Translation and Interpreting

Center for Translation Studies
Director: Joyce Tolliver
4080 Foreign Languages Building
707 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Major: Translation and Interpreting
Degrees Offered: M.A.

Online Program: Translation and Interpreting
Degrees Offered: M.A.

Graduate Degree Programs

The Center for Translation Studies in the School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics offers a graduate program leading to the Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting. Candidates for the master’s degree may specialize in Translation for the Professions, Literary and Applied Literary Translation, or Conference and Community Interpreting. Campus-based and online programs are available.


To be considered for admission to the Master’s Program in Translation and Interpreting, the candidate should have an undergraduate major in languages, linguistics, international studies, area studies, or a related field. Applicants must have command of one or preferably two languages in addition to English and must meet the minimum admissions requirements of the Graduate College.

Language Requirement

Students must have native or near-native proficiency in English and at least one other language supported by the program. Preference will be given to applications with two other languages in addition to English.  Language A (native language) should be at ILR5; Language B should be at or above ILR 3-4; language C should be at or above ILR 2-3. Definitions of ILR levels can be found at:

Application Procedure

Applicants should apply online ( and submit:

  • A 500 word written statement of purpose in English that describes your background, your language and cross-cultural experience and your professional goals.  We are interested in details about you that relate to your goal of becoming a translator or interpreter.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Resume or CV.
  • Transcripts (with English translations, if applicable) showing all undergraduate and graduate courses taken and grades received.  Transcripts received from foreign institutions should be accompanied by a Certificate of Degree or Diploma.
  • All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the score report of their TOEFL IBT or IELTS as evidence of their English proficiency. Applicants should have ETS send TOEFL score reports to institution code #1836. IELTS score reports can be uploaded directly to the online application. Scores required for admission to this program are at least 103 total on the TOEFL with a speaking sub-section minimum score of 24 or scores greater than 6.5 total and 6 or higher in all sub-sections on the IELTS with a speaking sub-section minimum score of 8. (See
  • A 5-7 minute oral statement of purpose (audio-file) in the student’s second language. International students whose primary language is not English should submit two oral statements: one in English and one in the language for which they are applying. (Send an mp3 or wma file-50 mb or smaller-as an email attachment to
  • An online test of language and translation proficiency. The test will be administered by the University of Illinois through its Online and Continuing Education Secure Online Testing System. Details will be provided to applicants once their file is complete.

Financial Aid

Since this is a self-supporting program, no financial aid that provides tuition waivers, such as Assistantships or Fellowships, is available from the Center or the University. Students may seek funding from FAFSA and personal loans, student employment, outside grants, and employers.

Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting

Campus-Based Program

Students on campus must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester (3 courses); 2 of which should be Translation Studies required courses, to maintain full-time status. The required courses must be taken in the order in which they are offered to complete degree requirements. Campus based courses follow the 16-week calendar.

All students must follow a four-semester (Fall and Spring) schedule to complete this program.  It is not possible to accelerate the program. Students who request a leave of absence from the program must apply to the department for re-entry.

Core requirements
TRST 500Translation and Interpretation: Reflective Practice4
TRST 410Translation Theory & Practice4
TRST 407Terminology and CAT4
Specialization: Students must complete 8 hours in one specialization:8
Translation for the Professions (TRST 405, TRST 406)
Literary and Applied Literary Translation (TRST 501, TRST 502)
Conference and Community Interpreting (TRST 541, TRST 542)
See Center for Translation Studies webpage for a list of appropriate courses for each specialization.
Elective courses: See Center for Translation Studies webpage for a list of appropriate courses.8
TRST 540Translation Capstone4
Total Hours32

Other Requirements1

Other rquirements may overlap
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 12
Minimum GPA: 2.75

Online Program

Students working online will take two 4-credit hour courses per semester that will be offered sequentially, for eight weeks each. The courses will be asynchronous. Interaction with the instructor and other students will be required and facilitated through the state-of-the-art course delivery platform. Online students are required to keep pace with the course schedule. The requirements are the same as for the campus-based program.