Certificate Program

Eligibility Requirements

  • Students must have at minimum a High School Diploma or GED (Equivalent of High School Diploma).
  • To determine eligibility, students must pay a $45 language diagnistic test to establish fluency in English and target language.
  • The cost of the test will be applied to the course fee upon acceptance into the program

Registration & Fees


The cost of each course (Course A, B, C and D) is $750.

Other Fees

Registration: Individual CUNY schools may apply a registration fee of $15 to $25.
Testing: $125 for course A (Language Line Interpreter Skills Test)
Textbooks: $120 per course


Level One

Prerequisite: Passing score on CUNY language diagnostic screening test

Course A - Introduction to Health Care Interpreting (45 hours), focusing on:
  • Orientation to the profession of interpreting
  • Ethical principles and standards of practice
  • Overview of the health care system
  • Basic terminology of anatomy and health care in English & Target Language
  • Guidelines for developing a personal bilingual glossary
  • Interpreting protocols e.g. positioning, introductions
  • Skill-building exercises
  • Interpreting role plays
  • Cultural competency concepts
  • Interviewing a working interpreter in the workplace and writing a report
Completion: Level I certificates will only be issued to those who have successfully completed the coursework and tests and also demonstrated their interpreter skills with a passing score on the Language Line Interpreter Skills Test (medical scenario).

Level Two

Prerequisite: Passing score on Language Line Interpreter Skills Test (medical scenario)

Course B - HEALTHCARE Concepts and Terminology for Interpreters (40 hours), focusing on:
  • Intensive study of medical terminology, organized mainly around service areas and body systems
  • Techniques for researching and managing vocabulary
  • Assessing and utilizing dictionaries and other resources
  • Expanding one’s personal bilingual glossary

Course B makes use of the book Quick and Easy Medical Terminology by Peggy Leonard. This textbook/workbook contains extensive exercises, with additional material available on CDs, for a thorough introduction to medical terminology including anatomy, physiology, diseases, treatments, medications. The textbook will be supplemented by materials on the medical interview, the health care system, and insurance concepts and terms. It covers medical concepts and terminology in English, with some attention to the target language. Students work on equivalent terms in the target language on their own and in groups, using dictionaries and other resources.


Course c - Skills Development for Health Care Interpreters I (40 hours), focusing on:
  • Review in greater depth of key Level One topics
  • Interpreting skills: prediction, active listening, message analysis, chunking, memory skills, note taking, and public speaking
  • Consecutive interpreting role play and sight translation exercises
  • Recording and analyzing one’s own performance
  • Assessing one’s own interpreting skills and implementing strategies for improvement
  • Managing triadic communication
  • Ethical decision-making
  • Understanding and dealing with cultural issues and dialect variation

Course D - Skills Development for Health Care Interpreters II (40 hours), focusing on:
  • Extensive practice using role-plays and sight translation exercises that incorporate specialized
  • Vocabulary and challenging situations
  • Recording and analyzing one’s own performance
  • Principles and techniques of error analysis
  • Dealing with ethical issues and role conflicts
  • Dealing with personal and social issues
  • How to continuously improve skills

Level II certificates will only be issued to those students who have successfully completed the coursework and tests and also demonstrated their advanced interpreter skills by passing an advanced Interpreter Skills test (National Certification test, if available at the time of completion).

Level Three

Prerequisite: Passing score on National Certification Exam or, if no National Certification exam yet exists, on a CUNY and HHC recognized equivalent advanced interpreter skills test.
Level three is comprised of elective courses that provide ongoing Continuing Education for advanced interpreters.

Completion: by individual course