Prepare to Serve the Deaf Community with Our B.A. in American Sign Language and Interpretation Degree
You have a heart for the deaf community, and our Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language and Interpretation degree will prepare you with the interpretation skills you need to serve and advocate for the deaf as a Champion for Christ. As the most widely used sign language in North and Central America, as well as a large part of Africa, the field of American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, is growing tremendously. Skilled interpreters are in demand by video relay services, churches, schools, medical offices, and other organizations, and our bachelor’s degree in ASL interpretation will give you the training you need to become a professional interpreter dedicated to integrity and excellence.
Our ASL degree program is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skill set needed to bridge communication and cultural gaps as skilled ASL interpreters. Besides the opportunities a degree in ASL interpreting provides for a vocation, there are many other reasons to learn American Sign Language.
- There Are Many Opportunities to Use ASL
- With as many as 28 million Americans having some degree of hearing loss according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are many opportunities for you to use this skill.
- The Rewards Are More Than Financial
- You can serve as an interpreter, social worker, teacher, audiologist, and more. Anywhere Deaf people habitually encounter hearing people, you can find rewarding job opportunities. Organizations like hospitals, schools, government agencies, churches, and judicial courts all need American Sign Language interpreters, and our bachelor’s degree in ASL interpretation will equip you to follow your calling to support the Deaf community through interpretation.
- It’s Good for Your Brain
- Studies have shown that learning a second language can improve memory and actually grow your brain. In addition, it can help stave off dementia.
- It’s Popular
- American Sign Language is one of the fastest-growing languages you can study at colleges and universities in the United States.
- Use Your Skills to Work as a Volunteer
- There are many opportunities to use ASL in your community. Whether you serve as an official volunteer with an organization or want to be prepared for chance encounters in your workplace or church, opportunities to help and connect with Deaf individuals will find you if you keep your eyes open.
“Not only are the professors here talented, wise, and experts in the field of signing,
they are willing to engage each student one on one and meet each individual and help them through each struggle.”
– Ann Haldeman, ASLI major
Why Choose Our Bachelor’s in American Sign Language Degree?
At Liberty University, we give you the foundation you need to serve as an American Sign Language interpreter who understands and advocates for the Deaf community and culture – in all its varieties. But we also want to prepare you with the skills you need to minister to the Deaf community. When you earn your degree at Liberty, you can be confident that your courses are taught from a Christian worldview by professors who are passionate about living out their faith. You will study with both Deaf and hearing professors, and they will mentor you throughout your degree program, and as you begin your career.
As one of the largest Christian universities in the nation, we’re dedicated to giving you the spiritual support you need to be successful in completing your degree. From spending time with your hall leadership to attending convocation and campus community, you’ll have many opportunities to seek spiritual guidance and growth.
While you’re here, you will build friendships that will last a lifetime. You’ll meet students from all 50 states and more than 70 different countries, and you’ll have opportunities to connect with them outside of classes through prayer groups, clubs, and other student organizations.
Our sprawling campus is located in beautiful Lynchburg, Virginia, and features great opportunities to enjoy activities outside of classes and studying. From our NCAA sports teams to our recreation centers like Snowflex, the LaHaye Ice Center, and Camp Hydaway, you’ll be able to relax while enjoying unique sports experiences. And when you’re hungry, you’ll enjoy our Reber-Thomas Dining Hall with over 20 available food stations, including gluten-free and vegan options.
What Will You Learn in Our American Sign Language Bachelor’s Degree Program?
In the first two years of your B.A. in American Sign Language and Interpreting program, you will take general education and introductory ASL courses designed to lay the foundation for your degree. Then you will explore the history and culture of the American Deaf community, preparing you to interact, serve, and advocate for the Deaf. As you finish your degree, you will have a practicum and an internship that might include working with Liberty University’s Interpreting Services, with the Washington Fellowship, or various other organizations nationwide.
Because our mission is to Train Champions for Christ, our ASL interpreter program emphasizes integrity and ethical behavior in both interpreting and in life. Our ASL classes are taught from a biblical worldview and will give you the tools you need to integrate your faith into your professional and personal life. Whether you want to use your American Sign Language skills in full-time ministry or professional interpreting, our bachelor’s in ASL interpretation will prepare you to share the love and truth of Christ with compassion wherever God calls you.
ASLI 101 – American Sign Language I
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Introduction to American Sign Language (ASL).
- Development of functional grammar, basic vocabulary, and practical conversational skills.
- Production, comprehension, and an introduction to the Deaf community.
ASLI 212 – Theory and Application of Fingerspelling and Numbers
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- A theory-based approach for developing and improving fingerspelling recognition.
- A unique training method will be used to improve student’s comprehension of this vital aspect of American Sign Language (ASL).
- Various number systems used within ASL.
ASLI 310 – Deaf Studies
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- The history and culture of the American Deaf community.
- Cultural, educational, and political aspects of the Deaf community.
- Deaf literature and sociolinguistics.
ASLI 405 – ASL Linguistics
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- This course studies the phonological, morphological, and syntactical structure of American Sign Language (ASL) and compares these features to cross-linguistic universals, with special attention to their analogs in spoken English.
- Semantics, as well as historical and changing aspects of the language, will also be considered.
Highlights of Our Bachelor’s in American Sign Language and Interpretation Degree Program
- ASLI (American Sign Language and Interpreting) students have the opportunity to minister and work in Guatemala serving with the Guatemalan Deaf Ministries while earning their degree.
- Small class size offers you the chance to engage with professors on a one-to-one basis and develop a great relationship with the faculty in both your core and general education classes.
- You’ll have the chance to get real-life experience for your future career through a hands-on practicum and internship.
- Join our ASL Club and develop your language skills while participating in fun activities with other ASLI majors and faculty members.
- Participate in silent dinners and church services that will help you get to know our local Deaf community.
- Learn from our experienced Deaf and hearing faculty members who are passionate about mentoring you on your ASL journey.
Our Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language and Interpretation Degree Information
Career Opportunities for Graduates of Our ASL Interpreter Program
- Educational interpreting
- Video relay services
- Corporate interpreting
- Freelance interpreting
Admission Requirements for Our Undergraduate Degree Programs
Every application is reviewed by the admission committee on a case-by-case basis, meaning there are no set minimums for acceptance. However, all applicants must submit the following documents* for admission:
- Admission application
- Official high school transcripts
- Official college transcripts (if applicable)
- SAT, ACT, or CLT scores (Liberty University is offering test-optional admission for Spring, Summer, and Fall 2021 applicants)
- Admission essay
*Note that additional documentation may be requested by the admission committee after your application has been received.