Master of Arts


This program prepares professionals for working in the growing language industry as it relates to a variety of fields—foreign affairs, media, business, law, and especially healthcare delivery. The current lack of interpreters and translators has led the U.S. Department of Labor to project an 18 percent increase in employment over the next decade. The program in interpreting and translation studies will not only help meet this demand, but also responds to Wake Forest’s “Pro Humanitate” motto, as its graduates will serve underprivileged communities while at the same time contributing to the quality of mainstream healthcare delivery and demonstrating the strong connections between liberal arts education and public service. The program offers four Master of Arts tracks: Intercultural Services in Healthcare; Teaching of Interpreting; Interpreting and Translation Studies, Spanish-English and Chinese-English. The degree can be earned through an intense two-semester course of study or an extended two-year program for the Chinese-English Track. The program admits students on a full-time basis only.

For students who are not able or ready to commit to earning a Master of Arts degree, but who would like to focus on an area of interest, the program also offers three Graduate Certificates and one postgraduate Certificate in specialized areas. Pairing various certificates provides a comprehensive package for students to reach their career goals in a more flexible, customized manner.

Master of Arts Tracks

The Interpreting and Translation Track is a language-specific, professionally oriented and research-based program that prepares interpreters and language specialists for working in the language industry. Graduates of this program will have a solid foundation in applied interpreting and translation studies, analysis of contextual meaning and extra-linguistic aspects of communication, cross-cultural awareness, sociolinguistics and dialectology, localization and terminology management, and advanced technologies for linguistic services. This program is especially appropriate for those who intend to pursue a doctorate in this field.

The Teaching of Interpreting Studies Track is a non-language-specific program that prepares graduates to be instructors in community or college-level interpreter training programs. It is the only program in the Northern hemisphere to focus on methodology of teaching interpreting in the medical context. Graduates of the program will not only provide their students with a set of techniques on how to interpret, but they will also teach, mentor, and raise awareness about the interpreting practice. The curriculum lays the foundation for understanding the interpreting encounter, the co-conversational process and sociocultural determinations. It also includes a broad interdisciplinary research component, which is absent from the training seminars/workshops of other, non-academic programs.

The Intercultural Services in Healthcare Track is a non-language-specific program and is the first such specialization in the U.S. It prepares graduates to enter managerial positions in culturally sensitive healthcare delivery areas such as bilingual employment, patient relations, translation and interpreting services, health discourse and health messages. The curriculum provides a solid foundation in cross-cultural health communication, sociolinguistics, applied interpreting and translation studies, written and oral discourse analysis, medical translation, advanced technologies for linguistic services, localization and terminology management, organizational behavior, and health promotion as related to ethnicity.

Foreign Language or Special Skills Requirements

The Interpreting and Translation Track: Spanish-English. Applicants who do not have a college or high school degree from a Spanish speaking country are required to take an online Spanish proficiency exam.

The Interpreting and Translation Track: Chinese-English. Applicants who do not have a college or high school degree in Chinese (Mandarin) may be subject to a written exam and/or oral interview.

The Teaching of Interpreting Studies Track. Proven interpreting experience is required for this program.

The Intercultural Services in Healthcare Track. Foreign language competency is desirable, but not required for this program