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ASL-English Interpretation

You can facilitate communication between users of ASL and English.

The Bachelor's program in ASL-English Interpretation (ASLEI) provides you with the competencies needed to be an entry-level interpreter across various community and educational settings. 

One IOC, hearing female interpretes remotely and two other hearing female interpreters observe

Five students fingerspelling ASLEI

A - S - L - E - I

Hearing, white female platform interpreting

UNC's ASLEI program offers a four-year degree in interpreting. The ASLEI curriculum builds upon your fluency in ASL and English in Year 1 and 2 and develops your interpreting skills in Year 3 and 4. 

Click on bolded words for hyperlinks to more detailed information. 

Overview of ASLEI

Time to Complete

4 years =
     11 consecutive semesters
     Fall, Spring & Summer

Total Credits

120 credits =
     73 credits in the major
     16 credits in a minor/concentration/electives
     31 credits of Liberal Arts Curriculum

# of Courses Per Semester

2-3 courses in the major
     Fall, Spring & Summer = 6-9 credits

1-3 courses in LAC, minor, concentration, or electives
     Fall & Spring = 3-9 credits

Grade Requirement

B (81%) or better in all major courses

     (and ASLIS offered minor/concentration)

Related Minor

ASL Minor
     List of UNC minors

Related Concentration

Practicum Experiences

300 hours total
     140 hours = Embedded in courses
     160 hours = Internship

Program Requirements

Entrance DOC Screening
Summer Residential Session (Yearly)
Progress Checkpoint (end of Year 2)
Capstone Portfolio (end of Year 4)


In person & virtual language specialists

for ASL I - VI

ASL Club

Student lead organization for ASL

Application Due Date

Sequence of the ASLEI Major

" "As an ASLEI student, you will complete 73 credits in the major. In addition to the major, you will complete 31 credits of Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC) and 16 credits in complimentary coursework (i.e., minor, an area of concentration, or electives). 

The following sequence is the typical plan of study for a full-time student just starting their college journey. Major courses are listed along with a suggested number of LAC, minor, concentration, or elective credits to maintain full-time status.

The ASLIS Department offers a minor in ASL and School Interpreting Series as a concentration. The School Interpreting Series (SIS) Degree Plan is the typical plan of study for a full-time ASLEI student who is an OSEP Scholar in the PSI Project. 

The total number of credits you take each semester depends on a variety of factors, including financial aid, requirements of minors and/or concentrations, transfer credits, etc. 

" " Major courses are offered once a year and in a specific sequence.

Any changes to the typical plan of study or length of study will come from ASLEI advisors after you have been accepted into the program.

  • ASLEI Begins with ASL V

    As a future interpreter, you must have a strong foundation of language fluency in ASL and English before entering the program. As such, the ASLEI program begins with ASL V. 

    " " " " " "

    Important If you are not ready for ASL V, you must build your ASL foundational before applying. 

  • YEAR 1

    " "

    INTR 100
    Strategies for ASLEI Success (1)

    INTR 101
    ASL V (3)

    INTR 111
    ASL Linguistics (3)

    equals 7 major credits

    Plus 7 suggested credits
    LAC or Minor requirements

    " "

    INTR 102
    ASL VI (3)

    INTR 201
    Ethics for Interpreters (3)

    equals 6 major credits

    Plus 9 suggested credits
    LAC or Minor requirements

    " "

    INTR 103
    ASL Skills for Interpreters I (3)

    INTR 113
    Discourse Analysis (3)

    equals 6 major credits

  • YEAR 2

    " "

    INTR 112
    Theory & Practice of Interpreting (3)

    INTR 204
    ASL Skills for Interpreters II (3)

    INTR 312
    Intercultural Communication (3)

    equals 9 major credits

    Plus 3 suggested credits
    LAC or Minor requirements

    " "

    INTR 206
    Meaning Transfer Skills (3) 

    ASL 310
    Deaf Culture (3) 

    equals 6 major credits

    Plus 9 suggested credits
    LAC or Minor requirements

    " "

    INTR 230
    Research Methods for Interpreters (1) 

    INTR 245
    Interpreting Skills & Theory I (5)

    equals 6 major credits

  • YEAR 3

    " "

    INTR 345
    Interpreting Skills & Theory II (6) 

    INTR 430
    Interpreting in K-12 Educational Settings (3)

    equals 9 major credits

    Plus 3 suggested credits
    towards LAC, Minor, Concentration, or Elective requirements

    " "

    INTR 330
    Observation-Supervision (3) 

    INTR 355
    Interpreting Skills & Theory III (3) 

    equals 6 major credits

    Plus 7 suggested credits
    towards LAC, Minor, Concentration, or Elective requirements

    " "

