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Health Care Interpretation master of science degree

Kathleen Miraglia, Program Director
585-672-6084 (VP),

Program overview

The MS degree 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 Law, Economics, and Policy 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 program in health care interpretation, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application,
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae,
  • Hold current national ASL/English certification or state licensure. Applicants must email a copy of their credentials to
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above (or superior endorsement) from an accredited college or university.
  • Submit two letters of reference from individuals who are qualified to observe your interpreting work.
  • Submit a personal statement describing your educational objectives. (This may include reasons for applying to the program, how the program will relate to long-range career objectives, any personal or non-academic qualities that contribute to the program, any prior experience, or why you want to attend RIT.)
  • Submit an ASL interpretation sample.
  • Deaf and hard-of-hearing applicants must submit an audiogram.
  • Complete a graduate application.

Applicants accepted into the program are required to complete a self-paced online course in medical terminology called Language of Medicine prior to the beginning of the summer term, which starts each June.