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Why do I need to apply through NTID's Office of Admissions?

Applying through NTID's Office of Admissions means you will be eligible for NTID's tuition rate. Because RIT receives special federal support, students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing pay less than one-half of RIT's regular tuition rate. NTID's admissions staff are experienced in working with deaf and hard-of-hearing students. It doesn't matter which RIT college you wish to attend, the NTID Admissions Office can help your application process go more smoothly!

Can I begin the ASLIE program at RIT/NTID any time during the academic year?

The American Sign Language-English Interpretation program follows a sequential course plan, including ASL I-VII and core interpreting courses. Because this course sequence begins in the fall semester, you are not permitted to begin the program during the spring or summer semesters.

I've been accepted into the program. What can I do to get ready before I arrive on campus?

Some accepted students ask us what they can do to begin learning about Deaf people and Deaf culture before they begin the program. Here are a few resources you may be able to find in your local library, online, or at a movie rental store:



  • Bragg, Bernard. Lessons in Laughter:  The Autobiography of a Deaf Actor. Washington, DC:  Gallaudet University Press, 1989.
  • Fletcher, Lorraine. Ben’s Story:  A Deaf Child’s Right to Sign. Washington, DC:  Gallaudet University Press, 1988.
  • Greenberg, Joanne. In This Sign. New York:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970.
  • LaCross, Blair, and Michelle LaCrosse. Silent Ears, Silent Heart:  A Deaf Man’s Journey Through Two Worlds. Roseville, MI:  Deaf Understanding, 2003.
  • Lang, Harry. Moments of Truth:  Robert R. Davila, The Story of a Deaf Leader. Rochester, NY:  RIT Press, 2007.
  • Lang, Harry. Teaching From the Heart and Soul:  The Robert F. Panara Story. Washington, DC:  Gallaudet University Press, 2007.
  • Madan, Vasishta. Deaf in Delhi:  a Memoir. Washington, DC:  Gallaudet University Press, 2006.
  • Matlin, Marlee. I’ll Scream Later. New York:  Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2009.
  • Padden, C., and T. Humphries. Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture. Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press, 1988.
  • Spradley, Thomas and James Spradley. Deaf Like Me. Washington, DC: Gallaudet College Press, 1985.


  • Movie synopses on the Terp Topcis website designed for interpreters
  • Sound and Fury
  • Sound and Fury Six Years Later
  • Through Deaf Eyes
  • Mr. Holland's Opus: 1996, Rated PG. Stephen Hereck, director. Hollywood Pictures

    The story line involves an aspiring composer whose dreams are thwarted by life getting in the way. For financial reasons he must take a job teaching music appreciation and band at a high school, putting his career as a musician on hold. When his son is found to be profoundly deaf, he retreats into his work, isolates himself from his wife and child, and refuses to engage with the silent world to which he feels his son has been consigned. The oral method of communication is attempted, and then the frustrated mother turns to a school for the deaf and sign language to unlock her son's mind. Mr. Holland must learn to reconcile what he wishes were so with what reality has presented him.

  • Hear No Evil: 1993, Rated R. Robert Greenwald, 20th Century Fox

    The main character is Jillian, a personal trainer and athlete, who inadvertently becomes involved in a heist that has her under investigation. She becomes a woman hunted by the police and by the actual thief, who believes she is in possession of what he wants. She is befriended by an investigator who is introduced to sign, TTYs, and what the world of a deaf person might be like in terms of awareness–or lack of awareness–of sounds.

  • Four Weddings and a Funeral: 1994, Rated R. Mike Newell, director. Polygram Filmed Ent.

    The deaf character in this movie is the brother of the hearing protagonist. He functions as a normal member within his brother's circle of friends, and along the way he meets and falls in love with a young woman who learns sign because she admired him from afar. The climax of the story occurs when he intervenes in his brother's life in a most surprising way, and there is a fun twist on the idea of a hearing person having to “voice” for a deaf person who is really signing what the hearing person wants to say and can't.

