Maryville College developed the first bachelor’s degree program in interpreting for the languages of American Sign Language (ASL), spoken English and English-influenced forms of sign language in the United States. Faculty credentials include degrees in teaching interpreting, ASLTA professional certification, National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf certification.

ASL and interpreting staff include Deaf consultants in interpreting course sessions, and certified and experienced interpreting mentors. Community resources include a vibrant Deaf community, our neighbors-Tennessee School for the Deaf-local interpreting service community centers, and other employers of interpreters. A related major that focuses on the language and Deaf culture is ASL & Deaf Studies.

Sign language interpreting opens communication when people who are Deaf or Deaf-blind interact with the hearing world to buy a home, adopt a child, take a cruise, take classes, book a flight, order sushi, or interview for a job. Interpret outside at an environmental camp, youth conservation corps, summer camp, or national park. Work at a video relay center in any region of the country or interpret through video remote. The national demand for sign language interpreters far exceeds the supply. Opportunities for interpreters allow for skilled professional interpreters to direct their own businesses or thrive as staff interpreters, interpret solo or as members of interpreter teams, and specialize in different settings, such as education, health care, or legal. The major also prepares students for advanced study in Interpreting and related fields.

Course Offerings

The Major in American Sign Language-English Interpreting requires 51 hours with 45 hours beyond the first year ASL 110: American Sign Language I and ASL 120: American Sign Language II and six hours in related courses. Required courses include:


Required courses: 

ASL 203: American Sign Language III (3 hrs.)
ASL 204: American Sign Language IV (3 hrs.)
ASL 331: Introduction in Linguistics in ASL (3 hrs.)
AEI 215: Translation and Interpreting Readiness (3 hrs.)
AEI 301: Introduction to Interpreting (3 hrs.)
AEI 302: Interpreting Skills I (3 hrs.)
AEI 303: Interpreting Skills II (3 hrs.)
AEI 307: History and Culture of the American Deaf Community (3 hrs.)
AEI 311: Educational Interpreting (3 hrs.)
AEI 321: Interpreting in Specialized Settings (3 hrs.)
AEI 337: Internship (9-15 hrs.)
AEI 351-352: Senior Study (6 hrs.)

Required Related courses:

PSY 101: Introductory Psychology (3 hrs.)
PSY 306: Language Development (3 hrs.)


Recommended courses:

SOC 211: Social Psychology (3 hrs.)
SOC 215: Sociology of Marriage and Family (3 hrs.)
PSY 211: Child Development (3 hrs.)

A supervised internship in an approved off-campus agency is an essential part of the major program. Internships and practicum requirements, limited class enrollments, and the necessity of offering some classes in alternate years demand very careful planning by students majoring in American Sign Language and American Sign Language-English Interpreting. Major paradigms and alternate year offerings are available from major advisers.