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College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies

109 Satterfield Hall
Tel: 330-672-2150


The Bachelor of Science in Translation is a pre-professional program designed for students who are seeking the more professional focus and interdisciplinary breadth that the B.S. degree offers with the inclusion of a minor or double major to develop the skills needed to use foreign language translation in a professional setting. It introduces the basics of translation theory as it applies to the actual practice of translation. The program comprises core translation courses and offers concentrations in French, German, Russian and Spanish to ensure competence in a foreign language. Graduates may enter graduate programs in translation (the professional degree) or go on to work for government, business or industry, for translation agencies or as freelance translators.

The requirement of a minor, certificate or second major enables students to acquire a level of expertise in a specific field in which they can specialize as translators. This degree also enables students to have a major and a minor that make them more competitive and prepares them for a sector that the U.S. Department of Labor projects as one of the fastest-growing sectors globally. Translation majors are strongly encouraged to undertake study in a country where their language concentration is spoken so that they can achieve the necessary proficiency level. Skills necessary include an excellent command of the source language, an excellent command of the target language, cultural knowledge, specialist knowledge, research competence, terminological competence, technological competence, an understanding of the translation industry and transfer competence.

Many study abroad opportunities exist, including:

France: Université Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux III, Bordeaux (all class standings, all majors/minors)
Germany: Julius-Maximilian-Universität Würzburg, Würzbug (all class standings, all majors/minors)
Germany: Universität Leipzig, Leipzig (intermediate German language proficiency required)
Spain: Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid (all class standings, all majors/minors)
Spain: Universidad Europea de Valencia, Valencia

Career Opportunities

Translators provide products and services, and work with written documents, as distinguished from interpreters, who work as oral language mediators. Most practitioners pursue one field or the other; it is less common to work in both. Interpreters and translators are employed in a variety of industries: schools, colleges and universities; healthcare and social assistance, especially hospitals; and government, such as Federal, State and local courts. Other employers of interpreters and translators include interpreting and translation agencies. Many translators will require on-the-job training in addition to Kent State's pre-professional B.S. in Translation. Translators work predominantly in the mother tongue. Many companies prefer to hire employees who can function in more than one language and who can handle language transfer tasks (i.e. translate or interpret).

Translation is one of the top ten fastest-growing business sectors worldwide, with demand rising at 25-30 percent per annum. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014) projects a 46 percent growth in employment for translators and interpreters with bachelor's degrees, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 26 percent of interpreters and translators are self-employed, and thus majors should have a strong foundation in entrepreneurship; those who want to work in-house should be aware that such opportunities are decreasing due to outsourcing and vendor consolidation. Many translators rely on other sources of income to supplement earnings, such as teaching or language consultancy. The career outlook is best for those who gain a functional ability with translation tools and value-added skills such as revising/editing/proofreading and desktop publishing. Prospects are currently strong in software internationalization and webpage localization (making products, text or images acceptable to target-country market norms). Freelancers can become certified through accrediting bodies such as the American Translators Association, or through state or federal bodies at the national level for interpreters. Growth projections for the coming decade are much higher than for other sectors.

Admission Requirements

General Admissions for Freshman Students: Admission Requirements at the Kent Campus: The freshman admission policy at the Kent Campus is selective. Admission decisions are based upon the following: cumulative grade point average, ACT and/or SAT scores, strength of high school college preparatory curriculum and grade trends. The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities and access to students with varied backgrounds, those with special talents and adult students who graduated from high school three or more years ago. For more information on admissions, visit the admissions website for new freshmen.

For more information about admission criteria for transfer, transitioning and former students, please visit the admissions website.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 120 total credit hours and 42 upper-division credit hours. Minimum 2.000 overall GPA and 2.000 major GPA.