A Master’s Degree For Teaching ASL in K-12 and Post-Secondary Settings

There are two degree options for this program. Choose the one that best fits your teaching/career goals:

  • If you would like to teach ASL in the post-secondary setting, you will choose the Teaching American Sign Language Master of Arts.
  • If you would like to teach ASL in the K-12 setting, you will take the Teaching American Sign Language Master of Arts: Licensure: World Languages (Grades K-12) Program. If you already have a Colorado teaching license and would like to add the World Languages (Grades K-12) endorsement, you must choose this program.

The focus of this program is on pedagogical coursework for teaching ASL as a foreign/world language or as a modern language. The focus is not on learning or mastering ASL. Therefore, you must demonstrate ASL proficiency prior to acceptance into the program.

Career Options for Graduates

Depending on your interests, prior experiences and existing certifications, this degree can prepare you to excel in the following positions:

  • K-12 foreign/world languages teacher for American Sign Language
  • Community college foreign/world languages teacher for American Sign Language
  • A variety of tutor and ASL specialist roles in deaf studies programs, interpreter education programs, and standalone foreign/modern language offerings

Photo of UNC ASL students talking in ASL

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There are two master's degree programs available:

Teaching American Sign Language Master of Arts – this program is for students interested in teaching ASL in the post-secondary setting. It is 30 credit hours completed in 10 courses.

Teaching American Sign Language M.A. – Licensure: World Languages (Grades K-12) – this program is for those also interested in obtaining a K-12 teaching license or adding a World Languages (Grades K-12) endorsement to their current licenses. This degree is ASL-specific, but the endorsement category for language teaching in many states (e.g. Colorado) is World Languages. This program is 42 credit hours completed in 14 courses, plus one zero-credit hour teacher prep application course.


Features of Both Programs

  • These programs are delivered mostly online, and can be completed in five consecutive terms.
  • There are two summer terms in the course sequence. Each summer, courses are offered on campus (in Greeley, CO) for four weeks in late June-July, and online for an additional four weeks.
  • Students are required to complete a mandatory online orientation course during May-early June of the first Summer that must be completed before your first online course. This course will prepare you to succeed in this mostly online program.
  • As part of graduation requirements, students are expected to complete two student teaching practicum experiences, a portfolio, and a master’s project.

Required Courses

Courses marked with ** are only required for those taking the Licensure: World Languages (Grades K-12) program.

To see a typical list of courses per term, visit an example Current Program Students page.


For full details, see the official program listings in the UNC Graduate Catalog:

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