Deaf Studies

Gallaudet University is irrefutably the world's expert on American Sign Language and deaf studies. Having a rich history of being a leader in deaf education for over a hundred years, as well as being the premier educational institution that identified ASL as a true and independent language, it is clear that if you're interested in studying either ASL or the study of deaf people and deaf communities, Gallaudet University is the place.

The ASL and Deaf Studies Department offers a major in ASL and in Deaf Studies, as well as a minor in Deaf Studies. What is the difference between an ASL major and a Deaf Studies major?

The core programs in both majors are designed to help you develop a multidisciplinary approach in the areas of teaching, language, community, history, culture, and literature of the study of deaf and hard of hearing people. However, the ASL major will go deeper into the study of the language while the Deaf Studies major will delve further into the historical, sociological, and cultural aspects of the deaf community.

In addition, a major in Deaf Studies will give you a strong foundation if you're interested in pursuing a career in deaf education, linguistics, interpretation, sociology, or social work.  

Expand Your Skills
  • Get involved on campus
  • Gain experience by working with the age group of your preference
  • Become fluent in ASL
  • Immerse yourself in the culture
  • Be open minded
  • Interview leaders in the deaf community
  • Join deaf-related service organizations
Career Options
  • Accessibility and Disability Services Advocate
  • Anthropologist
  • ASL Instructor
  • Civil Rights Case Worker
  • Community Advocate
  • Counselor
  • Equal Rights Advocate
  • Language Acquisition Specialist
  • Linguist
  • Politician
  • Media Center Specialist
  • Program Administrator
  • Researcher
  • Writer
Professional Organizations
  • American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA)
  • National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
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