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American Sign Language and Deaf Cultural Studies Minor

Matt Searls, Minor Adviser
(585) 286-4657,

Cindy Sanders, Minor Adviser
(585) 286-5149,

The American sign language and deaf cultural studies minor offers students the opportunity to study in the emerging field of Deaf cultural studies. Courses in the minor address topics in the field of ASL and DCS including the study of ASL and its structure, ASL literature, literature in English pertaining to the D/deaf experience, the history of D/deaf people in America and around the world, Deaf art and cinema, the experience of D/deaf people from racial, ethnicm and other minority groups, oppression in the lives D/deaf people, and various political, legal, and educational issues affecting members of the D/deaf community. The minor requires students to achieve a minimal level of competence in ASL and complete at least one course in Deaf Cultural Studies.

The minor has two options: one for students who are not proficient in ASL and one for those who are. While at least one course must be a deaf cultural studies elective, students are free to structure the minor to fulfill their professional or personal goals:

  • Students who want to focus their studies on ASL should choose at least two language courses as electives.
  • Students who want to emphasize Deaf Cultural Studies should choose three or four DCS elective courses depending on their proficiency in ASL.
  • Students who prefer a balance of ASL and DCS courses may distribute their electives across ASL and DCS in a manner consistent with their ASL proficiency and course prerequisites.

Students majoring in ASL-English Interpretation may only pursue the minor is they choose to emphasize courses that focus on deaf cultural studies; they are not permitted to register for ASL courses.

Required Courses
Option 1: For students who are not proficient in ASL:
MLAS-201 Beginning American Sign Language I
MLAS-202 Beginning American Sign Language II
Option 2: For students who are proficient in ASL, choose one of the following:
   MLAS-351    Linguistics of American Sign Language
   MLAS-352    American Sign Language Literature
Choose three or four of the following:
Language courses:
   MLAS-301    Intermediate Sign Language I
   MLAS-302    Intermediate Sign Language II
   MLAS-351    Linguistics of American Sign Language
   MLAS-352    American Sign Language Literature
   MLAS-401    Advanced American Sign Language I
   MLAS-402    Advanced American Sign Language II
Deaf cultural studies courses:
   ENGL-417    Deaf Literature
   FNRT-440    Deaf Art and Cinema
   HIST-230    American Deaf History
   HIST-231    Deaf People in Global Perspective
   HIST-330    Deaf People and Technology
   HIST-333    Diversity in the Deaf Community
   HIST-334    Oppression in the Lives of Deaf People
   HIST-335    Women and the Deaf Community
   SOCI-240    Deaf Culture in America

[arrow] Click to view minor requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

The Deaf cultural studies minor offers students the opportunity to engage in a focused program of study in the emerging field of Deaf cultural studies. Students may pursue the minor regardless of their level of proficiency in American Sign Language (ASL), and any ASL or Deaf culture course, except for ASL I, can be applied toward the minor. ASL I, or equivalent skills, is a prerequisite for individuals who are not qualified to enroll in ASL II to begin the sequence. Students must have completed ASL III, be fluent in ASL, and/or have approval of the instructor to enroll in American Sign Language Literature or Linguistics of American Sign Language, both of which are taught in ASL.

0525-390 Beginning American Sign Language I

Required Course—Choose one of the following:
0525-391 American Sign Language II
0525-385 Linguistics of American Sign Language
0525-386 American Sign Language Literature

Electives—Choose four of the following:
0525-392 American Sign Language III
0504-545 Deaf American Literature
0505-479 Special Topics: Deaf Art and Cinema
0507-463 American Deaf History
0507-476 Diversity in the Deaf Community
0507-477 Oppression in Lives of Deaf People
0515-529 Deaf Culture in America