Gardner-Webb University offers an ASL degree preparing students to teach American Sign Language, interpret, and work with Deaf people.

Sign language class

The Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language trains for a career in communicating with the deaf and hard of hearing, providing you with the necessary training to become proficient in the language.

Undergraduate Admissions

A major in American Sign Language will be prepare you for interpreting, teaching, and other careers where communication with the deaf and hard of hearing are necessary. Upon graduation, you will have earned an advanced or higher on the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) because you will be proficient in receptive and expressive ASL and knowledgeable about Deaf culture and history.

As a student, you’ll have opportunities to join the Deaf Club, students dedicated to promoting deaf awareness and assisting the deaf community and general population; Joyful Hands, a ministry team sign language choir that performs Christian songs in sign language; ASL-based international mission trips; and the ASL Table, a weekly silent dinner in the GWU cafeteria that allows you to join together with hearing and deaf students.

Your degree in American Sign Language will prepare you to take on rewarding interpreting positions in various settings such as:

  1. Healthcare centers
  2. Legal environments
  3. Education
  4. Business
  5. Mental health organizations

You will also be prepared for graduate studies in ASL and linguistics. With teacher licensure, you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in the schools throughout North Carolina by raising awareness for ASL and deaf culture and creating opportunities for expression and communication.

In addition to the Gardner-Webb University general education program requirements, an additional 36 hours of credit is required for the Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language degree. Prerequisites represent 19 hours, required courses represent 18 hours, and the major also requires the completion of a capstone project, as well as passing the SLPI exam must at the advanced level.

Additional information, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.

Non-American Sign Language majors can choose American Sign Language as a minor area of concentration. A minor in American Sign Language can be earned upon completion of 15 hours of SGLG electives beyond the core requirements. SGLG305 Deaf Culture in combination with any other ASL courses at the 200-level or above is required. SGLG 101 and 102 do not count in the minor.

Other departmental minors include: Classical Languages, French, Intercultural Communication, Spanish and World Language.

Students who choose to major in American Sign Language can choose any other university minor.

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