American Sign Language and Deaf Studies

American Sign Language (ASL) is the native language of Deaf people in America. ASL is a linguistically complete, natural language and it has its own grammatical rules and syntax just like other spoken languages. According to the Modern Language Association, ASL is the fourth most widely used language in the United States.

ASL and Deaf Studies courses will offer opportunities for involvement in a program that provides personal and direct interaction with members of the Deaf community using ASL.  Students can apply to study for one or two semesters at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C, the world's only Deaf university, where they can experience full immersion in ASL and Deaf culture.  This option is available through Holy Cross’ Study Away Program administered through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS). Students can elect a minor in ASL/Deaf Studies through CIS. Through CIS they can develop a multidisciplinary major combining Deaf Studies with other disciplines within the College. Multidisciplinary majors incorporating the ASL and Deaf Studies curriculum have included topics such as Literacy in Deaf Education, Deaf Studies and the Arts, Social Issues in Deaf Education and Language Acquisition and (Deaf) Culture.

ASL/Deaf Studies Minor Requirements: 6 courses as follows:

• DFST 109: Introduction to Deaf Studies

• DFST 201: Intermediate ASL1

• DFST 202: Intermediate ASL2

• DFST 301: ASL Comp & Con

One course from among the following:

• DFST 300: The Deaf Community, Language and Culture,

• DFST 303: Deaf Literature

And one additional approved course with a focus on ASL or Deaf Studies taken at Holy Cross or at another institution