In the nation’s first accredited interpreting program and one of only 14 accredited programs in the country, you’ll learn American Sign Language and the foundation of ASL/English interpretation from distinguished faculty, all of whom are native ASL signers and/or certified interpreters.
Our program prepares you to work with the Deaf community by teaching you the intricacies of American Sign Language and Deaf culture, as well as the skills you need to be an effective ASL/English interpreter. From medicine to law, education to performing arts — your career opportunities as a bilingual and bicultural graduate are vast.
New England Regional Rate Program
If you live in New England and your state does not offer a bachelor's-level Sign Language Interpretation program, the New England Regional Student Program allows you to enroll in our program at a reduced tuition rate.
Accreditation and Recognition
The Sign Language Program at UNH Manchester has developed a national reputation for quality. In 2007, the program became the first interpreting program in the nation to be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE). 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). UNH Manchester also houses one of northern New England’s most comprehensive collections of books and media materials on sign language interpretation.
American Sign Language and Deaf Studies
Broaden your understanding of Deaf culture and your ability to interact with the Deaf community through our American Sign Language and Deaf Studies minor. You’ll acquire basic ASL skills while adding a breadth of sociocultural perspective to your degree.
Labs & Studios
American Sign Language Lab
An important part of learning any language is moving beyond the classroom lessons to become more comfortable in real-life situations. The ASL lab helps you advance your skills, giving you valuable practice in grammar and vocabulary through communication exercises with Deaf lab facilitators and members of the Deaf community. ASL is a visual language, so the lab includes a video room to record your progress, which allowing you to receive valuable feedback from your professors and peers.
The Senior Capstone is an immersive, year-long experience that puts you in the heart of the Deaf community and interpreting field, giving you the cultural awareness and real-world experience to become an interpreter in a variety of industries. You’ll interact one-on-one with members of the local Deaf community, integrating your classroom knowledge, theoretical understanding and ASL skills into actual interpreting assignments.
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Tell us a little bit about yourself to access our downloadable major sheets, which include more information and the course sequence for each program.
Sign Language Interpretation (SLI) Program Advisory Board
Committee Membership (representatives from the following organizations & agencies):
New Hampshire Association of the Deaf (NHAD) -- Thomas Minch, President
New Hampshire Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NHRID) -- Lianne Moccia, President
Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing /Dept. of Ed. (DOE) -- H. Dee Clanton, State Coordinator
Northeast Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (NDHHS) -- Susan Wolf-Downes, Director
Granite State Independent Living (GSIL) -- Madeline Olio Ruano, Services Coordinator for the Deaf
Manchester Deaf & Hard of Hearing Program -- Mike Wallace, Program Coordinator
Student representative, UNH Manchester, SLI major -- Jola Leary
Graduate representative, UNH Manchester -- Molly Shellenberger
Through hands-on learning in the classroom and in the field, you’ll develop the skills you need for an impactful career in the Deaf community. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 46 percent growth in the interpreting field between 2012 and 2022, translating to vast possibilities for your future.
Our program helps prepare you for New Hampshire state-level interpreter screening and/or national interpreter certification, opening doors to careers in industries like:
Click on each course title to read the full description. For all courses offered at our campus, click here
ASL 435 - American Sign Language I
Introduction to American Sign Language with emphasis on visual receptive and expressive use of language, as well as providing opportunities for other forms for visual communication such as facial expression, mime, and gesture. Participants develop their skills through videotapes, classroom participation, and readings that cover issues important to the Deaf community. A weekly, one-hour language laboratory is required as part of this course. Limited to 15 students. Special fee. No credit if credit has been received for COMM 533. Credits: 4
ASL 436 - American Sign Language II
Continuation of ASL 435 and expansion on concepts and principles. Focus on more advanced vocabulary and patterns of grammar; use of space and modulation of signs to denote aspects of time and location; and additional information on Deaf culture. A weekly one-hour language laboratory is required as part of this course. Prereq: ASL 435 or program evaluation. Limited to 15 students. No credit if credit has been received for COMM 733. Credits: 4
ASL 531 - American Sign Language III
Continuation of ASL 436. Expands on the groundwork and grammatical principles established in ASL I and II. Introduces the sociolinguistic aspects of ASL as it functions within the Deaf cultural context. Limited to 15 students. Prereq: ASL 436 or program evaluation. Credits: 4
ASL 532 - American Sign Language IV
Continuation of ASL 531. Expands on the groundwork and grammatical principles established in ASL I, II and III. Introduces the sociolinguistic aspects of ASL as it functions within the Deaf cultural context. Areas of investigation include use of formal versus informal sign register; sign variation by region, age, and gender; social factors that give rise to code switching; and political and cultural evolution of the U.S. Deaf community. Taught in the target language using the direct experience method. Prereq: ASL 531 or program evaluation. Limited to 15 students. Credits: 4
ASL 599 - Special Topics in American Sign Language/Deaf Studies