    INTR 445
    Interpreting Skills & Theory IV (5) 

    INTR 449
    Senior Seminar (1) 

    equals 6 major credits

  • YEAR 4

    " "

    INTR 440
    Interpreting in Community Settings (3)

    INTR 450
    Senior Capstone (3)

    equals 6 major credits

    Plus 6 suggested credits
    towards LAC, Minor, Concentration, or Elective requirements

    " "

    INTR 401
    Professional Decision-Making for Interpreters (3)

    INTR 492
    Internship for Interpreters (3)

    equals 6 major credits

    Plus 3 suggested credits
    towards LAC, Minor, Concentration, or Elective requirements


Specifics of ASLEI

  • Delivery Methods, Cost & Scholarships

    Delivery Methods

    The ASLEI program is offered on-campus or online to fit your learning and financial needs.

    " "

    On Campus ASLEI Program

    • Traditional learning environment
    • Synchronous classroom meetings
    • Offered on UNC's Greeley campus
    • Mandatory summer residential session

    " "

    Online ASLEI Program

    • Non-traditional learning environment
    • Asynchronous through Canvas
    • Offered through Extended Campus
    • Mandatory summer residential session

    As an ASLEI student, you will select one delivery methods to complete the program.

    " "

    On Campus

    Fall & Spring = On Campus
    Summer = Online + Residential Session

    Important If student numbers are low, you will take online courses.

    " "


    Fall & Spring = Online
    Summer = Online + Residential Session

    You will complete the same courses and benchmarks with either delivery method.


    All of your courses, no matter the delivery method, will be structured with assignments and due dates. Canvas is UNC's learning management system and is the main way you will access course content.

    Technical Requirements

    Visit Extended Campus to learn more about the technical requirements of an online program. This information also applies if you plan to be an on campus student.


    " "

    On Campus Tuition Rates

    • Variable rate based on in- and out-of-state residency
    • Visit Admissions for tuition costs

    " "

    Online Tuition Rates

    • Set rate no matter your residency
    • Visit Extended Campus for tuition costs

    Additional ASL Course Fee: 

    Modern language courses, including American Sign Language, typically include a language lab fee to cover costs of the language lab during the class.  For many spoken language labs this covers the cost of software and/or equipment.  Based on research and a pilot project the ASL faculty determined that students learn ASL best through authentic communication with native users of ASL. Therefore, the course fee covers the costs associated with hiring language specialists who interact in real-time using authentic and native language with ASL students. 


    " " You can apply to various UNC scholarships to help pay for your interpreting education.

    " " If you are interested in interpreting in K-12 educational settings, you can apply to the Preparing School Interpreters (PSI) Project. The PSI Project is offering scholarships to a total of 27 ASLEI students between 2021-2026. 

  • Potential Changes to the ASLEI Sequence

    Changes to the typical plan of study or length of study are based on:

    Language Proficiency

    Life experience with ASL:

    • Being a heritage signer
    • Having completed non-credit ASL classes


    ASL retro-credit may be available.

    Transferable Courses

    Acceptance of ASL and interpreting courses that align with the ASLEI courses.


    Interpreting programs vary greatly. All your previous coursework may not fit within the ASLEI plan of study.

    Professional Credentials

    • RID
    • ED:K-12 (ASL or PSE only)
    • 4.0+ on the EIPA performance & the EIPA written

    The major will take 4 years to complete even with the LAC requirement satisfied.

    " "" "" "" "

    Last Entry Point into ASLEI

    " "Summer of Year 2 begins the courses developing your interpreting skills. This is the last entry point if you are a working interpreter holding national credentials (listed above).

  • DOC Screening: A Program Requirement

    You will complete the Demonstration of Competencies (DOC) Screening as part of your application process to show you are ready for the ASLEI curriculum. Candidates for the ASLEI Program must have completed ASL I-IV and have earned a grade of "A" or "B" on college transcript within the past 3 years.  Those who have taken ASL courses prior to that may be considered on a case by case basis depending on evidence of continued involvement in the Deaf/ASL community. 

    " "

    $175 fee for the DOC Screening

    " "

    Limited annual offerings of the DOC Screening

    The DOC is an assessment of your ASL skills; not other forms of signed communication like Signing Exact English (SEE), Pidgin Signed English (PSE), or other contact varieties.

    The DOC is a limited timed, self-paced, online screening with five components:

    1. ASL Expression = Your production of ASL
    2. ASL Reception = Your comprehension of ASL
    3. Spoken English = Your comprehension and production of verbal English
    4. Written English = Your comprehension and production of printed English
    5. Knowledge = Your knowledge of ASL grammar and Deaf culture

    Important Passing grades in ASL I-IV does not ensure fluency and readiness for the ASLEI program.

