The demand for interpreting services in the U.S. far exceeds the supply of qualified interpreters, and the federal government estimates that job opportunities for interpreters will increase significantly faster than the average rate of job growth through 2030. The Graduate Certificate in Interpreting offers online professional training to students in any of the offered language pair. The program is designed for those who have earned an undergraduate degree, have either significant industry experience or post-graduate degrees, and are interested in language-services careers focused on interpreting.

The Graduate Certificate program is recognized by the American Translators Association as an approved Translation & Interpreting Studies program. Alumni go on to work as freelance or in-house interpreters in a broad range of areas, including legal, medical, and community interpreting.

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Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.

Eligibility and Admission

Applicants to the Graduate Certificate program in Interpreting must hold a bachelor’s degree with an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.75. If the GPA is less than 2.75, the applicant must provide substantial evidence of ability to succeed in graduate-level work.

A degree in the applicant’s foreign language or advanced study in that language is desirable but not required. To be eligible for admission, all applicants to the certificate program must submit a reason statement and pass a qualifying examination administered by the faculty of Translation & Interpreting Studies (TIS).


  • Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
  • All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
  • Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted into a certificate program.

Credits and Courses

Students must complete 21 credits of required courses. The following six courses (18 credits) must be completed at the graduate level:

TRNSLTN 700Consecutive Interpreting3
TRNSLTN 710Comparative Systems for Translation3
TRNSLTN 711Ethics in Translation and Interpreting3
TRNSLTN 730Internship in Translation/Interpreting3
TRNSLTN 722Simultaneous Interpreting3
TRNSLTN 750Community Interpreting and Translation3
Total Credits18


In addition to the six required courses, students must complete one elective course (3 credits). In consultation with the certificate coordinator, students select their elective from among the following courses. Other courses relevant to the student’s plan of study may be used to fulfill the elective requirement with the consent of the coordinator.

TRNSLTN 530Business and Professional Aspects of Translation3
TRNSLTN 727Project Management in Translation3
TRNSLTN 728Editing for Translation3
One of the following:
TRNSLTN 706Introduction to Translation: French to English3
TRNSLTN 708Introduction to Translation: German to English3
TRNSLTN 707Introduction to Translation: Spanish to English3
TRNSLTN 719Introduction to Translation: Russian to English3
TRNSLTN 704Introduction to Translation: Arabic to English3
ITALIAN 413Introduction to Italian to English Translation3
One of the following:
TRNSLTN 716Seminar in Advanced Translation: French to English3
TRNSLTN 718Seminar in Advanced German Translation3
TRNSLTN 717Seminar in Advanced Translation: Spanish to English3
TRNSLTN 729Seminar in Advanced Translation: Russian to English3

Additional Requirements

Transfer Credit

Up to 12 credits of graduate certificate coursework in Interpreting may be transferred into an MA degree (Translation or Interpreting concentration) in the TIS Program.

Required courses completed as part of a student’s undergraduate degree will not count toward the graduate certificate. In such cases, students consult with the certificate coordinator to select appropriate elective courses (in lieu of one or more required courses) to complete the 21 credits required to earn the graduate certificate.

Grade Point Average Requirement

Students must earn at least an average GPA of 3.0 in courses completed at the graduate level as well as a 3.0 GPA on all credits completed for the certificate. In addition, students must earn a B or better in all courses completed for the certificate.

Capstone Requirement

All certificate students will be required to pass a one-hour interpreting examination.

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in PhD programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.

Time Limit

Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:

  • 18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
  • 19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.