American Sign Language/English Interpreting

American Sign Language/English Interpreting

This program is intended for students seeking to become American Sign Language (ASL)/English interpreters for the deaf/hard of hearing, preparing them for a variety of jobs settings such as legal, educational, medical, etc.

It's an austere and highly competitive course of study, requiring copious amounts of hands-on training that is obtained through in-class practice and personal interaction with the local Deaf population.

A combination of empirical knowledge as well as practical application will be employed in order to achieve the level of excellence required in this field. BU's American Sign Language (ASL)/English Interpreting program has 30 students per graduating class each year.

Program Description

One of just two four-year degree programs in the eastern U.S., this program provides specialized training for students seeking to become American Sign Language interpreters. In addition to learning to interpret, students also receive strong education in deaf culture and related communication issues.

As an ASL/English interpreting major, you'll take six semesters of ASL courses and learn about the linguistics of ASL and the deaf culture. Interpreter training courses include introductory classes, translation, transliteration, and interpreting in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, as well as a seminar and practicum.

Questions about ASL?

If you want to visit, please contact Jessica Bentley-Sassaman, Ed.D., at two weeks in advanced to set up a meeting with a faculty member.

Career Preparation

You'll take courses in public speaking, history, education and guidance for the deaf, practical grammar and usage, with elective courses in visual and gestural communication, interpreting in the education setting, oral and tactile interpreting.


CCIE Accreditation

BU’s ASL/English Interpreting Program has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education, which was founded in 2006 to promote professionalism in the field of sign language interpreter education. CCIE was established after nearly two decades of collaborative efforts of six stakeholder organizations, the National Alliance of Black Interpreters, Inc., National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, National Association of the Deaf, Conference of Interpreter Trainers, Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada and the American Sign Language Teachers Association.

Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education

Out-of-state licensure or certification

Professional licensure/certification laws and regulations vary from state to state and are subject to change without notice. If you are planning to pursue a professional credential in a state other than PA, it's highly recommended you contact the appropriate state licensing agency to seek guidance and verify requirements. A BU program that leads to state licensure or certification in PA may not meet requirements in another state. Visit and for details.