Specializations in:

        • Translation for the Professions
        • Literary and Applied Literary Translation
        • Conference and Community Interpreting

     Cohort Options:

        • Online
        • Campus-based

Turn your love of languages into a marketable career!

Imagine yourself in a fast-paced business environment communicating cultural differences in the midst of important business deals. Or imagine serving as a crucial communication link between patients and doctors, diplomats and politicians, literary artists and the world.

The ability to decode cultures and bridge worlds—translation and interpreting—is one of the most highly demanded skills today. And if you love languages, you can become part of this dynamic field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), career opportunities for translators and interpreters are expected to increase more than 20 percent between 2012 and 2018.

Demand for translators and interpreter training is not being met across the US, but to an even greater degree supply lags demand in Illinois.  The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) projection of employment growth for translators and interpreters is much higher than the BLS' projection.  The projected growth in Illinois according to IDES is 37 percent between 2010 and 2020.  The new MA in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, taught on campus and online by an international faculty that includes accomplished translators, teaches you to become an effective professional translator in a variety of fields.

Program Description

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 one of three tracks:  Translation for the Professions, Literary and Applied Literary Translation, or Conference and Community Interpreting. The program will be delivered ONLINE and ON CAMPUS. Students may choose one of the two options.

Students in the text translation specialization will work from their strongest second or third language into English. While we recognize that it is best practice to work INTO the native language, for pedagogical purposes we will concentrate on the translation process and product. Students in the interpreting specialization will work bi-directionally between the second language and the native language. We believe that the skills acquired in the program will be transferable to other language combinations. We will accept students working in any languages that our program can support. The UIUC School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics currently teaches 37 languages from all world regions. The foundation courses will be taught in English and practice work will be done in the student’s language pair.  Language-pair courses are available as electives in Spanish, French, German, Arabic, and Russian translation.


Admission Requirements



Applicants to be considered for admission to the Master's Program in Translation and Interpreting should have an undergraduate degree (B.A. or B.S.) 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 applicants 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 here: www.govtilr.org



Admission to the graduate program is handled jointly by the department, the Graduate College, and the SLCL Graduate Student Services office. Applications are accepted for fall admission only.


The University of Illinois has a web-based application. If you go to the Graduate College's
application website, http://www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/apply, you will see links to information for applicants, application instructions, and the link to the application itself. Please complete the online application form for the FALL 2017 TERM. Please send audio material as an email attachment to slclgradservices@illinois.edu; graduate services will forward the material to the department.

Please select EITHER the application for the ONLINE program or the CAMPUS-BASED Program.

We do not offer the option of mixing the two programs or starting one and then switching to another.

Please select ONE of the three specializations offered.

Applicants should apply online and submit:

• 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 www.grad.Illinois.edu/Admissions/instructions/04C).

• 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 slclgradservices@illinois.edu).
• A test of language and translation proficiency. Testing instructions and access to the test will be provided to applicants once their file is complete.  


Degree Requirements:

Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting

(Click for Course Descriptions)

Core requirements: TRST 500 (Translation Methods and Ethics), TRST 410 (Translation Theory & Practice), TRST 407 (Terminology and CAT) 12

Specialization: Students must complete 8 hours in one specialization:

     Translation for the Professions (TRST 405, 406)

      Literary and Applied Literary Translation (TRST 501)

      Conference and Community Interpreting (TRST 541,542)
See Center for Translation Studies webpage for a list of appropriate courses for each specialization.

Required elective courses: See Center for Translation Studies webpage for a list of appropriate courses. 8
Translation Studies Capstone Project (TRST 540) 4
Total Hours: 32

Other Requirements:*
*For additional details and requirements refer to the department's Student Handbook and the Graduate College Handbook.

Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 12
Minimum GPA: 2.75


For additional details and requirements refer to the Graduate College Handbook.


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.



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 semester 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.



ONLINE program: $1172 per credit hour (fees included)


RANGE I Tuition Rates: 12 or more credit hours

     Illinois Residents: $5,813 (per semester)

     Non-Residents: $12,559 (per semester)

RANGE II Tuition Rates: (6-11 Hours)

     Illinois Residents: $3,876 (per semester)

     Non-Residents: $8,373 (per semester)

Mandatory Student Fees:

Range I: $1,786 (per semester*)

Range II: $1,600 (per semester*)

* Mandatory fees include a health insurance fee for which an exemption may be obtained with proof of acceptable alternate coverage.   There is also a $35 per semester International Student Fee for those international graduate students on campus.


Since this is a self-supporting program, no direct financial aid is available through the program (Teaching Assistantships or Fellowships).

Applicants are encouraged to explore student loans and opportunities for funding through national government sources or private sources.

Please consult the University of Illinois Graduate College website “Funding and Employment” tab for further information on loans, grants, and student employment.


The program will work actively with students on job placement and internships.


Wail Hassan, Professor and Director, Center for Translation Studies
4080 FLB-MC-176, 707 South Mathews, Urbana, IL 61801, whassan@illinois.edu, 217-300-1488



If you have any academic or professional questions regarding the content of the graduate program in Translation Studies, please contact the Center for Translation Studies at translation-1@lists.illinois.edu.

If you need assistance with the application process itself, please contact SLCL Student Services, slclgradservices@illinois.edu.


Read a story in LASNews about the Center for Translation Studies' MA program.