American Sign Language-English Interpretation Admission

Sign language interpreting is a fascinating, challenging and rapidly expanding field. With more than 1,100 deaf and hard-of-hearing students, 18,000 hearing students on campus, and more than 100 deaf and hard-of-hearing faculty and staff members, RIT provides you with a unique environment and excellent opportunities to increase your knowledge of cultures and enhance your English, American Sign Language and interpreting skills.

Visit and Events

Students walk on the RIT Quarter Mile

The best way to decide if a college is right for you is to visit. If our Open House dates aren't convenient, schedule a personalized visit and find out why choosing RIT/NTID means a superior education and a unique college experience for you! And when you visit, we will waive your $65 application fee.

We will be happy to arrange a special agenda for your visit that will give you the opportunity to:

  • Tour our facilities with an RIT/NTID Student Ambassador 
  • Get acquainted with your admissions counselor
  • Meet faculty members in the area(s) in which you would like to study

We welcome visitors Monday through Friday year round. It is recommend that you schedule your visit at least two weeks in advance, allowing us to set up appointments for you with the appropriate faculty and staff members and create a personalized visit that will best meet your needs.

NTID Fall Open House

RIT/NTID invites deaf and hard-of-hearing students to spend a day at RIT. This event also is open to students interested in ASL-English Interpretation. Open House is an exciting experience: an opportunity to meet representatives from admissions, financial aid and faculty from academic departments. You will have an opportunity to view our residence halls and take a guided campus tour with a current student. The day will begin at 8:00 a.m. and will go until 4:00 p.m. After your visit, we will waive your $65 application fee.

Fall Open House Dates:

Saturday, September 28, 2019     Register Now
Monday, October 14, 2019 (Columbus Day)     Register Now
Saturday, November 9, 2019     Register Now


NTID Spring Open House

NTID Spring Open Houses will highlight the associate-level, Associate+Bachelor's degree and Pre-Baccalaureate programs for our deaf and hard-of-hearing students. We also will have a program for hearing students interested in our ASL-English Interpretation program. The day will begin at 8:00 a.m. and will go until 4:00 p.m.

More information about these programs can be found here:

Spring Open House Dates:

  • Saturday, April 18, 2020
  • Friday, April 24, 2020 (Imagine RIT takes place on Saturday, April 25)

Registration will open in early December 2019

This specific Open House event is for students admitted into bachelor's degree programs for Fall 2020. This is an opportunity to learn more about your program of acceptance. You also will meet faculty, learn about financial aid, go on a campus tour and see the residence halls.

  • Saturday, March 28, 2020
  • Saturday, April 4, 2020

Registration will open in early December 2019

This event is specifically geared towards high school students (freshman, sophomores, and juniors) who are beginning their college search process. Prospective students and guests will meet faculty, tour the campus and residence halls, and learn more about the admissions process.

  • Friday, April 17, 2020

Registration will open in early January 2020

To help you get a better understanding of Rochester Institute of Technology, we invite you to join us for one or more of our live online webinar sessions. Come and learn why more than 1,100 hard-of-hearing and deaf students and more than 14,000 hearing undergraduates choose RIT, and why it can be a great fit for you!

All online sessions will be accessible with sign language interpreting and voice, and may include captioning.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
American Sign Language-English Interpretation Program Session
Learn about RIT’s unique environment that provides outstanding opportunities for sign language interpreting students.
Register Now
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Undergraduate Admissions Overview for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students/Student Panel
Learn about the undergraduate experience from admissions staff and current students.
Register Now
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Undergraduate Admissions Overview for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students/Student Panel
Learn about the undergraduate experience from admissions staff and current students.
Register Now
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Financial Aid Information Session for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students
Learn about RIT’s tuition discount, tips on navigating financial aid forms, and more.
Register Now


You will get an email confirmation with details about the online event after you register.

