MA + Translation Certificate

MA in French/Italian/Spanish + Graduate Certificate in Translation

Students pursuing this combination will simultaneously complete a language MA, offered by the department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and a Graduate Certificate in Translation, offered by the Translation Research and Instruction Program (TRIP).

Intended for students interested in the theory and practice of translation, this combination is designed around four main goals, to provide students:

  1. Preparation in the target language and culture;

  2. Tools to succeed in the process of translating texts from a foreign language; 3) the opportunity to develop as self-aware translators, who are informed by theories for their own translation choices and voices, and 4) one-on-one mentorship and practical learning as they develop original translations.

In addition to their graduate courses in the language of specialization, students will take courses and practical workshops on Translation. To gain professional experience, students pursuing this combined option will have the opportunity to work as volunteer interpreters and translators at Binghamton University's Multicultural Resource Center (MRC).

Students combining a language MA and a Certificate in Translation may optionally take summer and winter language courses to finish both trainings earlier. Students in the accelerated language BA/MA program are also welcome to pursue the option that combines their graduate degree with the TRIP Graduate Certificate in Translation.

The coursework required for this combination is as follows:




Spanish, French or Italian culture/literature/linguistics


Introduction to Translation Studies



Non-Literary Translation Workshop
Literary Translation Workshop
Total courses



  • French/Italian/Spanish MA Exam: In preparation for the exam, students review representative works of their language's literary traditions, included in a core reading list. On the day of the exam, students will develop at least two questions (out of three or four choices) on the texts included in the core reading list. Exams are taken in the Romance Languages and Literatures department, with a time limit of 2 hours per question. Students will answer the questions in writing and will have access to dictionaries and primary sources only.

  • Graduate Certificate in Translation:

  1. Translation Practice Exam: Students complete an original translation to demonstrate their ability to translate at a professional level, which means they can produce publishable translations without faculty supervision.

    Students must take and pass a minimum of one translation practice exam into the student's native language. Students choose whether their exam content will be literary or non-literary text. If desired, students may elect to take up to three additional practice exams, first in the option they did not select for translating into their native language (literary or non-literary) and then in the reverse order for both literary and non-literary texts. If a student's first translation practice exam is a literary exam from Spanish to English, the subsequent exams would be a non-literary exam from Spanish to English, a literary exam from English into Spanish, and a non-literary exam from English into Spanish. Students' TRIP Certificate will list the exams that a student has passed, outlining the language combination and the literary and non-literary content.

  2. Theory and Copyright Exam: This 72-hour take home exam is comprised of two components: the translation theory exam (based on TRIP 580A) and the copyright exam.

Admission Requirements and Application:

Students are expected to have an adequate written command of English, into which they will generally be required to translate, as well as a near-native command of a second language, which will generally be their source language. To declare your intent to pursue the certificate, and to discuss your translation coursework, please contact Beth Polzin, TRIP Coordinator.