  • The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter: 1968, Rated R. Robert Ellis Miller, director. Warner Brothers

    The main character of the whole novel, and film, is a deaf man who is ironically named “Singer.” Everyone he meets feels that because he can read lips they can come to him with all of their problems and anguish and share their innermost feelings with him. He has one signing friend in a hospital far away, and his inner life is never explored or connected with in any way. He is a metaphor for the loneliness within us all, and even though many in the deaf world objected to a hearing actor playing this role, the film does show a slice of 40's and 50's American South and what an intelligent, sensitive deaf man's life might have been like.

  • The Family Stone: 2005, Rated PG-13. Mike Bezucha, director. 20th Century Fox

    The deaf man in this film is also gay, with a partner who is of a different race, and plans to adopt a baby in the near future. His family is full of strong characters, and he has always been treated equally and with as much access as they could muster (bad signing by all, but at least it is attempted). He is presented as a contrast to the upscale, uptight fiancée of his brother, who points out how hard it must be for him to be hit with the double whammy of deafness plus being gay. It becomes apparent very early in the story that she is the one who is the misfit in this situation, and his “afflictions” have not kept him from being “normal.”

  • Johnny Belinda: 1948, not rated. Jean Nagalesco, director. Warner Brothers

    This is an old movie that is interesting to watch. It shows what life might have been like for a deaf girl who was isolated in a small island community in Nova Scotia, and how her family and others communicated with her in a rudimentary way. When a new doctor takes up residence, bringing his "modern" attitudes and philosophies, he takes notice of Belinda. Suspecting she is intelligent, he teaches her sign language, thus unlocking her mind and ability to communicate. Tension escalates as a local bad boy lusts after her, and a crime occurs which drives the rest of the plot and allows the audience access into Belinda's heart and mind. So many people have this film as their only reference to deafness that it's important to be aware of it as a cultural touchstone.

  • Children Of A Lesser God: 1985, Rated R. Randa Haines, director. Paramount Pictures

    THE deaf movie - and usually the only one folks of a certain age know about. It shows the oral/manual controversy in all of its glory. A rebellious deaf girl goes head to head with the speech teacher at a school for the deaf, and as they fall in love they exchange banter and arguments about the merits of speech only or sign only as communications choices for the deaf. Shows schools for the deaf in the 80's and the political polarization that is exemplified by other characters who represent the signing or oral point of view.

  • Ridicule: 1996, Rated R. Patrice Leconte, director. Miramax Films

    A minor deaf character in the film is discovered and entered into Abbé de L'Epée's school for the deaf in France. A wonderful scene occurs when the Abbé conducts one of his exhibitions to show French nobles how well deaf people can function with sign and how intelligent they are once they are given the gift of sign language. Historically accurate, as he did travel all over France to garner funds for his school by means of these show-and-tell events to impress the well-heeled. This occurred just prior to the French Revolution.

Students and CounselorsOur admission process is a personal one. Each application is reviewed holistically for strength of academic preparation, performance on standardized tests, counselor recommendations and your personal career interests. We seek applicants from all geographical, social, cultural, economic and ethnic backgrounds.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing students are required to submit an audiogram to qualify for admission. Students must have a significant hearing loss, and demonstrate the ability to benefit from the models used at RIT/NTID designated specifically to provide access to academic programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Ready to apply? Four ways to get started:

  1. You can request application materials and we'll send them to you via postal mail,
  2. complete the application online via the RIT admissions portal,
  3.  apply using the Common Application, or
  4. download the application forms, print and mail them in.

Choose the application method that's best for you!

Come and visit 

Once you see RIT/NTID's campus and meet our faculty, staff and students, you'll understand why so many students feel immediately at home and why alumni have fond memories of their time here. Come see for yourself!

Chat with us

Launch ChatHave questions? Chat live with an RIT/NTID admissions counselor and get your answers. Whether you inquiry is about a program, admission requirements, student life or financial options, our admissions counselors can assist you with your needs. 

You can also give us a call at 585-475-6700 or 585-743-1366 (VP) or toll free in the U.S. and Canada at 1-866-644-6843, weekdays 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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