Deaf Studies

  • Commencement Interpreters

    Welcome to the Deaf Studies Department

  • A circle of people signing

    Welcome to the Deaf Studies Department

  • A crowd of people applauding at a Stop Audism event

    Welcome to the Deaf Studies Department

Academic Programs

Core: 32 units, Concentration: 15 units, Capstone: 3 units

All Deaf Studies majors must complete 32 units of core coursework, in addition to 3 capstone units and 15 units of concentration coursework specific to your concentration. You can view the core and concentration courses under the headings below.

Also, you can view a Four Year Plan for all of the concentrations on the University Catalog website.

Read about our Interpreter Education Program.

Core Courses (23 Units)

Core requirements include courses in American Sign Language (ASL), and linguistics, as well as courses that convey basic knowledge and understanding about the language and culture of Deaf people. People note that not all ASL courses taken at other schools or community colleges are equivalent to CSUN's ASL courses. Students with prior sign language experience are encouraged to contact the Deaf Studies Department for advisement and proper placement in ASL courses. All Deaf Studies concentrations require the same core requirements.

Lower Division Required Courses (11 Units)
DEAF 200Introduction to Deaf Studies (B) (3)
DEAF 280ASL III (B) (4) - Pre-requisite: DEAF 161
DEAF 281ASL IV (B) (4) - Pre-requisite: DEAF 280
Note: Although these classes may be transferred from a community college, individual skills will be tested during the initial advisement appointment.
Upper Division ASL Courses (Pick 6 Units)
Pre-Requisite: DEAF 281
DEAF 300Advanced ASL Conversation (B) (3)
DEAF 370ASL/English Translation (B) (3)
DEAF 489/LCreative Uses of ASL (B) (2/1)
DEAF 490 A-G

Essential Features of ASL (1 unit each - need three)
A - Classifiers (F)
B - Technical Signs
C - Foreign Signs (B)
D - Sentence Types (F)
E - Number Systems (S)
F - Visual/Gestural Communication
G - Public Signing (S)

Note: DEAF 300 and DEAF 380 are required for the interpreting program.
Upper Division Required Courses (6 Units)
DEAF 360American Deaf Culture (B) (3) - Pre-requisite: DEAF 200
DEAF 484Structure of ASL (B) (3) - Pre-requisite: DEAF 281

(F) - Fall Only, (S) - Spring Only, (B) - Offered Both Semesters

Concentration I: ASL/English Interpreting

The Interpreter Education Program (IEP) prepares students to be successful in entry-level interpreting positions upon graduation. The IEP is an intensive two-year program* designed to enhance English, ASL, and Interpreting skills. The program consists of four major courses, which includes an internship class in the final semester that provides the opportunity for practical experience and feedback from qualified, professional interpreters. The program also provides direct instruction regarding professional conduct and the National Interpreter Certification Test.

50 Units Required
 Core Courses 23 Units
 Content Courses 9 Units
 Concentration Courses 15 Units
 Capstone Course3 Units
Content Courses
(Must Take 9 Units)
Pre-Requisite: DEAF 281 and 360
DEAF 350Principles of Interpreting (S) (3) - Pre-requisite: DEAF 200
DEAF 400Deaf and Hearing People: A Cultural Analysis (S) (3)
DEAF 401Deaf History (S) (3)
DEAF 402Deaf Literature (F) (3)
DEAF 404Issues and Trends in the Deaf Community (F) (3)
DEAF 406Deaf Learner (B) (3)
DEAF 485Issues in ASL (S) (3) - Additional pre-requisite: DEAF 484
CD 410Hearing Science (B) (3) - No pre-requisite
Concentration Elective Courses
(15 Units: Must Take All)
Pre-Requisite: DEAF 281 AND Successful Completion of Screening
DEAF 380/383Interpreting I/Lab (F) (3/1)
DEAF 381/383Interpreting II/Lab (S) (3/1)
DEAF 420Interpreting III (F) (4)
DEAF 482Practicum (S) (3)
Capstone Course-Taken During Graduating Semester
DEAF 497 (3 Units)

(F) - Fall Only, (S) - Spring Only, (B) - Offered Both Semesters

* The IEP program is a two-year program starting after the completion of all pre-requisite courses. If a student meets the pre-requisites and passes the screening test to be admitted into the program, the expected duration of the program is two years. Class availability and remaining general education courses may alter expected graduation dates.

