Multidisciplinary Studies with Medical Interpreter Concentration

  • Credits: 120
  • Degree:
    Bachelor of Arts

Program Description

The baccalaureate program in multidisciplinary studies at Cambridge College is a flexible option for students who are attending college for the first time or returning after years away. The program develops academic and workplace skills for success and knowledge across a variety of academic fields. It is ideal for students who have broad academic interests and a desire to continue enhancing their knowledge throughout their lives. The program is very flexible, supporting each student’s interests with a wide selection of liberal arts courses to choose from.

Students learn about anatomy, diagnoses, lab tests, prescription medicines, and medical treatments. They learn about the cultural beliefs and values of all parties and their role as interpreter, the history of medicine in the U.S., and medical insurance. They learn about the legislation that has mandated interpreter services in medical/health settings.Students practice ethical decision making, patient/client advocacy, and conflict mediation in preparation for an internship under the supervision of a professional interpreter/mentor.Some students and their families have experienced difficulties getting the medical care they need in the U.S., due to language barriers. Some have had medical education or related work experience in their home countries. They all want to help people get the medical care they need, who have difficulty communicating with English-speaking medical professionals.

Degree Credit Option

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program may take medical interpreting courses with the understanding that these courses are part of their degree program and will be charged the bachelor’s degree tuition. Students who do not complete the bachelor’s degree will be held responsible for the bachelor’s degree tuition costs of all courses taken, in accordance with federal financial aid guidelines.

Program Outcomes

Specific learning outcomes of the Multidisciplinary Studies degree program include:

  • Critical Thinking, Logic, and Analysis
  • Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning
  • Written and Oral Communication
  • Information Literacy and Computer Sciences
  • Understanding of the scope and relevance of the arts and humanities throughout history and within contemporary society
  • Integration of Scientific Thought and Analysis 
  • Understanding of intercultural and intra-cultural concepts within the social sciences

Students will learn how to meet the communication needs of patients/clients and providers. They will:

  • Become fluent in the bilingual terminology of human anatomy and the medical/health field.
  • Increase their fluency in English.
  • Develop cross-cultural communication and interpreting skills.
  • Provide effective interpretation in medical/health settings.

Careers and Further Study

Students will develop competnecy in the concepts and methods of critical thinking, and will gain the skills necessary to navigate and manage complex systems, obtain fulfilling employment, and compete in the working world. Students will develop persuasive oral communication and writing skills and be prepared to utilize them in their employment and graduate study. With these transferrable skills and broad-based knowledge, our graduates are equipped to take on new and unforeseen challenges in this fast-paced and quickly changing world.

Our graduates go on to a wide variety of careers, often working in schools, community organizations and services, government agencies, and businesses. Many go on to graduate study in fields ranging from education, to law, to business management.

Graduates get jobs as medical interpreters in hospitals, clinics, medical practices, and interpreter agencies. For some, this is their career goal. For others, interpreting is a good transition into other medical careers. They may become more familiar with the American medical community and network within it, improve their English, and get further medical education and credentials.


General Education - required courses

WRT101-102 and MAT101-102 may by waived if equivalent courses have been accepted in transfer. Credits will be replaced with open electives. WRT201 required if both WRT101-102 are waived; not required for students completing WRT101-102 at Cambridge. WRT090 and MAT100 required if assessment indicates need.

