Texas Tech University

American Sign Language Studies

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE (ASL) is not simply a set of hand-gestures for spelling or signing English words. Rather it has been shown to have the full linguistic structure of a complete natural language. Indeed it is the native tongue of many Deaf men and women and their children, whether hearing or not. It is a complex visual-spatial language used by the Deaf community in the United States and English-speaking parts of Canada. Not only is it a genuine language, it really is a foreign language distinct from English having its own literature and culture. Speakers of ASL probably number in the range of a half-million or more. ASL is one of the most commonly used languages in the U.S.

There is a high demand for interpreters and certified teachers of ASL. Job opportunities in this rapidly expanding profession have increased especially since the enactment of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Qualified Interpreters for the Deaf are employed by public and private agencies or institutions within education, social services, rehabilitation, medicine, mental health, criminal justice, business, and the arts, especially the theatre.

TTU offers seven ASL courses, all applicable towards a minor in ASL.

Supporting the teaching of ASL is a special testing facility where signing performance can be observed and filmed from behind one-way mirrors. Future expansion plans call for eventually equipping this facility with state-of-the art technology for teaching, testing, and evaluating ASL proficiency.

American Sign Language Courses can be used to satisfy TTU Foreign Language Requirements.

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ASL Placement Exam

The Language Laboratory & Research Center (LL&RC) offers the non-credit bearing ASL placement exam for placement out of ASL 1501 only. The examinee should have a minimum of two years of ASL classes at the high school level and with having taken the last class for no longer than one year. Exceptions might be someone with a family member who is deaf or a person who is deaf himself / herself. Also, please keep in mind that this exam may only be taken once. To schedule the ASL Placement Exam, please contact Carla Burrus.

Contact Information

Carla Burrus
Graduate Program Coordinator
806.834.3282 (audio only)

Melissa Hays
ASL Instructor

Lori Mallory
ASL Instructor
806.686.0589 (videophone)

Audrey Sendejo
ASL Instructor

Kristi Thrasher
ASL Instructor
806.300.0787 (videophone)


  • ASL 1301 - American Sign Language I (Fall only)
  • ASL 1302 - American Sign Language II (Spring only)
  • ASL 2301 - American Sign Language III (Fall only)
  • ASL 2302 - American Sign Language IV ( Spring only)
  • ASL 3301 - American Sign Language V (Fall only)
  • ASL 3302 - American Sign Language VI (Spring only)
  • ASL 3312 - Deaf Culture (Spring only)

* The ASL minor requires ASL 1301, 1302, 2301, 2302, 3301 and EITHER 3302 or 3312. All must be taken consecutively with the exception of 3312 which can be taken after completing 2301.

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