Concentration II: ASL/ASL Literature

This concentration prepares students for future employment as ASL instructors, usually to hearing, second language learners. The demand for ASL teachers is high as an increasing number of high schools are now offering ASL as a foreign language or elective course. This concentration is also designed for students seeking admission into graduate school for Linguistics and other related fields. Students interested in pursuing careers in Deaf of ASL Theatre are also advised to declare ASL/ASL Literature as their concentration.

50 Units Required
 Core Courses  23 Units
 Content Courses  9 Units
 Concentration Courses  15 Units
 Capstone Course 3 Units
Content Courses
(Must Take 9 Units)
Pre-Requisite: DEAF 281 and 360
DEAF 350 Principles of Interpreting (S) (3) - Pre-requisite: DEAF 200
DEAF 400 Deaf and Hearing People: A Cultural Analysis (S) (3)
DEAF 404 Issues and Trends in the Deaf Community (F) (3)
DEAF 406 Deaf Learner (B) (3)
CD 410 Hearing Science (B) (3) - No pre-requisite
Concentration Elective Courses
(Must Take 15 Units)
Pre-Requisite: DEAF 281 AND DEAF 360
DEAF 401 Deaf History (S) (3)
DEAF 402 Deaf Literature (F) (3)
DEAF 405 ASL/Deaf Theatre (B) (3)
DEAF 485 Issues in ASL (S) (3) - Additional pre-requisite: DEAF 484
And ONE of the following... (pre-requisite: DEAF 281)
DEAF 300 Advanced ASL Conversation (B) (3)
DEAF 370 ASL/English Translation (B) (3)
DEAF 489/L Creative Uses of ASL (B) (2/1)
Note: Whichever you choose, you cannot use the course as one of your Upper Division ASL requirements (see Core Courses on back page).
Capstone Course-Taken During Graduating Semester
DEAF 497 (3 Units)

(F) - Fall Only, (S) - Spring Only, (B) - Offered Both Semesters

Concentration III: Pre-Deaf Education

Students who choose this concentration aim to become teachers of deaf children within K-12 mainstream or residential school settings. Upon completion, students move on to appropriate graduate programs to obtain teaching credentials and advanced degrees in Deaf Education.

50 Units Required
 Core Courses 23 Units
 Content Courses 9 Units
 Concentration Courses 15 Units
 Capstone Course3 Units
Content Courses
(Must Take 9 Units)
Pre-Requisite: DEAF 281 and 360
DEAF 350Principles of Interpreting (S) (3) - Pre-requisite: DEAF 200
DEAF 404Issues and Trends in the Deaf Community (F) (3)
DEAF 485Issues in ASL (S) (3) - Additional pre-requisite: DEAF 484
Concentration Elective Courses
(Must Take 15 Units)
Pre-Requisite: DEAF 281 AND DEAF 360
DEAF 400Deaf and Hearing People: A Cultural Analysis (S) (3)
DEAF 401Deaf History (S) (3)
DEAF 402Deaf Literature (F) (3)
DEAF 406Deaf Learner (B) (3)
CD 410Hearing Science (B) (3) - No pre-requisite
Capstone Course-Taken During Graduating Semester
DEAF 497 (3 Units)

(F) - Fall Only, (S) - Spring Only, (B) - Offered Both Semesters

Concentration IV: Deaf Community Services

This concentration provides a solid foundation for advanced degrees and future employment in social service-related fields. Examples of such careers serving members of the Deaf community include counselors, psychologists, social workers, and advocacy workers.

