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Translation Degree Online

Translation Degree Online

Bachelor level degrees in translation are not offered in an online format. However, traditional on-campus programs in this subject are offered by numerous colleges across the country. For students seeking a translation degree online, the best option is to go for a distance-learning certificate program in translation. These programs are readily available for students who have a bachelor’s degree, though they might be required to pass a fluency test in the language they are applying to study.

Certificate Program in Translation

A professional certificate program in translation would help students gain the necessary skills they would need in communicating and interpreting documents in a different language. Converting documents from English to another language or vice versa is one of the major things a translation certificate focuses on. Students might have the option of choosing from a wide array of languages, such as French, German, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish and others. The main focus of the program is to give students a solid grasp of the basics of their chosen foreign language. These include the textual analysis, reading and writing. Some of the courses offered in translation certificate programs might also help develop techniques relevant to medical, legal, business or academic fields. These interpretative techniques would help you use your translation skills a lot more effectively.

About the Online Certificate in Translation Program

Before you go on to apply for a certificate program in translation, you need to be aware of the basic requirements it has. Have a look at the following few things you need to keep in mind:

Duration of the Program

2 years typically


Bachelor’s Degree

Entry Requirements

An assessment to determine fluency in the concerned language

An online program in translation would typically make use of different kinds of software to deliver lectures. Online discussion board platforms like Blackboard might be used to facilitate discussions. Learning management systems may be used to give students access to relevant coursework, assignments and quizzes.

Courses in a Translation Program

A translation degree would give students the option of taking specialty courses in interpretation. These would help the students orally convert one language into another, with proper meaning and context. Various institutes also offer courses with different purposes – medical, legal, academic and others. Supporting courses may include cultural or historical courses which will help you understand the local dialects and contexts in a lot more detail.

Depending on the language you choose, typical courses would include:

  • Arabic (Modern Standard): Level I
  • Brazilian Portuguese for Beginners: Part I
  • Chinese – Mandarin: Part I
  • Introduction to French Language: Part I
  • French 101
  • Spanish 101
  • Introduction to Applied Translation Theory
  • Reading and Writing
  • Literary and Historical Translation into English

The exact course structure would depend on the institute you choose to go for and the language you choose. Some institutes might even teach you some basic English courses to correct grammar and sentence structure issues.

Colleges offering Translation Programs

If you have a genuine interest in learning a new language from a career perspective, you would be glad to know that several colleges across the country offer top quality online and on-campus degrees in translation and related subjects. Let’s have a look at some of the colleges that are offering these programs.

University of Denver: This institute offers two online translation courses through its college of professional and continuing education. One is the Graduate Certificate in Translation Studies, which provides courses in professional Spanish and English translation and the other is a Master’s Degree in Global Affairs that offers a concentration in Translation Studies that helps you develop advance skills and knowledge in translation practice. Both these programs are offered entirely online and prepare students for different levels of careers in translation and interpretation.

New York University: Home to more than 40,000 students, the New York University offers a Master of Science program in Translation. This program has three online language options: English to Spanish, Spanish to English and French to English. Students are required to take six core classes that cover topics such as terminology, translation theory and terminology. For the rest of the classes in subjects like business, finance or law, students are given the independence of choosing, depending on the specialization they want to opt for.

Ashford University: Popular translation programs at Ashford University include bachelor degrees in English Language and Applied Linguistics.

Regent University: Programs at Regent University include the following:

  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Master of Arts in Political Communication
  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
  • Master of Arts in Government – Political Communication
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

Johns Hopkins University: Programs in Translation at the Johns Hopkins University include a Bachelor of Science in Communications along with other online translation degree programs.

Career Information for Interpreters and Translators

If you wish to pursue a career in this field, the following information might be of interest to you:

2015 Median Salary


Work Experience in a Related Occupation


Number of Jobs, 2014


Job Outlook, 2014-24

29% (Faster than Average)

Employment Change, 2014-24


*Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The employment for interpreters and translators is expected to grow at 29%, which is much higher than many other professions. This reflects the increasing globalization and a highly diverse population in the country. Demand for languages such as French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and German is expected to remain high for the coming years. Demand for Middle Eastern languages such as Arabic is also likely to remain high.

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