Medical Interpreting Certificate
credits 15 | tuition $5,250* | scholarship $2,100** | completion 8 months (2 semesters) | next start Fall 2024
| *Tuition has not been finalized for the 2024-25 academic year and is subject to change.
**all non-traditional online students receive a $2,100 life experience scholarship; see below for details
Earn your Certificate in Medical Interpretation online and prepare for interpretation opportunities in health care settings. The 100% online program is designed for fully bilingual (Spanish/English) students to attain the needed skills for passing the medical interpreting certification exam after only two semesters.
Students must be fully bilingual in English and Spanish to start the program.
Interpreters are in high demand
Medical interpreters play a crucial role in health care settings and certified interpreters are in high demand. Interpreters have a significant opportunity to serve both providers and patients in a professional and ethical manner. They can greatly impact patient comfort and outcomes by facilitating medical conversations between non-English speakers and nurses, doctors or other medical professionals. Passing the challenging certification exam in medical interpreting maximizes your opportunities for profitable, flexible and meaningful interpreting work.
100% online. 8-week courses. Structured support.
As one of the only online cohort-based programs, Northwestern offers both the convenience and structure to be successful in a medical interpreting certifying exam such as the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) or Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters ( CCHI ). Northwestern's online medical interpreting preparation program keeps you on track, and provides individualized support from your instructor and among your cohort.
Take one online 8-week class at a time, completing two classes each semester, and you'll earn your certificate of completion in 8 months (2 semesters).
"The interpreting programs are designed to develop the skills necessary to perform sight translation, consecutive, and simultaneous interpretation at the professional level. The online format allows students to take charge of their learning experience and practice at their own pace. Professor Piet Koene’s interpreting skills are the gold standard in our community and he's an excellent teacher."
- Weston, Legal Interpreting Certificate
To be eligible for admission, meet the following criteria:
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Send official transcripts from your high school or college showing a completed high school diploma or at least nine completed college credits by mail or as an official e-transcript to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Complete a bilingual language verification conversation with the program director.
About the curriculum
Obtaining a medical interpreting credential nationally recognizes your abilities to health care employers including hospitals, clinics and public health organizations. Northwestern's Medical Interpreting Certificate is designed specifically for preparing students to successfully pass the national medical interpreting exam. The program courses will also succeed the required 40 hours of workshop/instruction required to apply for the certification exam.
The four courses teach the needed interpreting skills including sight translation, consecutive interpreting, and simultaneous interpreting as well as the necessary terminology and understanding of ethics. Students will learn tools and knowledge needed by professional interpreters, such as the technology available to enable remote interpreting, and how to handle oneself as a professional interpreter. This program is distinctly different than standard online programs by offering a personalized experience and the opportunity to work with the instructor and classmates.
Students can plan for 15 to 20 hours of coursework each week including:
- Practice materials
- Audible vocab terminology
- Video instruction
- Real feedback
- Live tutoring practice sessions
- Optional one-on-one practice with the instructor
- Written and audible assignments
- Practice tests
- Study sessions with classmates
Meet Piet, your instructor
Medical Interpreting courses:
Total Credits: 15 credit hours
*Life Experience Scholarship
In recognition of the valuable life experience you bring to this program, all non-traditional students in our first online cohort (2022–23) will receive a $2,100 scholarship. The resulting total tuition cost of $3,000 can be spread out via a payment plan.
*The Life Experience Scholarship is not available for full-time residential students.
The assessment tools are provided in the GoReact platform for an additional fee of $70. This is a one-time fee for the program.