ASL/English Interpreting Major (B.S.)

The American Sign Language (ASL)/English Interpreting program at UNH Manchester is a specialized, in-depth program with a national reputation for quality. In 1999, the program became the first interpreting program in the country to be found in compliance with the National Interpreter Education Standards of the Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT). In 2007, the program became the first interpreting program in the nation to be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE), and, in 2017, the program became the first program to be re-accredited by CCIE. UNH Manchester also houses one of northern New England's most comprehensive collections of books and media materials on ASL/English Interpreting.

The program is guided by the premise that deaf people, as a linguistic minority, possess their own cultural values, literature, history, traditions, and social conventions. Interpretation requires bilingual and bicultural competence in spoken English and American Sign Language. The ASL/English Interpreting program at UNH Manchester provides students with a strong theoretical foundation as generalists in ASL/English Interpreting and helps prepare students for either state-level interpreter screening or national Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) interpreter certification, depending on students' skill level and experience.

Graduates may go on to pursue specialty areas in interpretation or related fields of study.

Students who complete the bachelor of science degree in ASL/English Interpreting graduate with a varied and flexible academic base. Interpreting requires skills such as sustained powers of concentration, versatility in dealing with a variety of people and content areas, fast-thinking and excellent communication skills in the respective languages. Students seeking to become interpreters receive a foundation in American Sign Language, Deaf culture, and the interpreting process, and their programs of study often include elective courses examining specific specialized settings such as Healthcare or on special topics such as theater and translation. Students also gain a thorough grounding in the liberal arts through the University's Discovery program.

Graduates of the ASL/English Interpreting program may pursue careers in ASL/English interpreting, deaf education, rehabilitation, health care, audiology, social work, counseling, and the media. The program provides students with a varied and flexible academic base. Graduates are prepared for further study in such fields as psychology, communication, linguistics, sociology, and anthropology.

For more information, contact Laurie Shaffer, program director, or the UNH Manchester Office of Admissions at (603) 641-4150.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: No

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

  • Students must complete 64 credits in the major, 40 credits in the University's Discovery program, and 24 credits in elective courses.
  • Students must complete 64 credits in the major with a grade of C or better. Students who earn less than a C on a particular course may repeat that course only once.
  • Students must achieve a GPA of 2.5 or better in major courses and must pass both ASL 532 and INTR 630 with at least a B- (or successfully demonstrate competence in American Sign Language and consecutive interpretation, respectively).
  • Transfer students must complete a minimum of eight ASL/English Interpreting courses at UNH Manchester.
Language Courses
ASL 435American Sign Language I4
ASL 436American Sign Language II4
ASL 531American Sign Language III4
ASL 532American Sign Language IV4
ASL 621Advanced American Sign Language Discourse I4
ASL 622Advanced American Sign Language Discourse II4
Culture and Linguistics Courses
INTR 438A Socio-cultural Perspective on the Deaf Community 14
INTR 539Comparative Linguistic Analysis for Interpreters4
Interpreting Courses
INTR 430Introduction to Interpretation4
INTR 439Ethics and Professional Standards for Interpreters4
INTR 540Translation4
INTR 630Consecutive Interpretation I4
INTR 636Consecutive Interpretation II4
INTR 732Simultaneous Interpretation4
INTR 734Field Experience and Seminar I4
INTR 735Field Experience and Seminar II4
Total Credits64

ASL/English Interpreting majors cannot use this course to fulfill the SS Discovery Program requirement.

Capstone Experience

The capstone experience in the bachelor of science degree program in ASL/English Interpreting is met by INTR 735 Field Experience and Seminar II, which is a senior-level course and the last in the sequence of courses required for the major. In addition, students participate in a research experience.  Starting in INTR 636 Consecutive Interpretation II and continuing in INTR 732 Simultaneous Interpretation, students identify an area of interest, conduct a literature review, and design and complete a research project.  At the end of INTR 732, students submit a completed paper and present on their findings. These courses meet the following two criteria of the capstone experience for this major:

  1. the capstone synthesizes and applies disciplinary knowledge and skills
  2. the capstone demonstrates emerging professional competencies.

Sample Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ASL 435 American Sign Language I 4
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing 4
INTR 438 A Socio-cultural Perspective on the Deaf Community 4
UMST 401 First Year Seminar 2
Discovery Course 4
ASL 436 American Sign Language II 4
INTR 430 Introduction to Interpretation 4
Discovery Course 4
Quantitative Reasoning Course 4
Second Year
ASL 531 American Sign Language III 4
INTR 439 Ethics and Professional Standards for Interpreters 4
Discovery Course 4
Discovery Course 4
ASL 532 American Sign Language IV 4
INTR 540 Translation 4
INTR 539 Comparative Linguistic Analysis for Interpreters 4
Discovery Course 4
Third Year
ASL 621 Advanced American Sign Language Discourse I 4
INTR 630 Consecutive Interpretation I 4
Discovery Course 4
Elective Course 4
ASL 622 Advanced American Sign Language Discourse II 4
INTR 636 Consecutive Interpretation II 4
Discovery Course 4
Elective Course 4
Fourth Year
INTR 732 Simultaneous Interpretation 4
INTR 734 Field Experience and Seminar I 4
Elective Course 4
Elective Course 4
INTR 735 Field Experience and Seminar II 4
Elective Course 4
Elective Course 4
Elective Course 4
 Total Credits130
  • Development of language competency in both American Sign Language and English to foster entry into the field of interpreting.
  • Development of competencies needed for meaning transfer.
  • Development of skills for self-assessment for process and product of interpreting.
  • Development of decision-making skills and critical thinking to assess an interpreted situation and the source language, target language, setting and participants.