College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human ServicesCollege of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human ServicesUniversity of CincinnatiCollege of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services

College of Education, Criminal Justice, & Human Services

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Signed Language Interpreting

As a field, signed language interpreting provides direct and indirect services for members of deaf and hard of hearing communities. Some settings served by signed language interpreters include education, mental health, medical, video relay services, legal, business, and other various settings. Through education and community awareness, the focus of signed language interpreting is to improve quality and access of interpreting services for deaf and hard of hearing community members.


Quick Info

Program Code


Real-World Learning Components

Required clinical experience


4 years

Admission Criteria



Main Campus


Signed Language
College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services


361 Dyer Hall
Cincinnati,OH  45221
CECH Student Services Center
Phone: 513-556-2336

Student Success Factors

Candidates who succeed in signed language interpreting demonstrate:

  •      A history of academic success
  •      The ability to collaborate with others, including those from diverse populations
  •      Leadership characteristics
  •      Responsible, caring, fair, honest and ethical behavior
  •      A commitment to social justice and a diverse society
  •      A history of good critical thinking and problem solving
  •      Enthusiasm for working with deaf and hard of hearing children and adults

Career Possibilities

In general, graduates of the special education signed language interpreting specialization will work as interpreters in various education and/or community-based settings. Some students may work as freelance interpreters while others may seek employment as full or part-time staff interpreters within an agency, organization, or school.

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

Signed language interpreting at the University of Cincinnati provides education at the baccalaureate (bachelor's) level. At the baccalaureate level, the program focuses on educating interpreters to apply evidence-based practices through consideration and application of various interpreting and translation theories. We focus on addressing standards as outlined by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE). Specifically, cohort members are required to complete course and field experiences to meet the prerequisites for state and national standards.

Advancement in the program is a two-step process. The first step is admission to the university. The host college is the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) as a signed language interpreting student. The second step involves admission into the professional cohort. Students will apply to the professional cohort during the sophomore year. For more information about the cohort selection process and criteria, please contact an academic advisor. During the sophomore year, SLI students who meet requirements for advancing in the program must attend a mandatory information meeting during fall semester and submit a completed application for admission to the signed language interpreting professional cohort that begins the following fall semester, junior year.

Enrollment is limited; admission is competitive.

Students must be admitted to the professional cohort in order to enroll in the professional cohort courses. During the fourth year, all students are required to complete a practicum or field experience series. Upon successful completion of the undergraduate program requirements, students earn a bachelor’s of science degree in signed language interpreting from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services.

Minor Details

There is no minor in signed language interpreting. Students may contact the CECH Student Services Center for information on the deaf studies certificate.


These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

Signed Language Interpreting Requirements

Predominant Program

    Fall (Year 1)
    • ASL1001, Beginning American Sign Language I, DC, 3
    • ENGL1001, English Composition, EC, 3
    • SLI1010, Introduction to Interpreting , SE, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Natural Science Elective, NS, 3
    • ASL1003, Orientation to Deafness, DC, SE, 3
    Spring (Year 1)
    • ASL1002, Beginning American Sign Language II, DC, 3
    • ASL1004, History of Deaf Heritage, SE, HP, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Diversity Culture Elective, DC, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Humanities/Literature Elective, HU, 3
    • SLI1012, Theory and Process of Interpreting Preparation, 3
    Summer (Year 1)
    • N/A
    Fall (Year 2)
    • ASL2001, Intermediate American Sign Language I, DC, 3
    • SLI2010, Theory and Process of Interpreting I, 3
    • ASL2003, Psychosocial Aspects of Deafness, DC, SS, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Historical Perspective Elective, HP, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Mathematics Elective, 3
    Spring (Year 2)
    • ASL2002, Intermediate American Sign Language II, DC, 3
    • SLI2012, Theory & Process of Interpreting II, 3
    • ASL2004, Legal Issues in Deafness, SE, 3
    • SLI2014, Intercultural Communication for Interpreters, DC, 3
    • ENGL2089, Intermediate Composition, EC, 3
    Summer (Year 2)
    • N/A
    Fall (Year 3)
    • ASL3001, Advanced American Sign Language I, 3
    • ASL3003, American Sign Language Linguistics, 3
    • SLI3011, Theory & Process of Interpreting III, 3
    • SLI3013, Critical Analysis for Interpreters, SE, 3
    • SLI3015, Educational Interpreting Theory & Process: Learning, 3
    Spring (Year 3)
    • ASL3002, Advanced American Sign Language II, 3
    • SLI3012, Theory & Process of Interpreting IV, 3
    • SLI3014, Discourse Analysis for Interpreters, 3
    • SLI3016, Educational Interpreting: Language, 3
    • SLI3017, Clinical Practice Preparation & Portfolio Development, 3
    Summer (Year 3)
    • N/A
    Fall (Year 4)
    • SLI4001, Clinical Practice I, 6
    • SLI4019, Special Settings in Interpreting I, 3
    • SLI4022, Professionalism and Ethics of Interpreting , 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Free Elective, 3
    Spring (Year 4)
    • SLI4002, Clinical Practice II, 6
    • SLI4020, Special Settings in Interpreting II, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Social and Ethical Issues Elective, SE, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Humanities and Literature Elective, HU, 3
    Summer (Year 4)
    • N/A

