically to the ASL program coordinator:

  • A video-letter of interest;
  • ASL Proficiency Interview rating of 4 or above;
  • A B or better in GSR 102 and GSR 103, or the equivalent;
  • A B or better in ASL 270, or the equivalent;
  • A copy of the applicant's transcript; and
  • An interview with the major/minor coordinator.

Admission to the major/minor is conditional upon acceptance by a Major Review committee which will consider the above-mentioned criteria when determining which student may major/minor in ASL. Students who are not approved by the Major Review committee may appeal to the department chair.

Requirements for Admission to a Minor in American Sign Language

All of the following (or evidence of) are to be sent electronically to the ASL program coordinator:

• A video-letter of interest;
• ASL Proficiency Interview rating of 3+ or above;
• A B or better in GSR 102 and GSR 103, or the equivalent;
• A B or better in ASL 270, or the equivalent;
• A copy of the applicant's transcript; and
• An interview with the major/minor coordinator.

Admission to the major/minor is conditional upon acceptance by a Major Review committee which will consider the above-mentioned criteria when determining which student may major/minor in ASL. Students who are not approved by the Major Review committee may appeal to the department chair.

ASL minors are strongly encouraged to purchase an Apple laptop computer equipped with built-in camera, movie making and editing capabilities.

Continuation in the program

To remain in the program, students must achieve a 2.75 average in ASL major courses. The students will also regularly complete the ASL & Deaf Studies undergraduate disposition checklist by obtaining at least 9 out of 10 outstanding or satisfactory rating each semester with their academic advisor. Students with more than 1 unsatisfactory rating will be called in for a departmental meeting to discuss strategies for improvement. Students will be asked to leave the program if they receive two consecutive semesters with more than 1 unsatisfactory rating on their disposition checklist.

ASL majors are required to purchase an Apple laptop computer equipped with built-in camera, movie making and editing capabilities.

Requirements for Admission to a Major in Deaf Studies

Students must complete or demonstrate the following before declaring a major in DST:
  • A video-letter of interest
  • A cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better.
  • An interview with at least two Deaf Studies faculty members
  • Completion of GSR 103 American Sign Language & Deaf Studies
  • A grade of B or better in DST 201 & LIN 101
  • Completion of all Pre-major courses

Requirements for Admission to a Minor in Deaf Studies

Students must pass GSR 102, GSR 103 and DST 201 with a grade of "B" or better prior to declaring a minor in Deaf Studies.

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