Graduate Catalog

Master of Arts in Interpretation: Combined Interpreting Practice and Research


Web: Department of Interpretation and Translation

Paul Harrelson, Program Coordinator

Hall Memorial Building, 1417

The concentration in Combined Interpreting Practice and Research is designed to prepare and educate Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing persons in working as interpreters in Deaf and hearing communities. The program provides a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to interpretation instruction. The M.A. in Interpretation program consists of a comprehensive, sequenced, and integrated series of courses and experiences in five core areas: education, business and government, medical, mental health, and legal settings. These courses and experiences are intended to provide students with the necessary mastery of knowledge, techniques, and skills required for entry to professional work in the field of interpretation or advanced graduate study. Close interaction among students, mentors, and faculty is provided in a setting that offers a wide array of academic and interpreting experiences. This includes an interpreting practicum and rotation, along with an internship, which is developed on an individual basis for each student. This degree includes an overview research course followed by two semesters of guided research courses in which students conduct original research with the goal of producing a solid study in publishable form. This concentration follows a two-year format, consisting of four semesters followed by a summer internship. The program requires the completion of 48 credit hours of course work. An accelerated program is also available for students with a Gallaudet B.A. in Interpretation degree, requiring the completion of 33 credit hours of course work. The program also is available in a three-year format for students who need an additional year of advanced language classes. Part-time study is also available.

Admissions Procedures

Applicants for the M.A. in Interpretation must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information and a checklist of application requirements. Detailed program information and course descriptions are also available under the 'Overview' and 'Courses' tabs.

First Date for Consideration of Application: January 15th
Last Date for Completed Application: March 15th or until all possible slots are filled. Students are accepted on a rolling basis.

Program Specific Requirements

  • Official transcript of all college work
  • TOEFL score (international applicants)
  • Three letters of reference - one letter should cite sign language skills
  • An ASLPI result of 3 or higher
  • After beginning the application process, the Department will send a one-time use only link to an online language screening. This screening is required as part of the application packet.

Graduation Requirements

NIC Knowledge Exam or CDI Written Exam

Students are required to successfully pass RID's National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Knowledge Exam or RID's Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) Written Exam by December 1st during their last academic year in the MA in Interpretation program.

Practicum and Internship

Practical classroom-based experiences are incorporated into each semester of the program. These experiences include directed observation in interpreting events on the university campus and in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Internship experience is designed to provide students with the opportunity to synthesize practical and academic experiences gained during the in-residence portion of the M.A. in Interpretation program. Students and the internship coordinator will agree upon a suitable site, supervision, and plan of activity. Internship sites can be in any state in the U.S. and/or in other countries.


Qualifying Examination

At the end of the first year (in the two-year format), all students must successfully complete a qualifying examination including a conceptual component and a skills component. Students unable to achieve a passing score will be asked either to retake the examination or to withdraw from the program. Failure on this examination will be grounds for dismissal.

Comprehensive Examination

During the final year of full-time coursework, all students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination that will include a conceptual component and a skills evaluation. The conceptual component is offered to students in the final fall semester of the program and the skills evaluation in the final spring semester of the program. Students must take the skills exam in the semester immediately preceding internship with enrollment in the internship contingent on passing the skills exam.

Plan of study

Semester I (Fall)

INT 701History of Interpreting


INT 707Structure of Language for Interpreters: American Sign Language and English


INT 720Discourse Analysis Interpreter


INT 726Fundamentals of Interpreting


Semester II (Spring)

INT 734Interpreting Legal Discourse


INT 735Interpreting Mental Health Discourse


INT 736Professional Practice I


INT 750Research Methods in Interpretation


Qualifying Exam

Semester III (Fall)

INT 744Interpreting the Discourse of Education


INT 746Interpreting Business and Government Discourse


INT 749Professional Practice II


INT 777Guided Research Project I


RID NIC Knowledge Exam or CDI Written Exam

Semester IV (Spring)

INT 754Interpreting Medical Discourse


INT 778Guided Research Project II


INT 781Field Rotation


Comprehensive Exam

Semester V (Summer)

INT 785Internship