50 Units Required
 Core Courses 23 Units
 Content Courses 9 Units
 Concentration Courses 15 Units
 Capstone Course3 Units
Content Courses
(Must Take 9 Units)
Pre-Requisite: DEAF 281 and 360
DEAF 350Principles of Interpreting (S) (3) - Pre-requisite: DEAF 200
DEAF 402Deaf Literature (F) (3)
DEAF 406Deaf Learner (B) (3)
DEAF 485Issues in ASL (S) (3) - Additional pre-requisite: DEAF 484
CD 410Hearing Science (B) (3) - No pre-requisite
Concentration Elective Courses
(Must Take 15 Units)
Pre-Requisite: DEAF 281 AND DEAF 360
DEAF 400Deaf and Hearing People: A Cultural Analysis (S) (3)
DEAF 401Deaf History (S) (3)
DEAF 404Issues and Trends in the Deaf Community (F) (3)
DEAF 407Law and the Deaf (F) (3)
And ONE of the following... (pre-requisite: DEAF 281)
DEAF 300Advanced ASL Conversation (B) (3)
DEAF 415Deaf Community Services (B)*
DEAF 489/LCreative Uses of ASL (B) (2/1)
Note: If you choose DEAF 300, you cannot use DEAF 300 as one of your Upper Division ASL requirements (see Core Courses).
*DEAF 415 REQUIRES AN APPLICATION*
Capstone Course-Taken During Graduating Semester
DEAF 497 (3 Units)

(F) - Fall Only, (S) - Spring Only, (B) - Offered Both Semesters

Concentration V: Deaf Cultural Studies

This concentration provides a strong background in Deaf culture and can be applied to a variety of careers in Deaf-related fields. Deaf Cultural Studies option gives students who do not have a set career path an opportunity to explore various facets of Deaf culture in order to make a more informed decision on a career.

50 Units Required
 Core Courses 23 Units
 Content Courses 9 Units
 Concentration Courses 15 Units
 Capstone Course3 Units
Content Courses
(Must Take 9 Units)
Pre-Requisite: DEAF 281 and 360
DEAF 350Principles of Interpreting (S) (3) - Pre-requisite: DEAF 200
DEAF 404Issues and Trends in the Deaf Community (F) (3)
DEAF 485Issues in ASL (S) (3) - Additional pre-requisite: DEAF 484
CD 410Hearing Science (B) (3) - No pre-requisite
Concentration Elective Courses
(Must Take 15 Units)
Pre-Requisite: DEAF 281 AND DEAF 360
DEAF 400Deaf and Hearing People: A Cultural Analysis (S) (3)
DEAF 401Deaf History (S) (3)
DEAF 402Deaf Literature (F) (3)
DEAF 406Deaf Learner (B) (3)
And ONE of the following... (pre-requisite: DEAF 281)
DEAF 404Issues and Trends in the Deaf Community (F) (3)
DEAF 407Law and the Deaf (F) (3)
Capstone Course-Taken During Graduating Semester
DEAF 497 (3 Units)

(F) - Fall Only, (S) - Spring Only, (B) - Offered Both Semesters

Concentration VI: Special Option

Students interested in pursuing careers in a field that does not fit one of the other concentrations are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor to discuss their options within the major. If the advisor agrees that no other concentration will be suitable, an individualized plan will be developed.

50 Units Required
 Core Courses 23 Units
 Content and Concentration Courses 24 Units
 Capstone Course3 Units
Content and Concentration Courses
Will Be Determined With an Academic Advisor
(Must Take 24 Units)
Pre-Requisite: DEAF 281 and 360
DEAF 350Principles of Interpreting (S) (3) - Pre-requisite: DEAF 200
DEAF 400Deaf and Hearing People: A Cultural Analysis (S) (3)
DEAF 401Deaf History (S) (3)
DEAF 402Deaf Literature (F) (3)
DEAF 404Issues and Trends in the Deaf Community (F) (3)
DEAF 405ASL/Deaf Theatre (B) (3)
DEAF 406Deaf Learner (B) (3)
DEAF 407Law and the Deaf (F) (3)
DEAF 415Deaf Community Services (B) - Requires an application
DEAF 435Communication Variations in the Deaf Community (F) (3)
DEAF 436Sign Language Teaching (3)
DEAF 485Issues in ASL (S) (3) - Additional pre-requisite: DEAF 484
DEAF 496A-ZExperimental Topic Courses in Deaf Studies (3)
Note: Up to 12 units of Upper Division courses from a different field of study can be applied towards the special option concentration and must be approved by your academic advisor.
Capstone Course-Taken During Graduating Semester
DEAF 497 (3 Units)

(F) - Fall Only, (S) - Spring Only, (B) - Offered Both Semesters