    Alternative to DOC

    " " If you hold professional credentials, the DOC will be waived as your credentials demonstrate your language competency.  

    Accepted interpreting credentials:


    ASL or PSE only)

    4.0+ EIPA performance
    & the EIPA written

  • Summer Residential Session: A Program Requirement

    As a ASLEI student, you will take a six week session each summer. 

    Summer Session

    " "

    Begin courses online

    2 week session
    Typically the end of June

    " "

    Continue courses on UNC campus

    4 week residential session
    Typically in July
    Classes on weekdays (8:00-5:00)
    Daily & weekend assignments

    Important The Summer Residential Session is mandatory for all ASLEI students no matter your delivery method during the fall and spring semesters. The summer session establishes a foundation of knowledge and skills that you will build upon in the following semesters.

    " " The summer session creates a community of Deaf and hearing students from the ASL-English Interpretation and TASL programs

    Summer Information & Cost

    During the spring semester, you will be provided with information (i.e., dates, room, dining, etc.) to plan your residential session each summer. 

    " " The summer residential housing costs are approximately $1,300 for students who stay in UNC's residence halls. Meals are an additional cost and plans can be purchased. 

  • Practicum Experience

    You will complete 300 hours of practicum experiences during your ASLEI program.

    140 hours

    " "

    During various courses
    Years 2, 3 & 4

    160 hours

    " "

    During INTR 492
    Year 4 - Spring

    Important You may be required to submit a criminal background, fingerprinting and or a drug test prior to practicum/field-based experiences. 

    " " Practicum experiences for the first 140 hours should happen in your home area.

    It is your responsibility to locate and secure these practicum experiences. The ASLEI program will support and assist you in finding local practicum experiences. If a local practicum experience is unavailable, you may need to travel to complete the requirements. 

    " " Internship for Interpreters is the final 160 hours of practicum. Your internship may occur outside of your home area. 

    The ASLEI program will assign you to an internship site which may require you to travel or relocate for the length of the internship.  Expenses you may incur during your internship include travel, room and board ( you will make your own living arrangements) and any other personal expenses in addition to the tuition and course required materials. 

  • Language of Instruction

    ASLEI uses a bilingual approach. Various courses present content in different modes of communication (ASL as well as spoken and written English) by Deaf and hearing instructors.

    " " " " " "

    Therefore, you must have a strong foundation in ASL and English.

  • Entry-to-Practice Competenices

    The ASLEI program is based on 34 performance standards called the Entry-to-Practice Competencies.

    The competencies encompass

    " "
    Theory & Knowledge

    " "
    Human Relations

    " "  " "
    Language Skills

    " "
    Interpreting Skills

    " "

    The Entry-to-Practice Competencies allow you to confidently provide interpreting services in a range of low-risk settings with professional autonomy.

    " " Upon graduation, you will be work-ready for general practice and can confidently approach professional credentials within a year.

    " " The ASLEI program recognizes there are additional specialties in the field of interpreting; deaf-blind interpreting, deaf interpreting, trilingual interpreting, medical interpreting, and so forth. Interest in specialties are often gained by working experience and professional/certification programs beyond the ASLEI degree. 

  • Essential Function of an ASL-English Interpreter

    " " In order for you to become an ASL–English interpreter, you must possess specific skills, experience, education, and abilities required to successfully provide professional services.

    This includes the ability to perform essential job functions (informed by the state of Texas Board for the Evaluation of Interpreters).

    " "  Essential Physical Abilities 

    The essential physical abilities of a nonintermediary, or nondeaf, interpreter are:

    • Hearing: the ability to hear, identify, and understand the speech of another person without relying on visual assistance.
    • Speech: the ability to speak clearly so that the speech is understandable to a listener.
    • Vision: the ability to see details of another person's hand shapes, hand movements, and facial expressions from a distance of three to six feet.
    • Facial expression: the ability to control the muscles of the face in order to manipulate the eyebrows, cheeks, mouth, and nose.
    • Manual dexterity: the ability to quickly make coordinated movements of one hand, a hand together with its arm, two hands, or two hands together with arms.
    • Finger dexterity: the ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands.
    • Wrist-finger speed: the ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
    • Limb movement: the ability to move the arms to place the hands slightly above the head, and to extend the arms away from the front of the body and to the sides of the body.
    • Limb movement speed: the ability to quickly move the arms.
    • Dual-limb coordination: the ability to coordinate movements of both arms while sitting or standing.
    • Head: the ability to control the head in order to nod and to turn it from side to side.
    • Physical stamina: the ability to endure moderate physical exertion without getting winded or out-of-breath for at least 30 minutes. 

