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

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 higher-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.

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 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 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 Linguistics 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 201) as a prerequisite. Therefore, students should take a statistics course to meet the Quantitative Reasoning 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.

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.

In addition, two linguistics course 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 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 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.

  • 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
  • Spring 3: ASL 402, ASL 415/417
  • Fall 4: LIN 313
  • Spring 4: LIN 4XX, ASL 416
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
  • ASL 416
  • 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 417
  • LIN 112

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