Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) (C302)

Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English)
School of Deaf and Deafblind Studies
St James Campus
4 years (8 semesters) + 420 hour internship experience (equivalent to a 14 week term) (unpaid)
Honours Bachelor's Degree
The Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) uses a combination of classroom theory, research, hands-on practice and field experience to prepare graduates to work as qualified interpreters. This degree is unique in Canada.

Full Program Descriptions


An Inside Look at the Honours Bachelor of Interpretation Program


George Brown College’s Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) is the first degree of its kind in Canada. Developed to address the growing demand for qualified Sign Language Interpreters, this degree helps prepare graduates for work in this dynamic field.

An interpreter is a fluent bilingual-bicultural professional, facilitating communication between those who do not share the same language or culture.

To be a sign language interpreter requires manual dexterity, critical thinking skills, visual-spatial recognition and cognitive processing abilities in order to process information instantaneously at a level of bilingual and bicultural expertise beyond conversational fluency. For non-Deaf interpreters this will also include auditory-processing capabilities.

Over the course of four years, students will continue to improve and hone both their English and American Sign Language proficiencies while studying to become interpreters. This program focuses on seven areas of learning:

  1. Language and Culture
  2. Field Fundamentals
  3. Interpreting Skills
  4. Research Methods/Trends
  5. Ethics and Professionalism
  6. Breadth Electives
  7. Field and Community Experience

What does it take to be an American Sign Language - English Interpreter?


Is this program right for you?

Interpreting is a very rewarding but demanding field of work. Successful interpreters typically possess the following attributes:

  • A strong command of both English and American Sign Language
  • An excellent memory
  • The ability to concentrate and focus easily and for long periods of time
  • The ability to process and analyze information quickly (cognitive processing skills)
  • Multi-tasking ability
  • Versatility
  • A willingness to be flexible
  • Strong communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills

In preparation for the field or clinical placement, students will be required to work in multiple small and large groups, both in classes and community settings. Attendance and participation are key elements of program success.

Please download the C302 Applicant Questionnaire here.

Your Field Education Options 

420 Hour Internship Experience (unpaid)

Students wishing to become successful in the field of interpreting should expect to dedicate a significant amount of time to developing their craft outside the classroom.

To help students transition their skills from a controlled classroom environment to the real-world, we’ve developed a 420 hour internship program (equivalent to 14 weeks) that aims to do just that. This senior internship offered between semesters six and seven runs for 420 hours from early June through to late August. During this time, students will work under the close supervision of a professional interpreter and will have the opportunity to provide consecutive and simultaneous interpretation service where appropriate.

Students will be exposed to a variety of situations where interpretation services may be required. This could include a range of clients in a variety of settings including:

- social service agencies

- school boards

- community agencies

- post-secondary institutions

As most interpreters in Ontario are self-employed independent contractors, these positions are meant to provide a richer learning experience and the chance to strengthen skills, but are typically not paid positions.

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes  

Each George Brown College degree program is designed to deliver degree-level, discipline-specific program learning outcomes. Program learning outcomes are statements that describe the knowledge and skills that students are expected to demonstrate by the end of their program of study.

Degree learning outcomes must include exposure to a breadth of learning beyond the core disciplinary or vocational field of a program, to increase students’ awareness of the society and culture in which they live and work. This breadth requirement is addressed through additional mandatory Liberal Studies courses in the program curriculum.

To see the relevant program learning outcomes for your specific program of study, please visit georgebrown.ca/programs/learning-standards-and-outcomes.

Course Outline

Required Courses 


semester courses
Code Course Name
BINT1001 American Sign Language I
BINT1002 Deaf Studies
BINT1003 English Communications for Interpreters
BINT1004 Introduction to the Interpreting Profession
  Liberal Studies Elective


semester courses
Code Course Name
BINT1101 American Sign Language II
BINT1102 Cross-Cultural Interactions
BINT1103 Cognitive Processing Skills
  Liberal Studies Elective


semester courses
Code Course Name
BINT2001 American Sign Language III
BINT2002 Introduction to Research
BINT2003 Sociolinguistics for Interpreting
BINT2004 Values, Ethics and Professional Practice
BINT2005 Introduction to Translation and Discourse Analysis
  Liberal Studies Elective


semester courses
Code Course Name
BINT2101 American Sign Language IV
BINT2102 Interpreting I
BINT2103 Interpreting Essentials
BINT2104 Service Learning
  Liberal Studies Elective


semester courses
Code Course Name
BINT3001 American Sign Language V
BINT3002 Interpreting II
BINT3003 Interpreting Interaction: Community I
BINT3004 Interpreting Practicum Seminar I
  Liberal Studies Elective


semester courses
Code Course Name
BINT3101 Dynamics in the Deaf Community : Contrastive Analysis
BINT3102 Interpreting III
BINT3103 Interpreting Interaction: Community II
BINT3104 Translation & Discourse Analysis II
  Liberal Studies Elective

420 Hour Internship Experience (unpaid) (May-August)


semester courses
Code Course Name
BINT4001 American Sign Language VI
BINT4002 Interpreting IV
BINT4003 Interpreting Interaction : IPE
BINT4004 Research in Interpreting Studies
  Liberal Studies Elective


semester courses
Code Course Name
BINT4101 Interpreting and Technology
BINT4102 Situated Learning : Interpreting Collaborations
BINT4103 Interpreting practicum Seminar II
  Liberal Studies Elective

Careers and Post-Graduate Study Opportunities

Future Study Options 

Starting Spring/Summer (May to August) 2018, graduates of George Brown’s three-year American Sign Language – English Interpreter advanced diploma program will have a degree completion pathway, or bridge, that will allow entry into the fourth year of the degree program. Upon successful completion of the bridge, students will be eligible to enter the fourth year (Semester 7) of the degree program.

