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American Sign Language

Develop proficiency in American Sign Language (ASL) through this popular four-course undergraduate minor. Whether you have prior experience in ASL or are brand new to the language, the ability to communicate with the Deaf community is a strong skill sought after by many employers, specifically in helping professions such as nursing, social work, criminal justice, and more.

students learning American Sign Language

Degree Details

Official Degree Title

Minor in American Sign Language

Full-time or Part-time

How You’ll Learn

All students start learning American Sign Language at Level One, even if you have preexisting exposure to ASL and the Deaf community. With our universal system of teaching ASL, it is vital that every student is able to fairly and cohesively advance, level-by-level, in our program of study. Smooth signing, comprehensive grammar skills, and receptive understanding are paramount.

American Sign Language Minor and Course Sequence

The Department of Applied Psychology offers a popular sequence of courses and a minor (16 units) in American Sign Language (ASL). The courses are listed under the heading of American Sign Language on Albert.

The courses in the sequence are:

  • ASL: Level I, ASL-UE 0091 (offered fall, spring & summer semesters, introductory, requiring no prior knowledge)
  • ASL: Level II, ASL-UE 0092 (offered fall, spring & summer semesters)
  • ASL: Level III, ASL-UE 0093 (offered every fall semester)
  • ASL: Level IV, ASL-UE 0094 (offered every spring semester)
  • ASL: Level V, ASL-UE 0095 (offered every other fall semester, even-numbered years)

ASL satisfies the foreign language requirement in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. By petition, it can satisfy the foreign language requirement in CAS. Students in other schools should check with their advisors.

The ASL minor can be achieved in two ways:

  1. Taking ASL: Level I through ASL: Level IV; or
  2. If one places out of ASL: Level I, taking ASL: Level II through ASL: Level V.

We want all our students to start learning American Sign Language at Level One, even if there is preexisting exposure to ASL and the Deaf Community. With our Universal System of teaching ASL, it is vital every student is able to fairly and cohesively advance, level-by-level, in our program of study. If you believe your preexisting fluency in ASL is extraordinary, and if you are familiar enough with the NYU method of teaching to start at Level 2, contact the Program Coordinator for more information. Please be aware the historic success rate for students petitioning the American Sign Language program to begin at Level 2 is fewer than 1%. Smooth signing, comprehensive grammar skill, and receptive understanding are paramount. The ASL Minor at NYU requires Levels 1-4 or Levels 2-5; it is not possible to begin your ASL Minor at a level higher than ASL 2, and still be eligible to complete the minor for transcript credit. There are no exceptions to this policy. You must be on campus, and in our classrooms, to earn the ASL Minor.

Other students may take part or all of the sequence as electives.

Career Opportunities

A minor in ASL can benefit students in many ways. Students who know ASL gain insight about Deaf culture and community, Deaf people, and their language. This knowledge may provide an edge in employment opportunities. The ability to communicate with Deaf people is often seen as an asset by employers, particularly in the helping professions. Students in the Arts profit because of the inherent physical expressiveness of ASL. 

Contact Information

Ramy Ebied, Program Administrator