Legal Interpreting Certificate
credits 15 | tuition $5,250 | scholarship* $2,100 | completion 8 months (2 semesters) | next start Fall 2025
| *all non-traditional online students receive a $2,100 life experience scholarship; see below for details
Earn your Certificate in Legal Interpretation online and prepare for interpretation opportunities in the court system and legal settings. The 100% online program is designed for fully bilingual students to attain the needed skills to pass the legal interpreting certification exam after only two semesters.
Students must be fully bilingual in English and Spanish to start the program.
Interpreters are in high demand
Court interpreters play a vital role in court proceedings and certified interpreters are in high demand. Passing the challenging certification exam in legal interpreting guarantees you'll have profitable, flexible and meaningful job opportunities. Interpreters have a significant opportunity to provide professional and ethical interpreting services for court proceedings that involve Spanish speaking individuals as litigants, defendants or witnesses.
100% online. 8-week courses. Structured support.
As one of the only online cohort-based programs, Northwestern offers both the convenience and structure to be successful in the NCSC written and oral certification exams for court interpreting. The program keeps you on track, and provides individualized support from your instructor and among your cohort.
Take one online 8-week class at a time, completing two classes each semester, and you'll earn your certificate of completion in 8 months (2 semesters).
"Being part of the Legal Interpreting Program and learning from Professor Koene has been such a wonderful experience. It is a fast-paced program and provides you with the necessary tools that you will use in your interpreting profession. The courses are very interactive and informative to prepare you for the real life of a legal interpreter."
Maria, Legal Interpreting Certificate
To be eligible for admission, meet the following criteria:
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Send official transcripts from your high school or college showing a completed high school diploma or at least nine completed college credits by mail or as an official e-transcript to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Complete a bilingual language verification conversation with the program director.
About the curriculum
Only approximately 20% of candidates are successful in passing the NCSC verbal interpreting exam. Northwestern's Legal Interpreting Certificate is crafted for students to successfully pass both the written and verbal interpreting exam.
The four courses teach the needed interpreting skills including sight translation, consecutive interpreting, and simultaneous interpreting as well as the necessary terminology and understanding of ethics. Students will learn tools and knowledge needed by professional interpreters, such as the technology available to enable remote interpreting, and how to handle oneself as a professional interpreter. This program is distinctly different than standard online programs by offering a personalized experience and the opportunity to work with the instructor and classmates.
Students can plan for 15 to 20 hours of coursework each week including:
- Practice materials
- Audible vocab terminology
- Video instruction
- Real feedback
- Live tutoring practice sessions
- Optional one-on-one practice with the instructor
- Written and audible assignments
- Practice tests
- Study sessions with classmates
Legal Interpreting courses:
Total Credits: 15 credit hours
*Life Experience Scholarship
Recognizing the valuable life experience you bring to this program, all non-traditional online students will receive a generous $2,100 Life Experience Scholarship. The total tuition cost (with the scholarship) of $3,150 can be spread out via a payment plan.
*The Life Experience Scholarship is not available for full-time residential students.
The assessment tools are provided in the GoReact platform for an additional fee of $70. This is a one-time fee for the program.