Begin your college search this summer by attending TGIF at RIT/NTID. Get an overview of our academic programs, student activities and the application process. Attendees also will go on a student-led campus and housing tour. Admissions counselors will be available to meet with you. Lunch will be provided for prospective students and their guests. Students who attend this event will have their $65 application fee waived. 

Check-in begins at 9:15 a.m., and activities will conclude by 2 p.m. Advanced registration is highly recommended.

  • Friday, August 7, 2020 - Registration will open in early January 2020.

Applying for Admission

Ways to Apply


Statement on Ethical and Fair Admissions Practices
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions continues to put students first in the admissions process. We continue to use fair and ethical practices as we recruit, review applications and counsel our prospective students and their families. Our admissions officers support and promote ethical responsibility with our colleagues in the admission profession.

Manage Application

Whichever method you choose to apply, we invite you to create an RIT Admissions account to monitor your application, track the status of your application credentials, receive your admissions decision, and more.

Admission to RIT is competitive, but our admission process is a personal one. Each application is reviewed holistically for strength of academic preparation, performance on standardized tests, counselor recommendations, and your personal career interests. We seek applicants from a variety of geographic, social, cultural, economic, and ethnic backgrounds.

Application Checklist for students in the American Sign Language-English Interpretation program:

Set up an RIT admissions portal account and complete the RIT online application, sign the application, and submit it. If you prefer, you can use the Common Application to apply to RIT.

Instructions on how to submit your $65 fee are included with your application. Visit the RIT campus or attend an RIT summer camp and your application fee waived will be waived.

All applicants must submit a high school transcript showing academic work through the junior year and senior year courses. First quarter/semester senior year grades are highly recommended. Contact your high school guidance office and ask your counselor to send an official high school transcript to: Rochester Institute of Technology, NTID Office of Admissions, 52 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623. Transcripts are acceptable if they are faxed, but must include a cover sheet that clearly shows that it came directly from the high school. Transcripts can be faxed to 585-475-2696. An electronic high school transcript will be accepted if it is sent through Parchment Exchange or the Common Application.

Freshman applicants must submit test results from the SAT or ACT. RIT invites students to provide self-reported standardized test scores (ACT, SAT, TOEFL). Students may self-report their scores in the following ways:

  • On their application for admission
  • Via email at NTIDadmissions@rit.edu
  • From your school/college counselor via mail or email

Admitted students will be required to submit their official scores once they choose to enroll at RIT. Submit official scores from either the SAT (send to college code 2760) or the ACT (send to college code 2870). Students who complete the ACT may submit scores with or without the optional writing section, but the writing section is recommended.

RIT will accept results from any test date, and ACT or SAT examinations are equally acceptable for admission consideration. (Please note that if you are age 25 or older the SAT/ACT requirement is waived.)

Submit two letters of recommendation. If you have ASL experience, it is advised that at least one of your recommendations is from someone who has a strong background in ASL or deafness.

Complete and sign the downloadable essay form. Along with the form, submit a typed essay (no more than two pages). Share with us why you will make an outstanding ASL-English interpreter. Include any relevant information about past work or personal experiences that demonstrate your aptitude for the physical and intellectual demands of a sign language interpreter. Additionally, describe your experience with American Sign Language and Deaf Culture including course work, family and/or social interaction.

Submit a brief YouTube video demonstrating your ASL skills. Get more information about the video submission and instructions here.

Timelines

Early Decision I Early Decision II Regular Decision
Application Deadline November 1st January 1st January 15th
Recommended FAFSA Submission deadline November 1st January 1st January 15th
Decision Notification Mid-December Mid-January Mid-March
Enrollment Deposit Deadline - Pay Deposit January 15th February 15th May 1st

Students may begin submitting applications August 1

For Spring Semester or Summer Term, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Notifications will go out 4-6 weeks after all documents are received.

Early Decision

Early Decision (ED) plans come in many different forms. RIT’s Early Decision Plans can be described as a “friendly” version of a binding agreement.

