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Advising & Curriculum Overview - Interpreting


Advising

Mentoring and advisement is an essential part of the program. Students meet with faculty and the program director to ensure that educational goals are being met. For a personal consultation about your career plans and how Graduate Programs in Interpreting and Translation can empower you to meet your goals, contact the Academic Program Director, Professor Shawn J. Parry-Giles via email: spg@umd.edu.

Program Requirements

Admitted students are subject to the following program requirements:

  • Maintain minimum of 3.0 GPA and a B or better (including B-) for courses that are required.
  • File an approved Plan of Study by the first semester (full-time students).
  • Submit all work specified within an incomplete contract by end of the semester following the awarded incomplete unless otherwise specified in the incomplete contract.

Not found responsible for breaching ethical principles of scholarship (e.g., violations of academic integrity and/or intellectual property rights) or non-compliance of protocols for protection of human subjects.

Curriculum Overview

The Interpreting area of study offers regular instruction in high demand languages, including Chinese, German, and Spanish. Other languages can be accommodated. English must be either your native tongue or the primary acquired language. Interpreting offers the GC-Consecutive Interpreting and the MPS-Interpreting with tracks in Conference or Public Service. The GC-Consecutive Interpreting (21 credits) may be completed in one year of full-time study; the MPS-Interpreting (44 credits) may be completed in two years of full-time study. Part-time study is welcomed.

Instruction Overview, Year 1 (GC or MPS)

21 credits of core training in the fundamental skills of consecutive interpreting in interpreting studies, the interpreting profession, and intercultural communication. Students enroll in a mix of required and elective courses for a total of 10-11 credits in each fall and spring semester. Students who successfully complete the GC-Consecutive Interpreting and wish to pursue the MPS, must first submit an application. You do not need to re-submit accompanying application materials, retake the Admissions Entry Tests, or pay the application fee if applying within a five-year period.

Instruction Overview, Year 2 (MPS)

23 credits of advanced training in consecutive interpreting, simultaneous interpreting, advanced training in interpreting studies, intercultural communication, and/or communication in political, legal, or healthcare settings, and/or training in communication and language services program management. Students enroll in a mix of required and elective courses for a total of 11-12 credits in each fall and spring semester.

Learning Outcomes, GC-Interpreting

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  • Perform as a consecutive or dialogue interpreter in professional settings (e.g., effective use of fundamental interpreting skills, time and resources for interpreting assignment preparation, logistics and workload management, coordination and cooperation with colleagues, effective and constructive self-assessment of performance, ability to provide constructive peer feedback),
  • Use simultaneous interpreting equipment,
  • Work knowledge on topics that characterize private and public-sector settings in the respective language combination, and
  • Understand the history, current developments, procedures and practices of representative organizations and institutions that provide or use interpreting services.

Learning Outcomes, MPS-Interpreting

Conference Track

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  • Perform as a simultaneous interpreter in professional settings (e.g., effective use of time, tools, and resources for assignments, workload management, coordination and cooperation with colleagues, effective and constructive self-assessment of performance, ability to provide constructive peer feedback)
  • Demonstrate knowledge on topics that characterize private and public-sector settings in the respective language pair
  • Use simultaneous interpreting equipment
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in political, legal, and/or healthcare areas of concentration
  • Possess working knowledge on topics that characterize private and public-sector settings in the respective language combination
  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge of communication studies through fulfillment of a research requirement
  • Understand the history, current developments, procedures and practices of representative organizations and institutions that provide or use interpreting services
  • Develop approaches to overcome challenges to the development of interpreting expertise based upon review of relevant literature and use of deliberate practice strategies

Public Service Track

Upon successful completion, students should be able to:

  • Perform as an interpreter in professional settings (e.g., effective use of time, tools, and resources for assignments, workload management, coordination and cooperation with colleagues, effective and constructive self-assessment of performance, ability to provide constructive peer feedback)
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in political, legal, and/or healthcare areas of concentration
  • Possess working knowledge on topics that characterize private and public-sector settings in the respective language combination
  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge of communication studies through fulfillment of a research requirement
  • Manage communication and language services programs
  • Understand the history, current developments, procedures and practices of representative organizations and institutions that provide or use interpreting services
  • Develop approaches to overcome challenges to the development of interpreting expertise based upon review of relevant literature and use of deliberate practice strategies

Assessments

Interpreting conducts the following comprehensive assessments and all testing reflects authentic, real-world translation requirements to the greatest possible degree, unless the test purpose or stage of translation acquisition makes modifications or deviations from real-world contexts essential. The topics of all tests are from current events and topical, cultural, or scientific issues widely discussed in the U.S. or international media, or the fields of health, law, or politics. The materials used in all tests are authentic materials and recordings from settings and text types frequently encountered by translators working in the fields of business, health, law, politics, and science and technology.

Second Year MPS Degree-track Entry Test:

  • For the MPS only. Prior to enrolling in second-year courses, all students admitted into the MPS-Interpreting must perform successfully on Degree-track Entry Tests in one of the two tracks: Conference or Public Service. Degree-track Entry Tests determine whether students have the ability in their proposed language combinations to begin the specialized coursework required. Students submit a representative sample of introductory second-year translation coursework under examination conditions. Upfront payment of the $120 nonrefundable Degree-track Entry Tests fee is required.
  • Submit payment for the Second Year MPS Degree-track Entry Test fee ($120).

Degree Examinations:

  • For the MPS only. Administered as part the required course COMM657 Professional Practice Forum in Interpreting: Career Portfolio and Exams, Degree Examinations determines whether students have the interpreting competence in their proposed language combinations to enter into the profession at a distinguished level, particularly through taking employer tests required for staff and freelance interpreting work and tests for professional certification.

Career Portfolio Review:

  • For the MPS only. The portfolio is part of the coursework for COMM657 Professional Practice Forum in Interpreting: Career Portfolio and Exams, a required course, and conducted after the Degree Examinations. The purpose is to determine whether students have the career strategies in their proposed language combinations to enter into the profession at a distinguished level, in particular through career goal setting and planning for future employment. The portfolio is a career development tool that students can use to seek and find interpreting work.
  • Scope and content: Includes documentation of a broad range of learning experiences in the field. Representative documents include biographical information such as résumés and curricula vitae, reflective statements of learning experiences from class assignments, internships and tests; peer, instructor, and employer (internship) feedback; and statements of career goals and career development strategies.
  • Review: Conducted with a panel of instructors and professional interpreters that may include representatives of employer organizations. The review is an opportunity to discuss career goals and long-term professional development plans based upon the contents of the portfolio, performance in the final degree examinations, and employer needs and hiring requirements.
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