Are You Spanish/English Bilingual?

Turn your language skills into an exciting new medical, legal or education career with a non-credit professional development certificate in Spanish/English Interpretation from the University of Arizona.

Why interpretation? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The need for interpreters and translators is expected to grow 20% between 2021 and 2031, much faster than other jobs.
  • In 2021, the average salary for interpreters and translators was over $49,110.

The Spanish/English Interpretation Certificate Program is intended for bilingual speakers with no formal training in interpretation who wish to improve or expand their knowledge and skills in interpreting.

Smiling female Spanish/English Translator with the words Are you bilingual and ERES BILINGÜE written to the left

Convenient online classes let you learn anywhere, any time, on your schedule.


Earn a Spanish/English Interpretation Certificate Online

The Spanish/English Interpretation Program is a 3-course fully online non-credit program designed to train entry-level interpreters to meet the needs of doctors' offices, hospitals, courts, law offices, schools and other settings.

Students who successfully complete all three courses—Medical, Legal, and Educational Interpretation—will be awarded a University of Arizona Certificate of Completion. Students may also elect to take just one or two of the courses.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • complete interpretation tasks appropriate to a beginning professional level interpreter
  • explain the role of the medical, legal and educational interpreter
  • explain the role of certification in the interpretation field
  • demonstrate the ability to handle the interpretation of the most commonly encountered events in the medical, legal and educational setting at a beginner professional level
  • exercise professional argumentation skills in group discussions
  • list basic resources and research tools available to interpreters and use them successfully to complete an interpretation task at a beginner professional level
  • demonstrate professional awareness (knowledge of professional norms and ethics) in their discussions and interpreting work
  • explain personal strengths and weaknesses with regard to a variety of interpreting encounters
  • explain how to deal with weaknesses in a professional manner
  • exercise basic customer education skills in this domain of interpreting

Applying to the Program

To apply, you will need to complete and submit a background information form and an oral recording to test your proficiency in English and Spanish. Applying to the program is free, and you can apply any time. 

You will be notified of the results of your application within 2-3 weeks. Please allow 2 weeks before contacting us about the results of your application.

If you are accepted into the program, you will be notified when classes open for registration.



Each course is usually 16 weeks long (self paced, with weekly deadlines) and each course is offered 1-2 times per year. Courses start in January, May and September.

Price: $825 per course, 3 courses total

Medical Interpretation

The Medical Spanish/English Interpretation course provides guided practice in the successful completion of professional interpretation tasks in the medical domain. 



Dates: August 26-December 15, 2024

Legal Interpretation

Spanish/English Legal Interpretation provides guided practice in the successful completion of professional interpretation tasks in the legal domain. 



Dates: January 6-April 27, 2025


Educational Interpretation

Spanish/English Educational Interpretation provides guided practice in the successful completion of professional interpretation tasks in the educational sphere, including both general education and special education scenarios. 

Dates: May 13-September 1, 2024

For additional training opportunities in translation and interpretation, please visit the University of Arizona National Center for Interpretation.

Paying for Your Spanish/English Interpretation Program

Discounts are available for University of Arizona employees and military, as well as early registration (1 month before course start). Only one discount can be used per registration. A payment plan option is also available for Interpretation courses.

Academic Program Director

Dr. Sonia Colina is Director of the National Center for Interpretation and Professor of Hispanic Linguistics in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona, and is the former president of the American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association (ATISA). Dr. Colina is an expert in translation studies and translation pedagogy. Dr. Colina is the author of Translation Teaching and Fundamentals of Translation and of numerous articles in edited volumes and prestigious journals. She serves on the editorial board of Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS) and on the International Advisory Board of the Translator and Interpreter Trainer. In addition to her academic and scholarly work, Dr. Colina has created and presented a variety of workshops for professional translators, managers of translators, and teachers of translation.

Dr. Holly Silvestri is CEO of Linguistic Connections, LLC and has been a professional interpreter and translator for over a decade. She is also Sr. Coordinator of Training, Translation, & Curriculum at the National Center for Interpretation, a unit of the University of Arizona. Dr. Silvestri is a lifetime member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists in London, and a member of the American Translators Association. She has also taught in the Translation and Interpretation undergraduate Spanish major at UA. Her working languages are English, Spanish, and French. She specializes in community interpreting, with a specific focus on educational interpreting, and interpreter and translator training in general.


Call us at 520-626-3343 or see the Interpretation Program FAQs.