ASL/English Interpreting, B.S.

UNH Manchester students signing in the student commons

Preparing skillful interpreters through interaction and immersion

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 interpreting from distinguished faculty, all of whom are native ASL signers and/or certified interpreters.

The demand for skilled interpreters is on the rise, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 29 percent growth in the interpreting field between 2014 and 2024. 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 pursue a career as an ASL/English interpreter.

Students are integrated with the Deaf community inside and outside the classroom, which is a very unique feature of our ASL/English Interpreting program. During your senior year internship, you will be paired with a nationally certified mentor and use your interpretation and ASL skills within organizations throughout the state.

Our graduates have pursued careers in ASL/English interpreting, deaf education, rehabilitation, healthcare, audiology, social work, counseling and the media. 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 ASL/English Interpreting Program at a public college or university, the New England Regional Student Program allows you to enroll in our program at a reduced tuition rate.

Accreditation and Recognition

The ASL/English Interpreting 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 ASL/English Interpreting.

Program Coordinator

Jack Hoza

Program Director and Professor of Sign Language Interpretation

 

“I’ve made so many connections in the Deaf and interpreting communities, and I’ve gotten so much support from so many people.”
Lanie Wagenblast ‘16

Program News

  • Jack Hoza

    Conversations with Interpreter Educators: Exploring Best Practices

    Full Story
  • UNH Announces Tuition-Free Plan for Hundreds of NH Students

    Full Story
  • Laurie Shaffer, lecturer of ASL/English Interpreting

    Laurie Shaffer Joins ASL/English Interpreting Faculty

    Full Story

To get your B.S. in ASL/English Interpreting, you’ll complete 128 credits between courses for the UNH Discovery Program and your major. Below is an example of what your four-year course sequence in this program might look like. Courses are subject to change.

Download a copy of the major sheet

First Year - Fall Semester

  • UMST 401 – First Year Seminar:
    The focus of this seminar in not on a specific academic subject or field of study; instead, the focus is on the student. This course is intentionally designed and proactively delivered for the purpose of promoting personal success-in college and in life after college--by fostering the development of skills or strategies that are both applicable and valuable across subjects. The course focuses on the following topics: college expectations and opportunities, campus resources, learning styles and strategiesincluding lecture note-taking, test taking, memory and concentration; life management, goal setting, educational planning, career decision-making, health maintenance, diversity and instructor/student relationships. The course integrates personal growth, academic and career success with problem solving, critical and creative thinking.
  • ENGL 401 - First Year Writing:
    Training to write more skillfully and to read with more appreciation and discernment. Frequent individual conferences for every student. 
  • ASL 435 – American Sign Language I (with lab):
    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

  • INTR 438 – A Sociocultural Perspective on the Deaf Community
    Introduction to the deaf community and deaf culture. Discussion of similarities to, and differences from, mainstream hearing culture. Supplemental videotapes focus on aspects of culture including deaf education, autobiographical sketches, deaf norms and values, and deaf literature and folklore. Theoretical issues of culture and linguistics applied to deaf culture, American Sign Language, and the variety of cultural perspectives of the deaf community. Students engage in a research project related to course content.

  • Discovery Course

First Year - Spring Semester

  • COMP 411 - Introduction to Computers:
    Beginning course on computer technology, specifically microcomputer systems. Emphasis is on (1) using computers to manage information for personal and professional applications and (2) the impact of computer information technology on today's society. Software applications used include word processing, spreadsheets, database, and graphics. Independent lab activities are a major part of the course content. 
  • ECN 412 - Introduction to Micro Economics:
    Studies the behavior and interaction of fundamental decision-making units in an economy, especially consumers and business firms. Applies such economic principles as scarcity, supply and demand, and elasticity to a variety of social issues. Topics include the resource allocation problems of households and business firms, economic theories of social problems (such as crime, divorce, and discrimination), and the economic implications of government policies affecting the environment, the workplace, and industrial organization.
  • ENGL 401 - First Year Writing, or Inquiry Course:
    Training to write more skillfully and to read with more appreciation and discernment. Frequent individual conferences for every student
  • Foreign Language II
  •  

Second Year - Fall Semester

  • ASL 436 – American Sign Language II (with lab):
    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. 
  • 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 given to interpretation as an intercultural, as well as inter-lingual, process. Students engage in a research project related to course content.

  • Quanitative Reasoning Course
  • Discovery Course

Second Year - Spring Semester

  • ASL 531 – American Sign Language III (with lab):
    Continuation of ASL 436. Expands on groundwork and grammatical principles established in ASL I and II. Introduces the sociolinguistics aspects of ASL as it functions within the deaf cultural context.