Graduates of other ASL-English Interpreting diploma programs may also apply for a bridging option into the third year of the program. Upon successful completion of the bridge, students will enter into Semester 5 of the degree program.

Please contact the program coordinators for more details about either degree completion pathway.

Career Options 

If you are interested in a dynamic career that provides meaningful and varied work, then this is the career for you. Graduates of this program will find interpreting opportunities in a variety of sectors and venues as demand for interpreters is increasing in response to national and provincial legislation, including mandated implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Graduates will be prepared to work as interpreters in a number of private and public environments such as:

  • Educational settings
  • Medical situations
  • Legal contexts
  • Business interactions
  • Social service agencies

A wide range of employment opportunities exist for interpreters. Established interpreters may hold such job titles as:

  • ASL-English Interpreter
  • Designated Interpreter
  • ASL Consultant
  • Conference Interpreter
  • Community Interpreter
  • Translator

Tuition and Fees



Additional Cost 

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in fall 2016. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in fall 2017 and at later dates.

+ The tuition fee for this program does NOT include the cost of the Work Experience. 

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

How to Qualify and Apply

Admission Requirements  

George Brown has been granted a consent by the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development to offer this applied degree for a 7–year term starting September 29, 2015. In conformity with the Minister’s criteria and requirements, George Brown will submit an application for the renewal of the consent for this program 12 months prior to the expiration of the consent. George Brown will ensure that all students admitted to this program will have the opportunity to complete the program within a reasonable time frame.

Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and any other selection criteria outlined below.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma with six Grade 12 University (U) or University/College (M) courses, with a combined average of 65% or higher
  • Grade 12 English (U) with a grade of 65% or higher
  • Grade 11 Math (M or U) or Grade 12 Math U or Grade 11 Science (U) or Grade 12 Science (U)
  • Supplementary requirements as outlined below


Mature student status: 19 years or older and no OSSD

  • English: Grade 12U with a grade of 65% or higher
  • Math Grade 11 (M or U) or Grade 12 U or Science Grade 11U or Grade 12U
  • Combined average of English and Math/Science of 65% or higher
  • Postsecondary credits in English and Math/Science will also be considered
  • Supplementary requirements as outlined below

Supplementary Requirements

Non-Deaf applicants: ASL skill level equivalent to approximately 200 hours of ASL instruction and practical use***

Deaf Interpreter applicants: Advanced (native) comprehension and articulation of American Sign Language with awareness of connotative levels of meaning, along with idiomatic expressions and colloquialism use

All applicants:

  • Attend an Information session
  • Attend screening Interview that evaluates ASL and pre-interpretation skills*
  • Provide a reference letter** (to be submitted at the interview)

* Proficiency in both ASL and pre-interpretation skills will be demonstrated through required screening sessions. Applicants are required to demonstrate advanced conversational level American Sign Language in receptive and expressive American Sign Language. During the interview in both English and ASL, applicants are required to demonstrate an understanding of the Deaf community and the field of sign language interpreting.

** The letter of reference from a Deaf person should address the following: your current ASL abilities, your involvement in the Deaf community and their reason for supporting your application to the program. The letter is to be from a Deaf person who is not a family member or a faculty member of George Brown College. The letter must include their signature and their contact information. The letter can be either a type-written letter (Word or PDF document), or an ASL video letter, addressed to the program coordinator.

*** These competencies can be acquired through the American Sign Language and Deaf Studies certificate program at George Brown (C114), or an equivalent program, through part time courses in the community or through regular interaction with Deaf people.

Please note: Subject to competition, applicants may be required to have grades/averages above the minimum.

There is no admissions assessment (test) for the English, Math or Science requirements.

English language proficiency required:

George Brown College ESL Level 9; TOEFL 84 overall and 21 in each skill band (Online); IELTS 6.5 overall and 6.0 in each skill band; MELAB 85; CAEL overall 70 (writing 60); Please visit georgebrown.ca/englishproficiency for more details.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit georgebrown.ca/transferguide for more information.

International Students

Visit the International Admissions page for more information

Special Requirements

Police Reference Check

  • In compliance with requests from our student placement partners, all students in this program must have a police reference check completed before their field placement.
  • These reference checks, which can take up to four months, are done to protect the clientele of these agencies, who are considered “vulnerable persons” under the law.
  • The fees for the reference checks vary and must be paid by the student.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring that the check covers appropriateness for "individuals being employed and/or volunteering who will be working with vulnerable person(s)".
  • Students who are unable to provide a clear police reference check may be unable to complete their field placement and, therefore, be unable to complete the program.

Please visit georgebrown.ca/preplacement/record_check for more details.

Apply To  

Ontario Colleges

Contact Us

Contact Us  

School of Deaf and Deafblind Studies

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2185

Email: communityservices@georgebrown.ca

Our office hours are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Corene Kennedy, Program Coordinator, Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) ckennedy@georgebrown.ca

Rhondda Reynolds, Program Coordinator, Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) rreynolds@georgebrown.ca

George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.

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