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College of Humanities & Sciences

School of World Studies

SETI students create subtitles in class. [View Image]

About SETI

We offer Virginia’s only certificate program in Spanish-English Translation and Interpretation more commonly known as SETI. To enroll in SETI, you must demonstrate 400-level Spanish proficiency, either through the successful completion of coursework or by passing the Avant Stamp assessment testAfter completing the course requirements outlined in the VCU bulletin, you must pass an Exit Exam to receive the SETI certificate. (To schedule an exit exam, email professors Indira Sultanić and Patricia Michelsen-King with “Exit Exam Request” in the subject line.)

Our program combines translation and interpreting theory with applied practice helping you make it real by using your translation and interpretation skills in a variety of community settings. As a SETI student, you have ample opportunity for meaningful engagement with the local community through volunteering, and a specialized SETI internship.

You will learn the skills necessary to be successful language professionals through the study of: linguistics, translation and interpreting theory; research methods; cultural mediation; Computer-Assisted Translation tools; simultaneous interpretation; consecutive interpretation; and sight translation.



Spanish has the second largest number of native speakers in the world with roughly 41 million of those native speakers living in the United States. The United States already has the second highest number of Spanish speakers in the world and is estimated to take the top spot by 2050. Given the statistics, it’s no wonder there’s a high demand for professional  translation and interpreting services in this country and abroad.

A SETI certificate gives you the competitive edge to work in many fields, not just the language industry. In healthcare, project management and business, working knowledge of Spanish boosts employees’ earnings and opportunities, particularly with multinational firms. Please see Professional Paths below for more information.

SETI graduates have gone on to win Fulbright Scholarships, obtain master’s and doctoral level degrees and work as translators, interpreters, teachers, project managers, medical doctors; and paralegals.


Beyond VCU


By itself, the SETI certificate qualifies you for well-paid employment opportunities in various fields. The certificate also equips you with the skills needed to further pursue the following specialized certifications: state and federal court; national healthcare interpreter; and translation certification.

Professional Paths

Many of our SETI certificate holders have gone on to work in the language industry as translators and interpreters. Just as many work outside the language industry in fields where bilingual speakers are highly prized such as healthcare, marketing, project management, education and finance.


Our Faculty

SETI faculty include a nationally certified healthcare interpreter and translator as well as a federally certified court interpreter. They bring both their academic and professional expertise to the classroom to provide you with a well-rounded and diverse understanding of translation and interpretation.


Other Resources

Virginia State Courts

U.S. Federal Courts

American Translators Association

American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association

National Council on Interpreting in Health Care

Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters

The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters

National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators

International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies

European Society for Translation Studies

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