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UIUC’s MA in Translation and Interpreting by Katalin Young

01/26/2016 10:45 AM | Anonymous

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s MA in Translation and Interpreting

By Katalin Young

The MA in Translation and Interpreting offered by the Center for Translation Studies (CTS) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a now in its third year.  In addition to providing an undergraduate certificate in translation studies, CTS delivers the Master’s degree program both online and on-campus, with three specialty tracks for students to choose from: literary translation, technical translation, and conference and community interpreting.  Students in all three tracks take required courses in terminology and CAT, the theory and practice of translation, the ethics of translation and interpreting, in addition to a capstone seminar. Students also take two courses in their specialization and two electives.

Three Specialization Tracks

The three tracks represent the career paths that students choose for themselves, and they can make a final decision about which track they wish to pick no later than their second semester.  Of course, it’s not uncommon for students already to know what they wish to focus their talents on from the beginning, but sometimes students discover that they have more talent or interest for a different track as they progress.

    Students first focus on core courses that are considered essential for the T&I profession, then begin to take the first course in their chosen track in the second semester.  These specialty classes continue into their second year, during which they also take two electives and complete their Capstone project. Although each student must pick one of the three tracks, by carefully planning their electives they can gain expertise in a second field as well. Alternatively, students can pick electives from a variety of courses, such as Translation in the European Union, Film Subtitling, and/or specific language-pair translation courses (such as Arabic-English, German-English, or Spanish-English or translation).

Students with Any Language Pair Accepted

CTS at Illinois does not give preference or restrict admission to students working on particular languages rather than others.  All of our courses are taught in English, and the training provided applies to any language pair.  With dozens of languages taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, CTS faculty have a tremendous resource pool to draw from to assist with the language-pair practice component of interpreting courses.

Online and On-Campus

CTS offers the Master’s program both on the campus of UIUC and also online.  This enables us to reach a variety of students from different backgrounds and with different circumstances, such as those working full-time and those living in other states or countries. The online and on-campus programs consist of the same courses and require two years to complete, but while campus students take two to three courses simultaneously each semester, online students take eight-week courses consecutively, one at a time.

For more information on the Translation Studies program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, please visit the Center for Translation Studies webpage or email

Katalin Young is an MA student at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and is focusing on Conference and Community Interpreting in the Translation Studies program. Although she is dedicated to the practice of Spanish<>English interpreting, she has also studied many other languages, including Mandarin Chinese, American Sign Language, Catalan, and currently, Korean.


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Midwest Association of Translators & Interpreters
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American Translators Association
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