Professional Opportunities

Legal, Medical, and Community Interpreting Certificate Program in Mandarin Chinese

The Legal, Medical, and Community Interpreting Certificate Program in Mandarin Chinese, administered by the University’s Center for Professional Education, began training interpreters in Mandarin Chinese in 2006. Students and instructors meet on Saturday mornings over the course of a year for a minimum of 144 class hours taught by professional interpreters.

Professional interpreters are increasingly in demand in courts, hospitals, and service agencies, as well as in legal and administrative offices. In order to provide the quality training necessary for this important occupation, Boston University’s Center for Professional Education offers a well-established and highly respected certificate program in interpretation.

Graduates of the community interpreting section go on to work in education, social services, industry, public relations, and local government issues and affairs. In the legal interpreting section, instructors present students with a wide range of legal scenarios — including criminal court sessions, depositions, financial affairs, and hearings before immigration authorities — along with the fundamentals of legal processes and legal terminology. Medical interpreting students are prepared for the field through case studies, role-playing, and a review of medical procedures.

The program also offers Spanish and Portuguese, in addition to Mandarin.

Program Details

Program Dates

Classes for Chinese speakers begin each September.


Student must have a fluent command of English as well as Chinese. Prospective students demonstrate their verbal and written communication skills through testing in order to be accepted into the program. All classes meet on Saturday mornings, and most students complete the program within 12 to 18 months. Upon completion, students may choose to participate in an internship.