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Health Care Interpretation MS degree

Kathleen Miraglia, Program Director
(585) 475-5441 (voice),

Program overview

The master of science in health care interpretation is designed to meet the demand for nationally-certified sign language interpreters who wish to work in health care environments.

Health care interpreters work in various health care settings where hearing people and deaf or hard-of-hearing people need to interact and communicate. Interpreters may assist deaf patients and their families in understanding medical testing, treatments, and diagnoses; facilitate communication for deaf health care professionals with colleagues and patients; and/or provide interpretation for deaf individuals who are enrolled in health care-related degree programs or training courses designed to educate and prepare them for careers in health care-related professions. This unique program also prepares interpreters to work in administrative roles ensuring language access to patients in hospital settings. Successful completion of this program could lead to employment as a sign language health care interpreter and/or a language access coordinator of sign and spoken language interpreting services in one of the most important new fields of health care.

The program may be completed on a full- or part-time basis.


Health care interpretation, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
HCIA-705 Professional Seminar (summer) 3
HCIA-715 Human Body Systems/Diseases I (summer) 3
HCIA-719 Theories of Translation and Interpretation (summer) 3
HCIA-720 Health Care Practical Interpreting I 3
HCIA-730 Human Body Systems/Diseases II 3
HLTH-700 Research Methods 3
HCIA-740 Health Care Practical Interpreting II 3
HLTH-710 Health Care Governance and Economics 3
HLTH-723 Human Resources in Health Care 3
Second Year
HCIA-750 Health Care Interpreting Within a Diverse Deaf Community (summer) 3
HCIA-770 Capstone Professional Project or Research Paper (summer) 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 33


Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS in health care interpretation, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a certification from the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), or equivalent,
  • Have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university,
  • Have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above (or superior endorsement),
  • Submit an ASL interpretation sample (audio/video file or text translation will be provided),
  • Submit two letters of reference from individuals who have had the opportunity to observe the applicant's interpreting work,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit a completed graduate application,  
  • Submit a personal statement describing the applicant's educational objectives, and 
  • Provide proof of completion of a course in medical terminology. (This is required after admission to the program is offered. The course must be completed prior to the beginning of the summer session. This $99 self-paced online course is called Language of Medicine.)