Interpreter Degree Programs

Learn about degree and specialization options for aspiring interpreters. Get information about the commonly offered classes, along with employment outlook and median salary. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of Degree Can I Earn in Interpretation?

Depending on your personal interests, you can find several schools that offer associate or bachelor's degree programs designed to train you in foreign language or sign language interpretation. Many programs at the associate level incorporate language studies into their curricula, though you usually need to be fluent in English and at least one foreign language to enroll in a bachelor's program. Sign language interpretation programs generally include language training at both undergraduate levels.

Degree Types Associate, bachelor's
Course Topics Grammar and composition in your chosen language; sign language, cultural issues
Online Availability Fully online sign language programs are available but rare
Median Annual Salary (2015) $44,190 for all interpreters and translators*

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics*

What Is the Curriculum Like?

Nearly all programs include general education requirements, in addition to focused language and cultural courses. Language classes instruct you in forms of communication, grammar and composition. Sign language interpretation programs teach you to communicate with hand signs and fingerspelling. In both types of programs, you'll learn about cultural and community issues of your target audience or clients. Additionally, some interpreter programs require you to complete an internship or obtain professional work experience.

Bachelor's degree programs also provide instruction on interpretation and translation in different settings and for different purposes. Many programs structure their curricula to include medical and courtroom interpretation skill building, teaching you profession-specific terminology and procedures. You might be allowed to specialize your program to focus on one of these particular types of interpretation.

Can I Complete this Program Online?

A handful of distance learning bachelor's programs in sign language interpretation feature curricula similar to those of campus-based programs. All of your course materials are delivered over the Internet through video examples, texts and assignments. You might use course delivery systems, online chat, message boards or e-mail to communicate with your instructor and classmates. In order to get started in an online program, you'll need a broadband Internet connection and an updated Web browser.

What Is the Professional Job Outlook?

According to studies conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of translators and interpreters was projected to grow 29% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). In 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual salary of interpreters and translators was $44,190.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Ashford University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
      • Masters - English
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Full Sail University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Southwestern College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Chula Vista
  • University of Minnesota

    Campus Locations:

    • Minnesota: Minneapolis
  • University of Iowa

    Campus Locations:

    • Iowa: Iowa City
  • Virginia Commonwealth University

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Richmond