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Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies

The BA in American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies is a foundational degree that immerses students in ASL, introduces them to Deaf culture and fundamentals of communication and hearing, and prepares them to be advocates of both ASL and Deaf culture. This degree is grounded in a broad liberal arts tradition and emphasizes language courses in a developmental sequence, along with courses in Deaf Culture, ASL linguistics, advocacy, and introductions to Deaf education, interpreting, and using ASL in health professions (including audiology and speech-language pathology). The emphasis on language and culture makes this an extremely flexible credential that prepares graduates for any number of jobs working in contact with the public. 

Graduates with this major will (a) have functional skills in American Sign Language, including use and comprehension of the language in a variety of settings; (b) understand the history and culture of the Deaf; (c) demonstrate fundamental understanding of communication science; and (d) advocate on behalf of those with communication differences. Students who graduate with this major may consider pursuing additional training in education, interpretation, advocacy, CSD/health professions, hospitality, or administration (e.g., human resources or customer service), among others. The BA in ASL and Deaf Studies may be of interest as a stand-alone degree or as a value- added credential in areas such as theater, education, nursing, health sciences, or hospitality.

This degree is not intended to confer the expertise required to be a certified ASL interpreter.

American Sign Language and Deaf Studies 4-year plan

For more information, please contact asl@memphis.edu.