Department of Linguistics

BA in Linguistics - ASL/English Interpreting Concentration

The ASL/English Interpreting Concentration is intended for students who wish to become nationally certified ASL/English interpreters.

For more information, click here.

For ASL and ASL/English Interpreting resource links, click here.

For the USM ASL Club's Maine Deaf Film Festival, visit:

Required Coursework

LIN 105 Contrastive Analysis: ASL and English
LIN 185 Language, Mind, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistics
LIN 310 Signs of Language in the Brain
LIN 313 Syntax
LIN 422 A Cognitive Perspective on Syntax
LIN 331 ASL/English Interpreting
LIN 332 Consecutive Interpreting and Deaf/Hearing Interpreter Teams
LIN 333 Interpreting: Source Language ASL
LIN 334 Interpreting: Source Language English
LIN 410 Ethical Decision Making in ASL/English Interpreting
ASL 401 Advanced American Sign Language I
ASL 402 Advanced American Sign Language II
ASL 415 ASL Literature in ASL, or ASL 416 ASL Linguistics in ASL, or
     ASL 417 Deaf Art, Film, and Theater in ASL
One of LIN 405 Sight Translation, 413 Supervised Mentoring, or 498 
     Thesis; or a combination of LIN 425 (topics) and LIN 401/402/403/404 (foundations)   
     courses adding up to a total of at least six credits
LIN 435 (six credits) Advanced Interpreting and Practicum I

Total number of credits: 50 or 53 (depending on choice of 405/413/498
         or six credits of LIN 401/2/3/4/425) 

Language Component

Students pursuing the English ASL/Interpreting Concentration must have taken four semesters of ASL (101-202) or have attained a level of proficiency equivalent to four semesters. These courses (or the equivalent) do not count as credits toward the major, but are prerequisites to the interpreting courses and upper-level ASL courses.

Honors for ASL/English Interpreting Concentration:

Linguistics majors who do outstanding work in the major can graduate with honors in linguistics. The requirements for Honors for students in the ASL/English Interpreting 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 311, 312, 314, 315, and 490
Notes on General Education Requirements

In addition to completing a major, students must satisfy USM's General Education (Core Curriculum) requirements and receive a total of at least 120 credits to graduate. Below we provide notes on General Education requirements that overlap with the major in Linguistics with a Concentration in ASL/English Interpreting or General Education courses that we recommend for students majoring in Linguistics with 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 105) as a prerequisite. Therefore, you should take a statistics course to meet the Quantitative Reasoning requirement, if you are considering pursuing Honors in Linguistics. If not, you 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 meets this requirement.

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

Ethical Inquiry: LIN 410 meets this requirement.

Capstone: LIN 435 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

Diversity and Socio-Cultural Analysis: LIN 203 Introduction to the Deaf World (Note that this course is required for the Deaf Studies minor.)


Suggested four-year plan for Linguistics Majors, ASL/English Interpreting 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 at least a 'B' in LIN 185 before enrolling in LIN 313 (or LIN 311, 312, 314, 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 be filled out with general education courses, electives, a minor, or possibly a second major.

(course in italics is required for Deaf Studies Minor)

  • Fall 1: LIN 105, ASL 101
  • Spring 1: ASL 102, LIN 203, LIN 185
  • Fall 2: LIN 310, LIN 313, ASL 201
  • Spring 2: LIN 422, ASL 202, LIN 331
  • Fall 3: ASL 401, LIN 332, LIN 333
  • Spring 3: ASL 402, LIN 415/416/417
  • Fall 4: LIN 334
  • Spring 4: LIN 435 (six credits), LIN 410

The six credits of LIN 425 (or 401/2/3/4) can be fit into various places.  

Long-term scheduling

To help students plan their academic careers, we try to offer courses on a regular cycle. This is difficult and we cannot always offer courses when we, or our students, would most like them to appear. This listing should not be mistaken for a promise to offer any particular course in any given semester. Nevertheless, to the extent we can, we try to keep to the plan laid out below.

Offered every fall:

  • ASL 101
  • ASL 201
  • ASL 401
  • LIN 105
  • LIN 185
  • LIN 310
  • LIN 313
  • LIN 332
  • LIN 333
  • LIN 334
  • LIN 401/402/403/404

Offered every spring:

  • ASL 101 
  • ASL 102
  • ASL 202
  • ASL 402
  • LIN 112
  • LIN 185
  • LIN 203
  • LIN 331
  • LIN 410
  • LIN 422
  • LIN 435
  • LIN 401/402/403/404

Offered once a year, semester varies, sometimes summer:

  • ASL 415 or 416 or 417

Offered once every two years in fall:

  • LIN 211
  • LIN 213
  • LIN 311
  • LIN 314 

Offered once every two years in spring:

  • LIN 212
  • LIN 312
  • LIN 315
  • LIN 421
  • LIN 490

Offered every semester as independent learning options:

  • LIN 336
  • LIN 394
  • LIN 395
  • LIN 398
  • LIN 498

Offered irregularly, depending on demand:

  • LIN 405
  • LIN 425
  • LIN 426