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

Formed as the Teachers College in 1905, the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) continually merits local, state and national recognition. Recent commendations include:

  • UC is one of 96 institutions across the United States ranked as a level 1 research institution (classification: RU/VH) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  • Accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the organization responsible for professional accreditation of teacher education
  • CECH was recently ranked 55th in U.S. News & World Report
  • The Best Practice Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)

Signed language interpreting provides small classes, talented faculty (deaf, hard of hearing and hearing) and extensive field and practicum experiences.

Special Programs

Future Educators of America (FEA) UC’s FEA chapter is dedicated to fostering the love of teaching, examining the reality of teaching and promoting the rewards of teaching. FEA is open to all UC students; however, our main focus is to offer a path for teacher education students to stay connected to their college and to their future profession. Members have the opportunity to work with children and young adults in local schools and FEA chapters.

Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) Kappa Delta Pi is a prestigious international honor society that recognizes scholarship and excellence in the field of education. Members must have a college GPA of at least 3.0 for undergraduate students or 3.25 for graduate students. KDP members work on several volunteer activities that focus on education. Some of the benefits of being a member of KDP include annual scholarships, professional development, a nationwide job database and access to the ideas, research, insights and expertise of internationally renowned educators.

Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) SCEC is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities and gifted children, as well as those typically developing. If you are committed to children, focused on becoming the best educator and want to meet new people, then SCEC is for you! Membership dues permit you to receive professional development opportunities, journals and newsletters with new research and classroom practice and the opportunity to attend conventions and conferences.

CECH Tribunal The purposes of the CECH Tribunal are to ensure that the interests of the students of the college are voiced and to provide student representation on behalf of all undergraduate students in CECH where representation is warranted. Also, the tribunal organizes programs and social events for students of the college.

Student Ambassador Program The Student Ambassador program represents CECH at the University of Cincinnati by assisting with the recruitment and retention of students in the college. CECH student ambassadors provide a valuable service by representing the student perspective of university life to prospective and new students. Ambassadors also represent the college at numerous collegiate functions, professional events and key promotional events. Being selected as a CECH student ambassador is an honor that reflects academic rigor and a commitment to the fields of education, health promotion and education and criminal justice.

Admission Requirements

All incoming freshmen must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class with a 2.7 high school GPA and test score of 18 ACT or 860 SAT
  • Score 22 ACT or 1020 SAT with a 2.7 high school GPA
  • Graduate in the top 60 percent of their high school class with a 2.7 high school GPA and test score of 21 ACT or 980 SAT

Additionally, incoming freshmen must meet Ohio articulation requirements including: 

  • College preparatory English (4 units)
  • College preparatory Math (3 units)
  • Science (2 units)
  • Social Science (2 units)
  • Foreign Language (2 units same language)
  • Fine Arts (1 unit)
  • Additional units from above (2 units)

Changing Majors Within UC

Students changing majors from other programs or colleges within UC will be considered based on the same criteria as transfer students.

International Student Requirements

International students should contact the University of Cincinnati's Office of Admission for details at 513-556-1100.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, a student must:

  • Complete all required course work and program requirements.
  • Be in good academic standing; that is, not on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Meet the college's residency requirement of 30 semester credit hours.
  • File formal application for the degree by the posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines for freshmen are as follows: fall semester - February 1; spring semester - November 1; summer semester - March 1.

Application deadlines for all transfer students are as follows: fall semester - July 1; spring semester - November 1; summer semester - March 1.

Students applying for admission after closing dates may be referred to UC Blue Ash College or Clermont College. UC operates on a semester system, with 14-week grading periods. Fall semester will begin late August and end mid-December. Spring semester will begin in early January and end in late April. Summer semester will begin in early May and end in early August. While mid-year admission is possible, fall is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin that semester.



The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.