Why major in Deaf Studies?
The goal of the Deaf Studies major is to introduce students to the multidisciplinary study of human culture, behavior, language, experience, thought, and history, with a focus on analyzing and understanding the contributions Deaf people have made to our global society. Throughout the major, students will learn, acquire, and develop American Sign Language skills and can expect to gain an appreciation for the diversity and complexities of this experience to be able to apply their knowledge to issues in the social sciences, humanities, education, business, and other related fields. Students in this field of study will develop an awareness of the intersectional Deaf experience that embodies critical thinking, parallel reasoning and inquiry, and sensitivity to the issues of ability, race, gender, social class, culture and ethnicity. Upon completion of an undergraduate degree in Deaf Studies, students will have developed a foundation that prepares them to pursue further graduate study and careers in interpreting, education, entertainment, media, government, politics, social work, and counseling to name a few. Students are encouraged to seek internships as well as opportunities to study abroad. Deaf Studies is not a study of them; it is a study of us. Majoring in Deaf Studies will broaden and enrich one’s knowledge on the most basic elements of our humanity ... language, culture and society.
Why study Deaf Studies at California State University, Northridge (CSUN)?
CSUN is proud to be one of few institutions in the nation that offers a comprehensive undergraduate program in the area of Deaf Studies. It has long been acknowledged as a leader in providing quality education in a broad variety of fields relating to the study of Deaf people and is unequaled in terms of its exceptionally skilled and dedicated faculty, diverse student body, and extensive resources. At CSUN, we believe in learning through an engaging environment. Elements of our undergraduate program offer outstanding extra-curricular opportunities for developing social relationships and leadership skills through participation in our numerous campus and community activities including workshops, lectures, ASL/Deaf theatre productions, and student organizations, to name a few.
Interested in getting involved in student organizations?
The Deaf Studies Association is our student organization that brings together people of varied backgrounds for the purpose of fostering social relationships, supporting further language development, and broadening cultural awareness. In addition to fostering support groups for Deaf Studies majors, it sponsors a variety of special events for the community at large including professional workshops, guest speakers, academic panels, social gatherings, and more! The Deaf Studies Association is also proud to be a close partner of another student organization for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, the Deaf CSUNians. The Deaf CSUNians is one of the largest chartered organizations under the University's Associated Students program. Its objective is to promote cultural, political, and social awareness among its Deaf and hearing members and in the campus community. Together, the Deaf Studies Association and the Deaf CSUNians provide our students with numerous opportunities to get involved on our campus and in our larger communities.
Want interaction with deaf people?
CSUN boasts the largest nationwide enrollment of students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing at a mainstream institution. CSUN was one of the first mainstream universities in the nation to admit people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing --providing inspiration for the National Center on Deafness, which is now NCOD: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, a landmark institution on the campus of CSUN that provides support services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing student population and continues to bridge the Deaf and hearing communities. Today, more than 150 Deaf and Hard of Hearing students attend CSUN and are mainstreamed into regular university classes.
Need library resources?
Our University Library houses the most extensive collection of materials related to Deaf people and signed languages in the western United States. The information found in the library includes signed and captioned media, reports, newsletters, periodicals, and books from programs and organizations throughout the world. With thousands of videotapes, books, and other materials related to Deaf people, this library is a valuable regional research base.
What do majors do after graduation?
During the last few decades, a number of significant legislative and judicial initiatives and directives have appeared at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that the approximately 500,000 Deaf Americans have full access to public and private programs and services. As social, community, legal and educational services have expanded nationwide, many career possibilities have opened up for persons interested in professional work in Deaf-related fields. The Deaf Studies major at CSUN will provide appropriate exposure and preparation to students for further graduate studies and professional careers as sign language interpreters, sign language instructors, educators, counselors, government specialists, program administrators, community service personnel, and many other Deaf-related vocations. The Deaf Studies faculty and staff enjoy having a personal relationship with all of our majors, and we look forward to meeting you! In no other single location will you find a comparable concentration of teaching, research, learning, and service activities on such a wide range of topics relevant to the field of Deaf Studies. Some of the best known names in the field, resources, and opportunities are all here at CSUN!
Careers in Deaf Studies
During recent years, a number of significant legislative and judicial initiatives and directives have appeared at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that the approximately 700,000 Deaf Americans have full access to public and private programs and services. As social, community, legal and educational services have expanded nationwide, many career possibilities have opened up for persons interested in professional work in deaf-related fields. The Deaf Studies major at CSUN will provide appropriate exposure and preparation to students interested in careers as sign language interpreters, sign language instructors, counselors, government specialists, teachers of the deaf, community service coordinators/advocates, and many other deaf-related vocations.