How to register: ASL placement assessment and transfer credits

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How to register: ASL placement assessment
and transfer credits

ASL placement assessment

This assessment is free to University students (incoming and transfer students). ASL courses at University of Minnesota may not be equivalent to classes you have taken at other schools; as a result, ASL Placement Assessment is conducted to document equivalency and to ensure that you are enrolled in the appropriate course level. Given the vast differences in ASL Instruction because of it being a visual language, all students interested in exemption or placement into ASL 2 and higher are required to schedule a placement interview. Students with limited to no experience do not need to take the placement interview and will be placed into ASL 1 (ASL 1701).

In order to schedule an appointment for assessment, you will need to complete complete this questionnaire.

  • If you have no formal training in ASL, or one year of high school ASL, it is recommended that you register for Beginning ASL: ASL 1701.
  • If you have taken ASL courses at a college or university level or if you have taken a semester off between your ASL classes, or have had two or more years in high school, please take a moment to complete this questionnaire and then it will lead you to a page to schedule a day and time for your ASL placement assessment.

Please keep in mind, even if you took the equivalent course at another institution, there are different course outcomes, number of credits, and ASL curricula vary widely across institutions. The placement interview has been carefully calibrated specifically to align with the courses and the instruction offered at the University of Minnesota's ASL Program.

Preparation for the exam

Your previous ASL coursework in high school and/or college coupled with experience using the language. The interview is intended to measure your conversational abilities using ASL structure, grammar, and vocabulary. You will be notified of your placement result after the interview and via email. It should be noted that all placement decisions are final. Students should plan for one full hour to complete the placement interview procedures.

Questions about the interview

If you have any questions about the ASL placement interview, or difficulty accessing the questionnaire, please contact the ASL Program Coordinator, Jonathan C. Penny: and

What to expect during the ASL assessment

The ASL placement assessment is a process to determine your ASL skills based on the Signing Naturally Curriculum. The placement assessment, administered by the ASL coordinator, is a live, conversational dialogue in person. You should allow approximately an hour for your ASL assessment appointment. Students should be prepared to engage in an ongoing, natural exchange of thoughts and information. It is also important to note that placement assessment is not something that you can study for.

You will be assessed on:

  • Fluency in use of ASL
  • Comprehension abilities of conversation in ASL
  • ASL Grammar, including all linguistic elements such as sentence types, question types, depiction verbs (e.g. classifiers), and grammatical categories.
  • Use of ASL vocabulary in discourses.
  • Articulation: clarity of sign production; flow and cadence between signs.

All placement exams are held on St. Paul Campus at the following address:

University of Minnesota
240 Learning and Environmental Sciences (LES) building
1954 Buford Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55108

Assessment results

Because the assessment is live, you will receive your results immediately at the conclusion of the assessment. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions at that time.

Registering for a class after an assessment

After you receive your assessment results, you will want to start preparing for registration. You will be allowed to register on the date and time assigned to you by the Office of the Registrar, called a queue. It is important to understand that placement assessments do not guarantee you a seat in a course or advanced registration opportunities.

After your assessment, you will search the online class schedule for an open section(s) of the level for which you were assigned. After you have chosen a section (or more), send an email at and the ASL coordinator at to request a permission number to register for the course. In the email, please include the course section number(s) and the date and time of your registration queue as assigned by the registrar. At the time of your registration queue, and provided the section you chose has open seats, you will be given a permission number to register.

If the section you want is closed, a permission number will not be granted by the Program Assistant. However, you may contact the instructor of the course directly to inquire about a permission number.

Tranferring credits from another institution

Requests from students enrolled at the University of Minnesota to earn ASL credits from another University must be pre-approved by the ASL coordinator with a copy of the other institution's syllabus and course descriptions before the course is taken. Otherwise, the credits will not be accepted.


University of Minnesota
240 Learning and Environmental Sciences (LES)
1954 Buford Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55108
Tel: 612-624-1274
Fax: 612-624-1275
612-626-9392 V/TTY or 612-624-8870 FAX