Interpreting Certificate and Courses

Jump to Interpreting Studies Certificate

Medical Interpreting (online course offered spring semester)

Photo of a medical doctor, a patient, and an interpreter in a hospital setting.


This multilingual fully online course is intended for UMass undergraduates, graduates, and non-affiliated professionals*. Students apply interpreting theory and practice in a medical setting by completing weekly exercises. Knowledge and skills covered include medical terminology, word derivations, abbreviations, memory retention, note-taking, interpreting modes, standards of practice, ethics, multicultural decision-making, and more.

This course will be offered again in spring 2018 (for more details see below). Please be advised that the class fills quickly.

*Open to interpreters, translators, bilingual health workers, nurses, doctors, hospital administrators, therapists, social workers, and anyone interested in improving the quality of bilingual health care.


Requirements include an advanced knowledge of one language other than English (LOTE), a general knowledge of scientific concepts, and the desire to improve interpreting skills. If we feel that your language skills are not sufficient to pass the course, you may drop the course in the first two weeks and receive a full refund.

Cost & Enrollment Information

The cost for the course is $460 per credit, or a total of $1380. You may register online.

Register Online » 

This course is offered through Continuing and Professional Education (CPE). It is listed under under Comparative Literature and the number is Comp-Lit 552.

Registration for spring 2018 course offering start Nov. 6, 2017. If you are a non-degree seeking students, in other words new to UMass and not admitted into a program, you will need to get set up to register in Spire by following the instructions and submitting this form ahead of time.

Billing information will be sent to your email address. Paper bills will not be generated. Overdue bills may result in administrative withdrawal and referral to a collection agency, plus collection costs. If you have billing questions, email the CPE billing representative, call 413-545-0337 or visit the Office of the Bursar website.

Class begins on Jan 22, 2018. Add/drop ends Feb. 5. The last day of classes is May 1, 2018. Students passing the course will receive a certificate in Medical Interpreting issued by the Translation Center and are eligible for 3 hours of academic credit. Please feel free to contact Cristiano Mazzei, Director of Translator and Interpreter Training, via email or phone 413-545-6688, if you have any questions. Specific questions about registration and advising should be directed to Angie Whitmal.

Certificate in Translation and Interpreting Studies


This program is intended for UMass undergraduates, although graduate students are welcome to apply as well. It is an introduction to the theory and practice of language interpreting, and open to any language pair. Students will learn about the history of interpreting, modes and theoretical models, ethics and standards, as well as skills & techniques to work as interpreters in a variety of settings. This program is not a certification (no such thing exists in the United States except for court interpreters in a few languages and ASL interpreters), but serves as basic preparation for future studies and work in the field.


To receive the certificate program in Interpreting Studies, students must complete the following courses:  six courses or 18 credits; two courses are taken in each of the following three areas: interpreting, English, and at least one foreign language.

A. Introduction to Translation and Interpreting Research and Practice I and II—COMPLIT 581 and 582.

B. English—two courses (300 level or above) selected from English, American studies, communication, linguistics, journalism, political science, economics, business, history, etc. Courses must include a writing component in English.

C. Foreign Language—two courses (300 level or above) in at least one language other than English. These are advanced foreign language courses  in language, literature, culture, translation, composition, business, or communication. Residency abroad for at least one semester or comparable proficiency can count toward fulfillment of the language course requirement.

Enrollment & Information

To enroll in COMPLIT 581 and 582 students must have already achieved an advanced intermediate fluency in the language(s) with which they will work (residency or study abroad is recommended though not required before enrolling). Students must complete both Introduction to Translation and Interpreting Research and Practice I and II and receive a grade of B or better to be eligible for the Certificate in Translation and Interpreting Studies. Enrollment in the Interpreting courses is through SPIRE.

For more information, contact Moira Inghilleri, Director of the Translation and Interpreting Studies Certificate Program.