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American Sign Language


Programs in American Sign Language prepare people to use hand and finger motions to share ideas with people who cannot hear.

American Sign Language (ASL) programs include topics such as:


Community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in ASL. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many students choose to get a certificate in ASL while pursuing a degree in another field.

Several colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in ASL. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Very few universities offer graduate degrees in ASL. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Most programs require you to complete introductory ASL courses before you are admitted. Several schools also require you to submit a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and a videotape that demonstrates your signing and interpreting skills.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Things to Know

With a degree in American Sign Language (ASL), you can work as an interpreter, teacher, or counselor. Many people work for government agencies and social service organizations as researchers and program administrators.

Although some schools do not offer majors in ASL, they often offer training as part of another major, such as education, interdisciplinary studies, or social work.

Many schools allow you to take ASL courses to satisfy the second language requirement. A related field to ASL is deaf studies. Often you must know ASL in order to enroll in deaf studies.

It is important to know that ASL is not a version of English, but is its own independent language.

Most people choose to become certified ASL teachers and interpreters. In most cases, this means you must graduate with a degree in ASL from an accredited school, work for a period of time as a teacher or interpreter, submit a portfolio of your signing, teaching, and interpreting experience, and pass a written and practical exam.

Many people choose to double major in ASL and another field such as psychology, counseling, or anthropology. Many people also study for an extra year to obtain their teacher's license.


East Side Area

Wenatchee Valley College

King-Snohomish Area

Shoreline Community College

Kitsap Area

Olympic College

Spokane Area

Spokane Community College

Spokane Falls Community College

Tacoma Area

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

Pierce College Puyallup

Vancouver Area

Clark College

Yakima Area

Yakima Valley College