Deaf studies

See also the major in Sign Language Interpreting.

Major in deaf studies

42-46 credit hours (core and one concentration area)

Core program (30-33 credits including Gallaudet semester)

  • Asl 104, Deaf Culture3
  • Asl 202, American Sign Language 44
  • Asl 307, American Sign Language 54
  • Asl 320, Deaf History3
  • Asl 410, Senior Seminar1
  • Int 380, The Deaf Community: Subcultures & Special Groups3

Gallaudet semester (12-15 credits)

Students will spend one immersive semester as a guest student at Gallaudet University. During this semester, they will take courses that transfer to Goshen College and enhance the chosen concentration. Course schedules must be determined in consultation with advisors.

Choose one concentration:

Social Work concentration (12 credits)

For Social Work licensure:  add Social Work major (41 additional credits)

  • SoWk 200, Intro to Social Work3
  • SoWk 209, Social Service Field Experience3
  • SoWk 221, Human Behavior3
  • SoWk 322, Social Welfare Policy & Program I3

Education concentration (Non-certification) – 13 credits

  • Asl 409, Internship3
  • Educ 201, Foundations of Education4
  • One of the following courses3
  • Psyc 210, Developmental Psychology (3)
  • Educ 309, Educational Psychology: Secondary (3)
  • Select one of the following3
  • Educ 302 , Exceptional Learners (3)
  • Engl 310, Linguistics (3)
  • Engl 315, Global English (3)
  • Comm206, Communication Across Cultures (3)

Education Concentration (with 5-12 certification) – 13 credits

For teacher education: add Secondary Education major (36 additional credits)

  • Educ 201, Foundations of Education4
  • Engl 310, Intro to Linguistics3
  • Select two of the following courses6
  • Comm 206, Communication Across Cultures (3)
  • Educ 341, Mild Disabilities I (3)
  • Educ 348, Teaching Adolescents with Exceptional Needs (3)
  • Engl 315, Global English (3)

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates in deaf studies will:

  1. Effectively communicate with Deaf individuals using American Sign Language, with a variety of signing styles.
  2. Analyze the impact of power, privilege and oppression within the Deaf community that results in Deaf people’s experience of prejudice, discrimination, inequity, and/or exclusion.
  3. Apply skills in working with various Deaf participants within and outside of the Deaf community.
  4. Demonstrate appropriate cultural interactions within the Deaf community, including the ability to communicate respectfully in a Deaf-culture setting.
  5. Demonstrate a desire to serve and to nurture Deaf individuals from a social justice perspective.
  6. Establish working and collegial relationships with community agencies, schools, and families to strengthen the advocacy relationship with Deaf individuals.

Planning guide

First and second years Goshen Core
ASL 4 & 5
Deaf Culture
Deaf History
Third year Goshen Core
Gallaudet Semester
SW or Ed concentration courses
Fourth year Balance of Goshen Core
Balance of SW or Ed concentration courses
Senior Seminar

Planning and advising notes

A Deaf Studies major does not on its own lead to licensure in education or social work. To become a licensed social worker or a licensed teacher in American Sign Language, students must also complete the major in social work or secondary education respectively. 

Students majoring and minoring in Deaf Studies are required to earn a grade of C or above in each course.  Courses may be repeated only once to attempt a higher grade.

Course selection for the Gallaudet semester will be made in consultation with your academic advisor.

Recommended elective courses for Deaf Studies majors include:  Comm 202 Oral Communication; Comm 206 Communication Across Cultures; Phil 203 Living Ethically; Psyc 100 General Psychology; Soc 260 Human Sexuality.

Minor in deaf studies

19 credits

  • Asl 104, Deaf Culture3
  • Asl 201, American Sign Language 34
  • Asl 202, American Sign Language 44
  • Asl 307, American Sign Language 54
  • Asl 320, Deaf History3
  • Asl 409, Internship1