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Home > Campuses & Centers > Annandale > Academic Divisions > Languages and Literature > American Sign Language and English Interpretation

American Sign Language and English Interpretation

American Sign Language (ASL) is the fourth most commonly used language in the United States. It is the primary language used by the deaf community and those who consider themselves to be a member of deaf culture. Many colleges, including NOVA, accept ASL to fulfill their foreign language requirements. NOVA offers numerous courses in ASL along with a Career Studies Certificate (Advising Sheet | Degree Requirements). This Career Studies Certificate satisfies the prerequisite requirements for both of the degrees offered through the department.

Individuals interested in working with the deaf community have a variety of job options. Some careers require an Associate’s degree such as interpreters or teacher’s aides for deaf and hard of hearing programs. Other jobs require more advanced degrees, such as deaf education teachers, ASL teachers, social workers, counselors, speech and language pathologists or audiologists.

NOVA offers two degree options to assist students in pursuing their career goals:

  • ASL - English Interpretation A.A.S. (Advising Sheet | Degree Requirements) is a two-year program that prepares students to become ASL interpreters in education and community settings. Students complete a structured program of study that provides them with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to take the written and performance portions of the state screening exam, the Virginia Quality Assurance Screening (VQAS).
  • A.S. of Social Science With a Specialization of Deaf Studies (Advising Sheet | Degree Requirements) is a two-year degree program designed for students planning to transfer to four-year institutions. The specialization courses focus on the acquisition of advanced ASL language skills and knowledge of the deaf culture and community. Students can then go on to pursue a variety of careers working with deaf people.

For students who have previously taken ASL courses in high school or college, you will need to take an ASL Placement test. Contact Kevin Taylor via email at to schedule an appointment for the test.

Assistant DeanAdministrative Assistant
Paula Debes
Phone: 703.323.3192
Office: CN 230
Nasrin Naziri
Phone: 703.323.3291
Office: CN 230