Selected topics related to American Sign Language and deaf studies that vary by semester. Description available in departmental office during preregistration. May be repeated for credit (maximum of 8 credits) if topics differ. Credits: 4
ASL 621 - Advanced American Sign Language Discourse I
Focuses on the use of ASL discourse in formal as well as informal settings. Students explore the genres of public speaking, artistic expression, formal discussion, interview, and narrative. Development of ASL vocabulary in specialized areas not covered in previous courses. Prereq: ASL 532. Credits: 4
ASL 622 - American Sign Language Discourse II
In this advanced ASL course, students will advance their ASL proficiency by focusing on vocabulary, syntax, and discourse related to the following topics: 1) biological/medical, 2) financial, 3) technical/mechanical, and 4) cross-cultural comparisons and issues. The cross-cultural topic, in particular, will be a focus throughout the semester. Students work in small assigned groups, on a rotating basis, in which they research and develop speeches on the four topics mentioned above. The class requires both in-class feedback and out-if-class work. Prereq: INTR 438 and ASL 621. Credits: 4
INTR 430 - Introduction to Interpretation
A survey of traditional and contemporary perspectives on interpretation and interpreters; introduces the cognitive processes involved in interpretation and factors that influence those processes. Several models of interpretation explored. Particular attention is given to interpretation as an intercultural, as well as interlingual, process. Students also engage in a research project related to course content. Credits: 4
INTR 438 - A Sociocultural Perspective
Theoretical issues of culture and linguistics applied to Deaf culture, American Sign Language, and the variety of cultural perspectives of the Deaf community. Students also engage in a research project related to course content. Pre- or coreq: ENGL 401. Writing intensive Credits: 4
INTR 439 - Ethics & Professional Standards for Interpreters
Seminar course using readings, theory, and discussion of hypothetical situations and role plays to explore ethical standards and dilemmas in ASL-English interpretation. Covers personal and professional values, ethics and morality; professional principles; power, responsibility and group dynamics; the interpreter’s role; cross-cultural issues; and the decision-making process. Students engage in a research project related to course content. Prereq: INTR 430. Writing intensive. Credits: 4
INTR 539 - Comparative Linguistic Analysis for Interpreters
Examines the basic similarities and differences between the linguistic structure of American Sign Language and spoken English; focuses on each language’s communication functions and how they serve those functions. Students engage in a research project related to course content. Coreq: ASL 532. Credits: 4
INTR 540 - Principles and Practice of Translation
Introduction to theory and practice of translation. Students analyze pre-prepared interpretations and translations to discover how expert interpreters produce target language messages which are pragmatically equivalent to the source language messages. Particular attention is paid to the form/meaning distinction. Students prepare translations from texts of their choosing. Pre-or coreq: ASL 532. Credits: 4
INTR 599 - Special Topics
Occasional offerings dependent on availability and interest of faculty. Barring duplication of subject, may be repeated up to a maximum of 8 credits. Credits: 1-4
INTR 630 - Principles and Practice of Consecutive Interpretation
Introduction to the theory and practice of consecutive interpretation. Analyzes and integrates specific subtasks of the interpreting process culminating in the performance of prepared and spontaneous consecutive interpretations. Students work with a variety of texts, language models, and settings with the goal of producing a grammatically correct target language text which is equivalent to the source language text. Prereq: INTR 540 Credits: 4
INTR 636 - Principles of Simultaneous Interpretation
Introduces the theory and practice of simultaneous interpretation. Particular attention is given to processes involved in transition from consecutive to simultaneous interpreting. The advantages and limitations of both types of interpreting are compared. Students apply theoretical information to the process of simultaneous interpreting. Students also engage in a research project related to course content. Prereq: INTR 630. Credits: 4
INTR 658 - Deaf/Hearing Cultural Dynamics
Deaf culture and mainstream American culture are compared, contrasted and analyzed from a variety of perspectives. Cultural interactions between Deaf and hearing people are examined and students will explore potential cultural conflicts between Deaf and hearing people. Students also engage in a research project related to course content. Prereq: ASL 532; INTR 438. Credits: 4
INTR 732 - Simultaneous Interpretation of Discussions, Speeches, and Reports
Focuses on the simultaneous interpretation of group discussions, speeches, and reports. Students apply theory learned in INTR 636 to a variety of texts, language models, and settings. Students also engage in a research project related to course content. Prereq: INTR 636. Writing intensive. Credits: 4
INTR 734 - Field Experience and Seminar II
Gives students the opportunity to observe professional working interpreters, with some direct interpreting experience as deemed appropriate. Students integrate knowledge, theoretical understanding, and skills acquired in the interpreting program by working closely with on-site supervisors (interpreters) in addition to attending a biweekly seminar with the UNH Manchester field experience coordinator. Pre-or coreq: INTR 732 Credits: 4
INTR 735 - Field Experience and Seminar II
Gives students the opportunity to gain supervised interpreting experience. Students engage in actual interpreting assignments and receive support and mentorship from professional interpreters, enabling them to integrate knowledge, theoretical understanding, and skills acquired in the interpreting program. Students work closely with on-site supervisors (interpreters) in addition to attending a biweekly seminar with the UNH Manchester field experience coordinator. Prereq: INTR 734. Credits: 4