Certificate in Spanish/English Interpretation (Legal/Court)

College of Professional & Global Education 

Dean: Dr. Alex Hwu 

Spanish/English Interpretation (Legal/Court)

SF State Downtown Campus
160 Spear Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 817-4244

Website: https://cpage.sfsu.edu/interpretation

Program Director: Eric Bishop
Program Specialist: Eduardo Cerpa

Program Scope

This program is designed to prepare students to pass the California Court Bilingual Interpreter Exam and the National Center for State Courts (Consortium) Exam, and the NBCMI Medical Interpreter Certificate Exam. Students develop the interpreting skills necessary for service as a Spanish/English interpreter in the courts, in public and private agencies, and in healthcare institutions. 


Faculty members are all adjunct instructors who are state-certified court interpreters.

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for interpreters is projected to grow much faster than the average for all other occupations. It also states that job prospects are better for those who hold a professional certification. For employment in courts and state agencies, certification is mandated. A certified court interpreter will be able to work in the state courts and freelance for state agencies, private companies, law firms, and interpreting agencies. A certified medical interpreter may work for government agencies like the Department of Public Health and for private healthcare institutions.

Optional Exam Preparation Courses

MLL 9916 Advanced Interpreting & Oral Exam Prep (Online)

Prerequisite: Certificate of Completion from SF State's Spanish/English Interpretation program.

This online self-study course is designed to prepare students for the California Court Bilingual Interpreter Exam and for the National Center for State Courts (Consortium) Exam. Students will take six sample exams to become familiarized with the exam format, and perform self-evaluations to assess areas for improvement.

MLL 9917 Medical Interpretation (Online) 

Prerequisites: Introduction to Interpreting, Sight Translation, and Consecutive Interpretation I.

This self-study online course is designed for students who wish to take the Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI) exam of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. Emphasis is placed on the development of terminology related to all human organ systems and the diseases associated with each system. Students will apply their sight translation and consecutive interpretation skills to scenarios specific to the medical field and the workers' compensation system. This course will also give an overview of the laws and regulations governing the medical interpretation profession. 

Certificate in Spanish/English Interpretation (Legal/Court)

Admission to the Program

Admission requirements are 60 semester units of prior academic college credit (B.A. preferred) and a passing score on the SF State Bilingual Entrance Exam. To register for the Bilingual Entrance exam, please visit: https://cel.sfsu.edu/interpretation/admission.

There are six core courses and one elective course. For complete course descriptions, contact the program coordinator or visit: https://cel.sfsu.edu/interpretation.

Spanish/English Interpretation, Certificate

Core Courses

MLL 400Introduction to Interpreting3
MLL 401Sight Translation3
MLL 403Consecutive Interpretation I3
MLL 405Consecutive Interpretation II3
MLL 407Simultaneous Interpretation I3
MLL 409Simultaneous Interpretation II3


MLL 9915 Advanced Interpreting & Oral Exam Prep
Select one course in consultation with an advisor