Educators say that deaf children begin to learn only after they grasp a language. That language, American Sign Language (ASL), is the focus of Ball State Online’s graduate certificate in ASL and Deaf Studies.

ASL provides a language base through which deaf children can further grow their cognitive and academic skills and become productive adults.

Our graduate certificate is an introduction to ASL language and deaf culture. Course work prepares you to develop an understanding of how to communicate in ASL and help your students learn the language they will use every day. You’ll also learn how to advocate for the needs of deaf individuals and the deaf community.

  • Statistics have shown that ASL (American Sign Language) is the fourth most common language used in the United States, according to The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
  • ASL (American Sign Language) replaced German in 2013 as the third most studied language among postsecondary institutions in the United States, according to the Modern Language Association of America.

 Apply the Certificate to Your Field

ASL and Deaf Studies aligns with multiple fields of course work. Nurses, social workers, school psychologists, speech and language pathologists or audiologists, and special education teachers counseling students with language limitations are the type of professionals who can benefit from this graduate certificate.

ASL and Deaf Studies courses will improve your ability to meet your clients’ needs. You will analyze different historical and current perspectives within deaf education and learn about the impact of the laws, mandates, policies, and assistive technology and assistive listening devices.

Course Requirements

The certificate program consists of 15 credits.

  • SNLN 651 American Sign Language 1 (3 credits)
  • SNLN 652 American Sign Language 2 (3 credits)
  • SNLN 653 American Sign Language 3 (3 credits)
  • SNLN 654 American Sign Language 4 (3 credits)
  • SPCE 646 Evolution of American Deaf Culture (3 credits)

For complete program requirements and course listings, see the course catalog.

View Catalog

Meet Your Advisor

The role of your academic advisor is more than telling you which courses to take. For starters, they are student success specialists, and they are dedicated to your academic success. You’ll work with a specialist from application to graduation.

Contact your student success specialist, who can answer questions you have about our program.

Federal Employees Pay In-State Tuition

Ball State has joined the Federal Academic Alliance and is offering reduced tuition rates for all eligible, non-Indiana resident Federal Government Employees (civil servants), spouses, dependents, and retirees who enroll in online graduate-level programs and courses through Ball State’s Teachers College. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

You will first want to check if you meet the admission requirements for the Ball State Graduate School. Then you may apply.

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Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, if you are considering a program that leads to professional licensure, some states may have additional regulations. Review our state authorization website if you live outside of Indiana and contact us if you have questions.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We're here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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