Interpreting Certificates

Jump to Interpreting Studies Certificate

Medical Interpreting Certificate (online course offered spring semester)


This program is intended for UMass undergraduates, graduates, and non-affiliated professionals. Students learn how to interpret for both patients and for health care providers in a medical setting. Skills covered include medical terminology, word derivations abbreviations, memory retention, note-taking, standards of practice, ethics, and multicultural problem-solving. This class is multilingual, with most major languages offered.

Registration opens Nov. 15, 2015. The first 30 students to register will be admitted; please  be advised that the class fills quickly. The class is 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, 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 $438 per credit plus a $45 registration fee, or a total of $1359. You may register online, by mail or fax, or in person.

Register Online » 
The course is listed under under Comparative Literature. The course number is CompLit 552. Select your class, choose a form of payment, and submit your registration request online.

To register by mail, fax, or in person, select the classes page, complete the registration form and choose a form of payment, and then print, sign, and submit the completed registration to:

Records and Registration Office
Continuing and Professional Education
Venture Way, Suite 201
Hadley, MA 01035-9430
Fax: 413-545-0513

Students will be billed for the class. 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 21, 2014. Add/drop ends Feb. 3. The last day of classes is April 30, 2014. 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 Edwin Gentzler at  if you have any questions.

Interpreting Studies Certificate


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 Interpreter 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. Interpreting Studies—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 is optional and can replace one of the two courses required in languages other than English.  In addition to language study, it is possible to pursue a semester of study at the Interpreter’s School of Zurich (DOZ).

Enrollment & Information

To enroll in Interpreting Studies I 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 Interpreting I and II and receive a grade of B or better to be eligible for the Interpreting Studies Certificate. Enrollment in the Interpreting courses is through SPIRE.

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