American Sign Language


American Sign Language has been offered during the academic year since fall 2019, after the Arts & Sciences faculty decided in 2018 to approve the language as fulfilling the A&S language requirement.

In addition to the courses we teach, we have a regularly scheduled ASL Conversation Hour, affiliated with the Language Resource Center and all in the Cornell community are welcome to join.

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Classes Offered

The following courses fulfill the Arts & Sciences language requirement:

  • ASL 1101, Introduction to American Sign Language I
  • ASL 1102, Introduction to American Sign Language II
  • ASL 2201, Intermediate American Sign Language I
  • ASL 2202, Intermediate American Sign Language II

The following courses are taught in ASL and have language prerequisites. For more information, view the ASL course details here.

  • ASL 2301, Modern Deaf Culture
  • ASL 2302, ASL Literature

For detailed course descriptions, please refer to the ASL section of the Linguistics Course Offerings list. See our departmental course roster here.


Brenda Schertz, Senior Lecturer

Nora Owen, Lecturer

Matilda Prestano, Teaching Associate

Placement and Transfer of Credits

Email Brenda Schertz with questions about placement or transfer of credits.

ASL/Deaf Studies Minor

The American Sign Language (ASL)/Deaf Studies minor offers the opportunity to pursue an interdisciplinary course sequence focusing on American Sign Language and Deaf culture. The courses offered range across a variety of different disciplines, to provide a broad and compelling perspective on ASL and the Deaf community.


The American Sign Language (ASL)/Deaf Studies minor consists of five courses with a minimum total of 18 credits. A student must currently be taking or have completed ASL 1102 to declare the minor.

1.  Three courses are required:

  • ASL 2202 - Intermediate American Sign Language II (or proficiency at this level)
  • ASL 2301 - Modern Deaf Culture 
  • LING 1101 - Introduction to Linguistics (Introduction to Linguistics is vital for an accurate understanding of the structure and function of ASL as a language like any other though in a different modality)

2.  A minimum of one course from ASL/Deaf Studies electives:

  • ASL 2302 - ASL Literature

  • ASL 3215 - Deaf Art, Film and Theatre

  • ASL 4410 - American Sign Language Linguistics 

3.  One course can be chosen from this list of interdisciplinary electives:

  • BSOC 2051 - Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine 
  • FGSS 4035 - Intersectional Disability Studies 
  • GOVT 3087 - International Human Rights Law and Advocacy 
  • ILRLR 4033 - Disability Law 
  • ILRIC 4360 - Global Comparative Disability Policy 
  • LING 2215 - Psychology of Language 
  • LING 2221 - Language and Society 
  • LING 2223 - Language and the Law 
  • LING 3344 - Superlinguistics: Comics, Signs and Other Sequential Images
  • PHIL 2455 - Introduction to Bioethics 

Additional Information:

The minimum grade for courses applied to the minor is C-. 

Students may apply up to one course from study abroad programs, from another institution, or an independent study toward this minor.

Interested students should consult with the Linguistics Director of Undergraduate Studies, Michael Weiss, 218 Morrill Hall, Students who declare the minor will consult with either the Director of Undergraduate Studies or ASL/Deaf Studies Minor Advisor Brenda Schertz, 215 Morrill Hall, on the selection of courses appropriate to their academic objectives.

To apply to the minor in ASL/Deaf Studies, email

Suggested course sequence for the ASL/Deaf Studies Minor:

First year:

Fall: ASL 1101 - American Sign Language I 

Spring: ASL 1102 - American Sign Language II 

Second year:

Fall: ASL 2201 - Intermediate American Sign Language I and LING 1101 - Introduction to Linguistics 

Spring: ASL 2202 - Intermediate American Sign Language II and ASL 2301 - Modern Deaf Culture 

Third year:

Fall: ASL 2302 - ASL Literature (Offered in the even numbered years.)

Spring: ASL 3215 - Deaf Art, Film and Theatre or another elective

Fourth year:

Fall: ASL 4410 - American Sign Language Linguistics (offered in the odd numbered years) or another elective. Complete any courses if not able to take them earlier.