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The ASL Studies Certificate

The University of Pittsburgh Department of Linguistics offers an undergraduate certificate in American Sign Language (ASL) Studies. This certificate program should lead students to:
›  a high degree of proficiency in ASL
  an understanding of the linguistic structure of ASL as a visual/gestural language
›  an understanding of important issues in Deaf culture and education

The certificate program could conveniently accompany several undergraduate majors including, but not limited to, linguistics, communication science, and various undergraduate disciplines that serve as the basis for graduate-level degrees and certificates in the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. The program draws on the academic strengths and resources of the Department of Linguistics in the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Department of Instruction and Learning in the School of Education.

Students who are interested in the ASL Studies Certificate can apply for entrance into that certificate program early each spring semester, before registration for the following fall semester begins. Students are encouraged to apply while taking ASL 2.

Application opens on the first day of spring classes and closes the last Friday in February.

Please submit your application as soon as you are able. The earlier you submit your application IN FULL, the better your chances of admittance into the certificate program.

Currently, there is a limit of 40 students per academic year who can enroll in the ASL Certificate Program. For this reason, each applicant will be required to go through an evaluation process. Applications are accepted early during the spring semester of each academic year and students will be notified of their acceptance/non-acceptance into the program before registering for fall classes. Please contact our ASL Coordinator, Debra Hast, with questions (CL 2809,

Certificate Application (complete online)

Please click on the link below to complete the online certificate application in its entirety. A printable list of reminders is also provided.

Certificate requirements


›  ASL 0101: ASL 1 (grade of B or higher)
›  ASL 0102: ASL 2 (grade of B or higher)
›  Minimum 2.8 GPA
›  Successful performance on skills and knowledge evaluations

Certificate courses (18 credits)

Category 1: Further Language Instruction
›  ASL 0103: ASL 3 (3 credits; offered every fall)
›  ASL 0104: ASL 4 (3 credits; offered every spring)

Category 2: Deaf Culture
ASL 1615: Deaf Culture (3 credits; offered every semester)
  Please Note: This is NOT the same as ASL 1625: Deaf in Society! ASL 1625 will not satisfy this requirement unless specifically pre-approved by the ASL Coordinator.

Category 3: Linguistics (one of the following)
›  LING 1000: Introduction to Linguistics (3 credits; offered every semester)
CSD 1020: Nature of Language (3 credits; offered every semester)

Category 4: Structure (one of the following will be offered fall and spring)
›  ASL 1705: Structure of Sign Languages (3 credits)
ASL 1715: Structure of ASL & English (3 credits)
* LING 1000 / CSD 1020 is a prerequisite for the courses in Category 4 & LING 1721 in Category 5.

Category 5: Electives (one of the following)
›  ASL 1725: Sociolinguistics of Sign Languages (3 credits; offered alternate fall semesters)
ASL 1909: Special Topics in Sign Language Studies (3 credits)
ASL 1635: Analysis of ASL Literature (3 credits; offered in the spring)
ASL 1800: Introduction to Interpreting (3 credits; offered in the fall)

For More Information

Deb Hast, coordinator of the ASL program

Claude Mauk, director of the Less-Commonly-Taught Languages Center

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