Bachelor of Arts in Interpretation (BAI)

“I am working to become a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, and Gallaudet is without question the best place. It is the most prestigious school as well as the mecca for equal access in the deaf community globally. The BAI program is highly interactive and challenging, and is preparing me extremely well.”

– Nguyet (Lola) Phan
Washington, D.C.
Interpretation Major
A Full Immersion Experience

Gallaudet is the world’s only bilingual American Sign Language and English university—and the only university in the world that offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in ASL-English interpretation. Our renowned interpretation program draws deaf and hearing students from around the globe.

The crucial role of interpreters gained international attention recently during the Nelson Mandela memorial service in South Africa. Gallaudet interpretation professors were sought out by national media outlets to comment on the controversy.

Through comprehensive coursework, field experiences and research, you will gain the knowledge and skills in ASL interpreting to achieve success in this high-demand career. Our program includes hands-on training in a variety of settings; supporting courses in ASL, deaf studies, biology and linguistics; and the incomparable benefits of living and studying in a bilingual environment.

Graduates work in legal, medical, business, education and federal organizations throughout the United States and other countries.

Ask about our accelerated M.A. program offered exclusively to Gallaudet BAI students. And keep reading to learn more about the interpretation program and career outcomes.

See list of all Gallaudet majors

Apply Your Learning

All students complete a professional internship. The numerous federal agencies and nonprofit organizations in the nation’s capital offer exceptional opportunities. Many of these sites employ Gallaudet alumni.

Students also gain valuable experience through the program’s service learning component. Interpretation majors serve as unpaid interpreters for meetings, social events, children’s sports and other events.

In addition, students conduct research projects in the final semester of their studies. Department faculty are internationally recognized scholars and practitioners in the field of interpreting. They are excellent teachers and mentors, dedicated to preparing students for professional success and engaging them in their groundbreaking research.

Applying to the BAI Program

Prospective Students:
You must first be accepted to Gallaudet University. Apply here or contact if you have questions.

Transfer Students:
Some interpretation courses may be transferable to the BAI program. Contact your college and Gallaudet undergraduate admissions for more information.

Courses and Degree Requirements
Career Outcomes

All of Gallaudet’s recent interpretation majors are employed (69 percent) or in graduate school (31 percent) within one year of graduation. Learn more about alumni of the Department of Interpretation.

Training and Job Outlook

Job prospects are best for candidates with professional certification. A bachelor’s degree is required for certification by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

ASL-English interpreters are in high demand. Employment of all types of interpreters is projected to grow 46 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Learn more.


Students benefit from state-of-the-art resources. The department’s award-winning interactive interpretation laboratories provide hands-on training in a variety of medical, business, education and government settings.

Resources also include videoconferencing for national and global collaboration, private recording booths and central computer stations for individual and class activities, a video relay services (VRS) simulation center, and student research bays with video and statistical software.