    " "Essential Cognitive Abilities 

    The essential cognitive abilities of a nonintermediary, nondeaf interpreter are:

    • Critical thinking: the ability to use logic and analysis to assess communication in order to make adjustments in approaches to interpretation.
    • Self-monitoring: the ability to monitor and assess the interpretation during and after a task.
    • Selective attention: the ability to concentrate and be undistracted while performing a task, and to sustain that attention over a period of time. 
    • Auditory attention: the ability to focus on a single source of auditory information in the presence of other distracting sounds.
    • Visual attention: the ability to focus on a single source of visual information in the presence of other distracting movements in the surrounding area.
    • Mental stamina: the ability to sustain a significant amount of mental processing without fatigue or breakdown for at least 30 minutes.
    • Working memory: the ability to remember information such as concepts, words, and numbers for a brief time while interpreting.
    • Information ordering: the ability to track and arrange information in a certain order.
    • Pattern inference: the ability to quickly make sense of information even when parts of that information may appear to be missing.
    • Time sharing: the ability to efficiently shift between two or more activities or tasks, and between two or more sources of information.
    • Problem sensitivity: the ability to recognize when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
    • Fluency of ideas: the ability to generate a number of ideas about a given topic. (This concerns the number of ideas produced and not the quality, correctness, or creativity of the ideas.)
    • Breadth of knowledge: an acquaintance or understanding, at the introductory level or higher, of a broad variety of topics and fields of interest. 

    " "Essential Cultural Knowledge and Linguistic Abilities 

    The essential cultural knowledge and linguistic abilities of a nonintermediary, nondeaf interpreter are:  

    English language:

    • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
    • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words, sentences and paragraphs.
    • The ability to communicate information and ideas by speaking so that others will understand.

    Written English comprehension:

    • Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
    • Communicate information and ideas in writing so that others will understand.

    American Sign Language:

    • Knowledge of the structure and content of American Sign Language including the meaning of lexical and phrasal items, rules of grammar, and articulation.
    • The ability to watch and understand information and ideas presented through signs, gestures, classifiers, and finger spelling.
    • The ability to communicate information and ideas through signs, gestures, classifiers, and fingerspelling so that others will understand.


    • ASL-English interpreters must have an in-depth understanding of the cultural norms and mores of the American English-speaking and the American D/deaf communities. 

    " " Essential Professional Attributes 

    The essential professional attributes of a nonintermediary, nondeaf interpreter are:

    • Social perceptiveness: the ability to be aware of and sensitive to others' reactions, and the ability to understand why others react as they do.
    • Independence: the ability to develop independent approaches to doing things and to work with little or no supervision.
    • Interpersonal relationships: the ability to develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and to maintain them over time.
    • Adaptability and flexibility: the ability to adapt to considerable variety in the workplace and be flexible and accepting of positive and negative change.
    • Emotional well-being: the ability to exercise emotional control and stability in order to fully use intellectual abilities and good judgment.
    • Self-control: the ability to maintain composure, keep emotions in check, control anger, and avoid aggressive behavior, even in difficult situations.
    • Professional decorum: the ability to show respect and act in a professional manner during all interactions.
    • Problem solving: the ability to make complex decisions, including the ability to identify problems, collect information, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions.
    • Organizing, planning, and prioritizing work: the ability to develop specific goals and plans, and to prioritize, organize, and accomplish goals.
    • Conflict resolution: the ability to identify and resolve conflicts related to the meanings of words, concepts, practices, or behaviors.
    • Time management: the ability to manage time well and to respect the time of others.
    • Ethical standards: the ability to follow the Code of Professional Conduct as set forth by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.


    Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. (2005). RID code of professional conduct. https://rid.org/ethics/code-of-professional-conduct/

    Texas Board for the Evaluation of Interpreters. (2020). Essential abilities and attributes of nonintermediary or nondeaf interpreters. Texas Health and Human Services. https://hhs.texas.gov/laws-regulations/handbooks/bei/chapter-1-bei-general-interpreter-certification-policies-procedures/1-3-1-essential-abilities-attributes-nonintermediary-or-nondeaf-interpreters 

Apply to the ASLEI Program

Become a UNC Student

" "

Apply to UNC

The Admission process may
take up to 6 weeks.

Submit ASLEI Application

" "

After you are accepted into UNC...
Apply to the ASLEI Program

Due April 15th

Show ASL Proficiency

" "

Additional information will be sent to you about the DOC screening.

Pay the $175 fee.

 The ASLEI Program will send a letter of placement after your DOC screening (or alternative pathway) has been reviewed. 

" " If you are placed into ASL V or higher, you will be scheduled for an intake interview for initial advising.

Obtaining a placement less than ASL V means you need to increase your ASL foundational skills before you can reapply.