Department of Linguistics

BA in Linguistics - ASL Linguistics Concentration

The ASL Linguistics Concentration is intended for students interested in the ASL language, Deaf studies, and linguistics, and who are planning career paths other than interpreting that involve Deaf people and the Deaf community. For more information, click here.

Required Coursework

LIN 105 Contrastive Analysis: ASL and English
LIN 185 Language, Mind, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistics
LIN 203 Introduction to the Deaf World
LIN 310 Signs of Language in the Brain
LIN 313 Syntax
ASL 201 Intermediate American Sign Language I
ASL 202 Intermediate American Sign Language II
ASL 401 Advanced American Sign Language I
ASL 402 Advanced American Sign Language II
ASL 415 ASL Literature in ASL, or ASL 417 Deaf Art, Film, and Theatre in ASL
ASL 416 ASL Linguistics in ASL

One three-credit 400-level LIN course (excluding courses focused on interpreting and excluding LIN 498)

Total number of credits: 40

Note on Language Component

Students pursuing the ASL Linguistics Concentration must have taken two semesters of ASL (101-102) or have attained a level of proficiency equivalent to two semesters. These courses (or the equivalent) do not count as credits toward the major, but are prerequisites to the upper-level ASL courses.

Note on grade requirement for LIN 185

Students must receive a grade of B or higher in LIN 185 before enrolling in certain upper-level LIN courses, including LIN 313. LIN 185 may be repeated at most one time. (Students for whom American Sign Language is their first language may consult with the department about alternative pathways for satisfying this requirement.)

Honors for ASL Linguistics Concentration

Linguistics majors who do outstanding work in the major can graduate with honors in linguistics. The requirements for Honors for students majoring in the ASL Linguistics Concentration are the following: 

  • Achieve a G.P.A. of at least 3.7 in LIN and ASL courses
  • Complete the following additional LIN courses with a grade of B or higher: LIN 490, 498
Notes on General Education Requirements

In addition to completing a major, students must satisfy USM's General Education (Core Curriculum) requirements and earn a total of at least 120 credits to graduate. The following information outlines General Education requirements that overlap with the major in Linguistics with a Concentration in ASL Linguistics or General Education courses recommended for students majoring in this concentration.

Quantitative Reasoning: One of the requirements for Honors in Linguistics is LIN 490. This course has a statistics course (MAT 120 or PSY 201) as a prerequisite. Therefore, students should take a statistics course to meet this requirement if they are considering pursuing Honors in Linguistics. If not, students can take any course in the Quantitative Reasoning category.

Cultural Interpretation: Each of ASL 102, 201, and 202 fulfills this General Education requirement.

Socio-Cultural Analysis: LIN 185 and LIN 203 meet this requirement.

Science Exploration: LIN 185 meets this requirement if LIN 186 (the one-credit lab associated with LIN 185) is taken as well.

Diversity: LIN 185 and LIN 203 also meet this requirement (and either can be used to fulfill both requirements).

Capstone: ASL 416 is a capstone course.

Two linguistics courses that are not required for the major fulfill General Education requirements:

International: LIN 112 The Birth of a Language

Ethical Inquiry: LIN 410 Ethical Decision Making in ASL/English Interpreting (Note: Students who have not taken ASL or interpreting courses can request permission from the Department to take this course, if they demonstrate experience in an area involving ethical reasoning.)

Suggested four-year plan for Linguistics Majors, ASL Linguistics Concentration

There are many possible paths through the major. The listings below are suggestions that may or may not be appropriate for individual students. Courses do not have to be taken in the order shown here so long as the prerequisites for each course are met before it is taken.

See the course list for course prerequisites. Note especially that students must earn a grade of B or higher in LIN 185 before enrolling in LIN 311, 312, 313, 314 or 315, and that LIN 185 may be repeated at most one time.

Note that many of the suggested semester schedules listed here do not make up a full course load. These semesters would need to include general education courses, electives, a minor, or possibly a second major.

  • Fall 1: LIN 105, ASL 101
  • Spring 1: ASL 102, LIN 203, LIN 185
  • Fall 2: LIN 310, ASL 201
  • Spring 2: ASL 202
  • Fall 3: ASL 401, LIN 313
  • Spring 3: ASL 402, ASL 415, ASL 417
  • Fall 4: ASL 416
  • Spring 4: LIN 4XX