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

Program Description

Leadership Claims

The first degree of its kind in Canada.

Program Overview

This program is eligible for an entrance scholarship.

George Brown College's Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) (C302) program uses a combination of classroom theory, research, hands-on practice and professional field experience to prepare graduates to work as qualified interpreters with a foundation in research development. It is the first degree of its kind in Canada.

Full Description

George Brown College’s Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) program was developed to address the growing demand for qualified American Sign Language (ASL) 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, excellent short- and long-term memory and superior 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 ASL-English Interpretation 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

For applicants with a diploma or advanced diploma in American Sign Language – English interpretation, an advanced entry option is available. For details on how to apply, see our How to Qualify and Apply tab.

Program Philosophy

The Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (American Sign Language – English) degree program aims to cultivate learners to become interpreters who are critical thinkers with unbiased communicative language and interpreting practices and an understanding of how intersectionality shapes interactions.  

The program is committed to an anti-oppressive framework situated through Deaf-centric foundations of the program. This program utilizes a critical studies approach to anti-racism, anti-audism and anti-ableism.


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 under time constraints (cognitive processing skills)
  • the ability to multitask
  • versatility
  • a willingness to be flexible
  • strong communication skills
  • excellent interpersonal skills

In preparation for field 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.

Download the C302 Applicant Questionnaire

Your Field Education Options

420-Hour Internship Experience (unpaid)

Students in George Brown's Honours Bachelor of Interpretation (ASL – English) program 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, students are required to complete an internship program. This senior internship, offered in the fall semester of fourth year, is approximately 420 hours (equivalent to 14 weeks). During this time students will apply their skills, abilities and knowledge in a variety of environments.

Students will work under the close supervision of a professional interpreter, develop a greater understanding of community agencies and partnership opportunities for sign language interpreters and engage in research.

As most interpreters in Ontario are self-employed independent contractors, these opportunities are not typically paid positions. These intensive field opportunities are meant to provide a rich learning experience and the chance to strengthen interpreting skills.


In addition to field placement and internship, the fourth-year students provide limited pro bono interpreting services in authentic settings within the GTA by offering the Volunteer Student Interpreting Services.


Career & Postgraduate Study Opportunities

Career Options

If you are interested in a dynamic career that provides meaningful and varied work, then becoming an American Sign Language – English interpreter or Deaf interpreter 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), and the Government of Canada's Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act.

Graduates will be prepared to work as ASL-English interpreters or Deaf interpreters in a number of private and public environments such as:

  • educational settings
  • medical settings
  • legal contexts
  • business interactions
  • social service agencies

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

  • Deaf interpreter
  • ASL-English interpreter
  • designated interpreter
  • ASL consultant
  • conference interpreter
  • community interpreter
  • translator

This degree can serve as a pathway toward postgraduate studies. 

Alumni Impact

We are immensely proud of the contributions of our alumni in Toronto and around the globe.

From Michelin-starred restaurants to major construction, entertainment, community and financial organizations, our graduates are truly making an impact across a range of industries.

Latest Alumni Stories

"My professors are passionate about their work and support us tremendously. They not only teach us the skills we need to succeed in this program, but to be successful in life and in our careers as professional interpreters."

Nahed Dajjani
Honours Bachelor's Degree

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