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Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

Minor in American Sign Language Studies

Students on Summer 2021, Fall 2021, or Spring 2022 requirements ASLSMIN

American Sign Language (ASL) is a natural language that has the same linguistic properties as spoken languages yet has distinct grammatical structures that are supported by a rich morphology system. Because ASL is a visual language it has unique syntax and phonology components, generally referred to as the five parameters. ASL is a predominant language used by culturally Deaf communities in North America and in numerous regions of the world. It is also recognized as a complete language by the Modern Language Association and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

The minor in ASL at Indiana University is devoted to intensive acquisition of the language. An in-depth understanding of Deaf culture also reinforces an appreciation of the Deaf experience through social, historical, and cultural lenses. ASL minors will acquire an interdisciplinary understanding of the language and its culture and how innovative solutions for the issues that perpetuate the marginalization of Deaf people can be created for the betterment of society in general. The ability to communicate in ASL with Deaf people and other ASL users is an invaluable asset, especially in assistive professions such as hearing and speech pathology, nursing, social work, criminal justice, advocacy, and more. Additionally, a combination of ASL competency and cultural knowledge are strengths that create strong candidates for higher-level academic pursuits and future employment opportunities.

This minor does not lead to a certification or an endorsement for ASL teaching careers nor does it provide qualifications in ASL interpreting, Deaf Education, or any other related professional field.


The minor requires at least 15 credit hours, including the requirements listed below.
  1. ASL Language Sequence.
    1. ASL Level 3. One (1) course:
      • SLHS-A 200 American Sign Language Level Three
    2. ASL Level 4. One (1) course:
      • SLHS-A 250 American Sign Language Level Four
    3. ASL Level 5. One (1) course:
      • SLHS-A 300 American Sign Language Level Five
  2. Structure of ASL. One (1) course:
    • SLHS-A 350 Structure of American Sign Language
  3. Deaf Culture. One (1) course:
    • SLHS-A 400 Deaf Culture
  4. Minor GPA, Hours, and Minimum Grade Requirements.
    1. Minor GPA. A GPA of at least 2.000 for all courses taken in the minor—including those where a grade lower than C- is earned—is required.
    2. Minor Minimum Grade. Except for the GPA requirement, a grade of C- or higher is required for a course to count toward a requirement in the minor.
    3. Minor Upper Division Credit Hours. At least 9 credit hours in the minor must be completed at the 300–499 level.
    4. Minor Residency. At least 9 credit hours in the minor must be completed in courses taken through the Indiana University Bloomington campus or an IU-administered or IU co-sponsored Overseas Study program.

Minor Area Courses

Courses that may apply toward the Credit Hours and GPA requirements in this academic program include all courses listed on the requirement course lists at the time the course was taken as well as any other courses that are deemed functionally equivalent.


The following courses cannot be applied toward minor requirements:

  • SLHS-A 100 American Sign Language Level One
  • SLHS-A 150 American Sign Language Level Two

Exceptions to and substitutions for minor requirements may be made with the approval of the unit's Director of Undergraduate Studies, subject to final approval by the College of Arts and Sciences.