  1. Our Early Decision plans allow applicants to hear about admission and financial aid decisions much earlier than other applicants, offering an opportunity for earlier planning in the transition to RIT.
  2. There are no downsides to RIT Early Decision plans. Students and their families are not put in the awkward position of making a college decision without having all of the facts first. This includes scholarship and financial aid information from RIT prior to paying your enrollment deposit.
  3. You will receive an early financial aid award. RIT provides an early financial aid package to those who complete the FAFSA. The recommended FAFSA filing date is November 1st for Early Decision I and January 1st for Early Decision II.
  4. Early Decision and Regular Decision applicants at RIT are treated the same in the awarding of scholarships and financial aid. Some colleges and universities offer lower awards to Early Decision applicants.
  5. If the Early Decision applicant changes his/her mind about Early Decision, he/she can request to be moved to the Regular Decision plan. These students will be reconsidered for admission with applicants in the Regular Decision plan due to space limitations in academic programs.

The college admissions process can be very confusing with a variety of application plans available at colleges across the country. Frequently, school counselors, students and parents raise concerns about the implications of the "binding" admission requirements that many private colleges offer. One of the first and most important things to know about these Early Decision plans is that they often differ in practice by institution. The Early Decision plans at RIT is one that is used each year by hundreds of freshman applicants.

Admitted Early Decision applicants will automatically be reviewed for merit-based scholarships and those who file a FAFSA, will be reviewed for need-based financial aid prior to the enrollment deposit deadline. Once you decide to accept RIT’s offer of admission, you should submit your $300 enrollment deposit on or before the deadline to confirm your intention to enroll. At this time, you will be expected to withdraw your applications with all other colleges/universities.

Families are encouraged to work with their assigned Financial Aid Counselor to assist them through the financial aid process. If the Early Decision applicant's family determines that RIT is not an affordable choice, they should contact the NTID Office of Admissions so the student may be released from the Early Decision plan.

If you are not accepted through Early Decision, in most cases, you will be asked to submit mid-year senior grades and will be reviewed a second time with applicants in the Regular Decision plan. Early Decision applicants who are accepted to an alternate (second or third-choice) program of study may request to be released from the conditions of Early Decision.

If you have any questions regarding RIT's Early Decision plans, please contact us at (585) 475-6700, or email us at NTIDadmissions@rit.edu.

Academic Preparation and Requirements

To become an interpreter, students must develop competency in both English and ASL. The more adept students become in the grammar and the linguistic the more comfortable they will be at interpreting.

To succeed in this program, students need to commit to spending significant time outside of class to record videos, meet with deaf people for feedback, and immerse themselves in ASL and Deaf culture by attending community events.

Students interested in pursuing ASL-English interpreting as a career should take into consideration this additional aspect of time commitment before applying to the program.

Other skills needed to be a successful interpreter:

  • A solid foundation in spoken and written English
  • Basic computer skills
  • Ability to clearly hear the speech of another person (even if the person is behind you or the speech is recorded, and you are listening through headphones)
  • Ability to speak clearly, so others can understand
  • Ability to concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task over a period of time
  • An interest in different cultures
  • An interest in working with people

Costs and Financial Aid

RIT/NTID receives support from the federal government, and as a result, students enrolled in the American Sign Language-English Interpretation program pay less than one-half of RIT’s tuition.

At RIT/NTID, we pride ourselves on making a great education truly affordable.

RIT's Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will assist you and your family in identifying sources of financial aid to help meet the cost of a quality education. We realize that you are taking an important step in your life—one that is exciting, yet challenging. Since you have many other things to consider as you prepare for college, we want to help make your financial aid experience as smooth as possible.

While the primary responsibility for your education rests with you and your family, the RIT Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will assist you in identifying additional financial aid resources. Currently, more than 13,500 RIT undergraduate and graduate students receive over $300 million dollars in financial assistance from federal, state, and institutional resources, in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and part-time employment. We expect to continue this commitment by assisting the same number of students for the upcoming academic year.

Start by filing the Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once you have completed these forms, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will review your information and send you a financial aid package. Your financial aid award may include need-based grants, loans, or employment opportunities.