American Sign Language

Academic Units Online1 year

American Sign Language


American Sign Language (ASL) is the third most widely used language in America. ASL is a visual-gestural-kinesthetic language used by members of the deaf community in North America and in varying degrees in many other locations. ASL is not based on spoken English. It has its own grammar, idioms, historical contexts and cultural nuances.

Through these courses, you can develop the necessary communication skills to interact with people who are deaf. Upon completion of these two courses, participants will be able to:

  • Exchange basic information about themselves and their families
  • Give directions and make requests
  • Describe places, objects and events
  • Talk about people and places
  • Tell about past events

These courses are offered in partnership with Sacramento State’s Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation and School Psychology.


  • May fulfill foreign language graduation requirements (check with your institution)
  • Earn units of academic credit from Sacramento State
  • Enhance marketability as an employee
  • Network with members of the deaf community
  • Obtain a solid foundation for the pursuit of additional ASL training


  • Anyone interested in learning American Sign Language
  • High school, community college or university level students needing to fulfill a foreign language requirement
  • Individuals who work or interact with members of the deaf community


Online courses are offered every spring and fall.

There are two courses for a total of eight (8) units of academic credit. DEAF 51 and 52 are delivered online each fall and spring. The two courses can be completed within one year. Each course builds upon its prerequisite and participants will not be able to advance to the next level without taking the courses in the following order:

  • DEAF 51 – American Sign Language 1 (4 units)
    Online only
  • DEAF 52 – American Sign Language 2 (4 units)
    Online only