Undergraduate American Sign Language Programs

Train for a career in communicating with the deaf and hard of hearing.

Gardner-Webb provides you with the necessary training to become proficient in the language. 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.


What You’ll Learn

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.

Available Programs

Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language (ASL)

In addition to the Gardner-Webb University general education program requirements, an additional minimum of 48 hours of credit is required for the Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language degree. Required courses represent 39–45 hours while electives represent a minimum of 9 hours. The major includes the completion of a capstone project, as well as internships.

For a more in-depth look at program requirements, visit our Academic Catalog.

American Sign Language (ASL) Minor

A minor in American Sign Language can be earned upon completion of 15 hours of Sign Language electives beyond the core requirements. Deaf Culture (SGLG 305) in combination with any other ASL courses at the 200-level or above is required.

Non-American Sign Language majors can also choose American Sign Language as a minor area of concentration.

For a more in-depth look at minor requirements, visit our Academic Catalog.

Interpreting Minor

A minor in Interpreting can be earned upon completion of 18 credit hours in courses including English Processing for Interpreters, Fundamentals and Theories of Interpreting, Signs in Application, and Interpreting.

The Interpreting minor is available only to ASL majors

For a more in-depth look at minor requirements, visit our Academic Catalog.


What You’ll Do

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.

GWU’s Interpreter Training Program consists of the ASL Major and the Interpreting Minor. This combination allows us to give greater weight to the development of language skills since Interpreting Skills are dependent on strong language skills. Our graduates have been very successful and our program is well respected for producing good interpreters ready to go to work. Our program integrates knowledge of interpreting with practice both in and out of class and real world experience. Our graduates qualify for Provisional Interpreting Licensure in NC and we work with them to prepare for the certification test with either EIPA or CASLI.

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