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American Sign Language

American Sign Language

American Sign Language / English Interpreting Program

Mission Statement:

The Bachelor of Science program in American Sign Language/English Interpreting strives to prepare students to enter the profession of interpreting upon graduation.

Certificate Program

For students who already possess a bachelor’s degree, a certificate program is offered. The certificate program consists of eleven core interpreting courses.

Student Consumer Information About this Program

The Program

The program in American Sign Language / English Interpreting is designed to prepare students to become entry-level community interpreters who possess:

  • Analytical skills
  • A wide breadth of knowledge
  • An ability to combine and   synthesize the diverse and complex aspects of human language behavior in contemporary society

Interpreting for people who do not speak a common language is a linguistic and social act of communication.  An interpreter relays messages and manages the process of talking back-and-forth for two people who speak different languages.  An interpreter’s role is an engaged one, aimed at an overall understanding of the entire communicative situation, requiring fluency in the languages, the ability to know how meaning is constructed, and skills in managing the cross-cultural flow of talk.

The curriculum sequence is designed to teach interpreting as a face-to-face process that is conversational in nature and prepares students as community interpreters in medical, legal, social welfare, and educational settings.  Completing the BS degree does not mean a graduate is a certified interpreter.  Certification at the national level requires an exam administered by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.  Most students are able to pass the written portion of this exam before graduating.  The performance and interview portions of the exam usually require additional experience in the field.  The amount of time will vary from individual to individual.

Students who plan to enter this program are expected to have a high level of proficiency in ASL.  In addition, knowledge of the Deaf Community and linguistics is required to benefit from the core classes in the Interpreting major.  All students interested in the program in ASL/EI must submit an application and undergo a screening process in order to be admitted into the major.

American Sign Language Classes

IUPUI currently offers six classes in ASL.  All sections of these classes are taught by native users of the language.  If you are interested in taking ASL because your goal is to become an interpreter, you need to speak with the Director of the program in ASL/EI regarding the classes you should be taking.

In addition, we have a 2 + 2 arrangement with Vincennes University’s American Sign Language Studies Program, located on the campus of the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis.  At VU, students can take classes in American Sign Language proficiency, linguistics and Deaf culture, in addition to satisfying some of the liberal arts requirements to meet both VU’s AA degree in ASL Studies, and IUPUI’s BS degree in ASL/English Interpreting.  Graduates from VU’s program enter IUPUI’s ASL/EIP with relative ease.