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 sought-after skills today. And if you love languages, you can become part of this dynamic field.

Demand for translators and interpreter training outpaces supply across the entire US, and especially in Illinois.  The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has projected 37% employment growth for translators and interpreters between 2010 and 2020.  The MA program in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, taught on campus and online by a faculty that features accomplished translators and interpreters, will provide you with the academic and professional skills this field demands.

Program Description

Candidates for the Master’s degree complete coursework in the foundations of translation and interpreting, and may specialize in Translation for the Professions, Literary and Applied Literary Translation, or Conference and Community Interpreting. The program will be delivered online as well as on campus. Students may choose one of the two delivery options.

We will accept qualified students working in any languages that our program can support. Currently our faculty represent expertise in Arabic, French, German, and Spanish. Students wishing to work on other languages will be considered on a case-by-case basis, according to availability of instructional support. The UIUC School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics currently teaches 37 languages from all world regions.


Admission Requirements



Applicants must have earned at least a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college in the United States or a comparable degree from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (A=4.0), or comparable GPA for an international applicant, for last two years of undergraduate study is a minimum requirement for admission. If your undergraduate study is longer than 4 years, additional semesters may be used to calculate the admission GPA.

For detailed information about minimum qualifications for international students of various countries, see http://www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/countries

All applicants must have an excellent command of English and of at least one other language. All students must meet the minimum admissions requirements of the Graduate College.


Language Requirement:

Students must have advanced proficiency in English and at least one other language supported by the program.



The University of Illinois has a web-based application. On 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 materials as email attachments to slclgradservices@illinois.edu.

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

Please indicate which of the three specializations offered most interests you at this time. While you must take at least two courses in the area of your specialization, you are strongly encouraged to take coursework in all three areas of the program.

Applicants should apply for admission to the Graduate College online at: http://www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/apply.

Please note that 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).

In addition to the online application, please submit the following:

• A 5-7 minute oral statement of purpose (submitted as an 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 Statement of Purpose.  This personal essay of about 500 words is a crucial component of your application.  In it, you should explain why you are interested in translation and interpreting studies, how completion of our program will help you to reach your individual professional and academic goals, and why you are applying to our program in particular.

• A test of language and translation proficiency. Testing instructions and access to the test will be provided to applicants once all other application materials have been received.


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, 502)

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

Required elective courses: See the 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 please 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 please refer to the Graduate College Handbook.


Students working online typically take 8 graduate hours courses (two 4-credit hour courses) per semester. Interaction with the instructor and other students will be required and facilitated through the online course delivery platform. The entire online program may be completed without ever coming to campus.



CTS students are considered to be studying full-time in the program if they are enrolled in a minimum of 8 graduate hours (2 courses) per semester.  However, international students holding F-1 or J-1 visas and those holding scholarships or fellowships may be required to maintain enrollment in 12 graduate hours. For more information, see http://www.grad.illinois.edu/gradhandbook/2/chapter2/course-loads and http://isss.illinois.edu/students/f1j1/.



Online M.A. tuition: $1,172 per credit hour.

Campus-based program: Please see University of Illinois Office of the Registrar: Office of the Registrar


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

A limited number of competitive recruitment scholarships may be available to outstanding applicants. Full tuition waivers, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships are not available directly through the Center for Translation Studies.

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



Prof. Joyce Tolliver, Director, Center for Translation Studies
4080 FLB, 707 South Mathews, Urbana, IL 61801, joycet@illinois.edu, 217-244-6508



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

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


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