New Student Programs

American Sign Language - English Interpretation (ASL)

About ASL

The ASL-English Interpretation major is designed for students who want to pursue careers as interpreters. The core curriculum provides a coherent plan of study through courses in American Sign Language, Deaf culture, linguistics, the theories and skills involved in interpreting and transliterating, multicultural issues, and a two-semester interpreting and transliterating practicum, which includes interpreting fieldwork supervised by professional mentor interpreters. In order to be successful interpreters, students in the major at Columbia will need to acquire mastery of standard American English, fluency in American Sign Language, and familiarity with public speaking techniques, as well as sensitivity to multicultural issues and challenges in interpersonal communication.

For Orientation

On Campus: Freshmen Students

All students who have previous course work in American Sign Language – English Interpretation from another institution or significant experience with ASL will have an to opportunity to participate in a short assessment session with ASL faculty before they register for classes.

Distance: Freshmen Students

All students who have previous course work in American Sign Language – English Interpretation from another institution or significant experience with ASL can contact Nina Campbell in the Department of ASL-English Interpretation at ncampbell@colum.edu or call 312.369.7837 to get more information on setting up an assessment to place into higher level classes.

We currently recommend registering for entry-level classes until an assessment is completed.

If you would like to re-RSVP and select an on-campus session, please proceed back to the RSVP screen and re-register for an on-campus session. You can restart the process from colum.edu/newstudents.

On Campus & Distance: Transfer Students

If you have significant previous course or life experience with ASL and would like to try and place out of the entry-levels of coursework, you will need to complete a brief interview with a faculty member via Skype.

If you wish to receive department credit for courses that do not require linguistic proficiency, such as Deaf Culture or Introduction to Interpreting, you should be prepared to share the syllabus for such courses via email ahead of your Orientation date. Contact Nina Campbell in the Department of ASL-English Interpretation at ncampbell@colum.edu or call 312.369.7837 to get more information on this process.

Recommended First-Semester Classes

We recommend you try to take the following classes in your first semester as an ASL major:

  • • 37-1151 American Sign Language I
  • • 37-1252 Deaf Culture 

Students with previous experience in ASL can participate in a placement examination. More information is available on the ASL website.

View the Full Course Catalog