  • 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. 

  • Discovery Course
  • Discovery Course
  •  

Third Year - Fall Semester

  • BUS 620 - Organizational Behavior:
    Applications of behavioral science concepts to work settings. Topics include worker incentives and perceptions toward work, group versus individual decision making, conflict resolution, interpersonal and leadership skills, and the study of other behaviors relevant to effective managing of a business organization.
  • COMP 510 - Computer Information Systems:
    Investigates the role and impact of computer applications on computer information systems in general and specifically as applied to business requirements. Surveys the components of a computer information system; explores computer information systems in areas such as manufacturing, medicine, education, and government; discusses the issues of computerizing information resources. Directs attention to computer information systems in business and identifies the need for and function of formal systems development methodologies.
  • Business Concentration Course
  • Elective Course

Third Year - Spring Semester

  • ASL 532 – American Sign Language IV (with lab):
    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.

  • 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 and translators construct meaning in the alternate language. Particular attention paid to the form/meaning distinction. Students prepare translations from texts of their choosing.

  • INTR 539 – Comparative Linguistic Analysis for Interpreters1
    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 these functions. Students engage in a research project related to course content. 

  • Discovery Course
  •  

Fourth Year - Fall Semester

  • ASL 621 – Advanced ASL Discourse I (with lab)2
    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.

  • 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 engaging in the consecutive interpreting process by chunking information and constructing meaning in the alternate language.

  • Discovery Course
  • Discovery Course

Fourth Year - Spring Semester

  • ASL 622 – Advanced ASL Discourse II: Deaf Culture (with lab)2
    In this advanced course, students give two PowerPoint presentations on their research on two selected cutting-edge/current Deaf Studies topics, and are assessed on itemized public speaking skills, grammatical features (linguistics) studies that are a culmination of previous ASL courses, and pragmatic language functions. These presentations are to use high/academic register, appropriate for a large academic audience, demonstrating sensitive awareness of visual acuity and its impact on signing production. 

  • INTR 636 – Principles and Practice of Simultaneous Interpretation:
    Continues and advances the theory and practice of consecutive interpretation and introduces simultaneous interpretation. The focus of this course is on interactive discourse (dialogues). Particular attention is given to processes involved in the transition from consecutive to simultaneous interpreting, and determining when to use each mode of interpretation. 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.

  • Discovery Course
  • Elective Course

1 INTR 539 is offered every other year, so may be taken during junior or senior year.

2 These labs involve experiences in the Deaf community.

An important part of learning any language and learning the interpreting process is moving beyond the classroom lessons to become more comfortable in real-life situations.

The ASL labs help advance your skills by giving you valuable practice in grammar and vocabulary through communication exercises with Deaf lab facilitators and members of the Deaf community. Interpreting labs provide live opportunities to work with certified interpreters and members of the Deaf community to enhance your interpreting skills. The program offers a video lab in which you can record your progress, allowing you to receive valuable feedback from your professors and peers. 

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 29 percent growth in the interpreting field between 2014 and 2024, 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:

  • Education
  • Government
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Medicine
  • Performing Arts
  • Psychology
  • Social Services

Senior Capstone

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 help you 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 fluency into actual interpreting assignments.

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 fluency while adding a breadth of sociocultural perspective to your degree.

View all minors

  • H. Dee Clanton, State Coordinator, Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing /Dept. of Ed. (DOE)
  • Thomas Minch, President, New Hampshire Association of the Deaf (NHAD)
  • Lianne Moccia, President, New Hampshire Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NHRID)
  • Madeline Olio Ruano, Services Coordinator for the Deaf, Granite State Independent Living (GSIL)
  • Mike Wallace, Program Coordinator, Manchester Deaf & Hard of Hearing Program
  • Susan Wolf-Downes, Director, Northeast Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (NDHHS)
  • UNH Manchester ASL/English Interpreting graduate
  • UNH Manchester ASL/English Interpreting current student

The advisory board also includes a current ASL/English Interpreting student as well as a graduate of the program.

If you live in New England and your state does not offer a bachelor's-level ASL/English Interpreting Program at a public college or university, the New England Regional Student Program allows you to enroll in our program at a reduced tuition rate.

Course Sequence

Interested in a sample course sequence for this program?

Download a copy of the major sheet

Course Schedule

Visit courses.unh.edu and select "Courses at Manchester" to see our course schedules and descriptions.