Principles and Processes of Adult Learning
LRN 175 3 credit(s)
Students explore theories of adult learning. They clarify the fit between their academic program and their learning and career needs, and see how their prior learning fits in. They assess their academic skills of critical thinking, mathematics, writing, and computer literacy. Students become independent learners who can effectively manage the structures, processes and expectations of undergraduate education.
College Writing I
WRT 101 3 credit(s)
Through challenging readings, class discussion, small group col­laboration, and different forms of writing, students learn the skills and process of “thinking on paper.” They learn to construct an argument or discussion that supports a clear thesis and present it effectively in a well-organized essay that observes the conventions of written English. They write academic papers that analyze and synthesize the issues suggested in two or more readings. Critical reading, critical thinking, research skills, and forms of documentation are also introduced.
Foundations of Critical Thinking
CTH 225 3 credit(s)
We learn to engage in reasoned thinking. We learn to formulate hypotheses; conceive and state definitions, and understand logical consistency and inconsistency. We explore the differences between claims of fact, value, and policy; what constitutes credible evidence; the nature of assumptions. We learn what constitutes a persuasive argument as opposed to an emotive and propagandistic one, and critically examine them. Students learn to present clear, well thought out critical arguments in writing and oral presentations. We look at the relationships among thinking, writing, speaking and listening, laying a strong foundation for improving our capacity to write, speak, and listen well.
College Mathematics I
MAT 101 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MAT100 If assessment indicates need. This course introduces students to the value of mathematics for students’ career and educational goals. Students will acquire mathematical study skills, gain strategies for problem solving, and develop a sound foundation for future mathematics coursework. The course is structured towards engaging students in active, applied, and real-life learning in order to facilitate mathematical problem solving and conceptual understanding.
Introduction to Computer Applications
CMP 130 3 credit(s)
Assessment available. This course provides a hands-on introduction to the personal computer, Windows, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software, the Internet, and an overview of Word, Excel and Power-Point uses. Students begin with the basics of each application and progress through intermediate level.
College Writing II
WRT 102 3 credit(s)
WRT102 acquaints students with the academic research paper as both process and product. The course begins with an intensive review of the strategies and techniques for writing an academic essay that are covered in WRT101 and then moves to selecting and narrowing a topic, preliminary research, and establishing a focus for a 12-15 page argument research paper. The final paper includes an abstract, an introduction, discussion, conclusion, and references. Students learn how to write an annotated bibliography and use APA documentation for in-text citations and references.
College Mathematics II
MAT 102 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: MAT101 If assessment indicates need. Challenge exam available. This course develops students’ mathematical thinking and problem solving around issues of both mathematical content and process. Students will acquire a conceptual and practical understanding of and familiarity with numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and basic data analysis and probability. The course focuses on supporting students’ understanding of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, and representations. A key feature of the course is active student involvement to support communicating mathematics in everyday and academic contexts.
General Education - distribution requirements

Arts & Humanities - 6 credits

Natural & Physical Sciences - 6 credits

Social Sciences - 6 credits

Open Electives

Choose electives and/or concentrations to support your academic interests and professional goals. (Course prerequisites must also be met.)

Liberal Arts Major

Upper level courses (300 level and above) distributed by area:

Arts & Humanities - at least 9 credits

Natural & Physical Sciences - at least 9 credits

Social Sciences - at least 9 credits

Multidisciplinary Studies Capstone
BAM 490 3 credit(s)
Prerequisites: 90 credits minimum, including WRT101 and WRT102. The Capstone is a comprehensive research project which is the culminating academic activity that helps to synthesize students’ learning in the undergraduate multidisciplinary program. It is an opportunity to explore a topic of personal or professional interest in the field of multidisciplinary studies and to create an original project or piece of research that contributes to the field. The Capstone is 25-30 pages in length and follows a research paper format appropriate to the field of study. Students work together in class and meet or communicate individually with the instructor as needed. Those who take an additional term to complete the Capstone must register for BAM491 and pass before graduating.
Medical Interpreter Concentration

Concentration accepted as open electives (see above).

Medical Interpreter Anatomy and Pathophysiology
INT 100 3 credit(s)
(Formerly SCI100) This course surveys the human body in health and disease in order to expose students who plan to work in health care to the major systems of the body, common diseases, diagnostic tests, pharmaceuticals and treatment options. Students learn how to define complex medical terms, concepts and abbreviations, and apply this knowledge according to their area of interest.
The Role of the Interpreter
INT 415 3 credit(s)
(Formerly SOC415) This course focuses on the history of health care and social work, various cultures within our society, and the role of medical interpreters in the United States. Issues about advocacy that often impinge upon the interpreter-client relationship are examined. Students learn about confidentiality, patient rights, ethical and legal issues, as well as laws governing federal and state human-service agencies.
Interpreting Skills I Multilingual
INT 352 3 credit(s)
(Formerly COM352) Multilingual. Prerequisite: proficiency in other languages. Students already fluent in the language will learn the theoretical basis of interpretation and translation, and applied interpreting skills and techniques for medical or human service settings. Emphasis is placed on bilingual vocabulary and phraseology, and practice of interpreting skills through role play.
Cross Cultural Communications
INT 412 3 credit(s)
(Formerly SOC-412) This course provides the participants with the opportunity to identify cross-cultural issues and their impact on the medical interpretation encounter. Students will analyze concepts such as communication, culture, cultural identity, non-verbal communication and cultural context related to interpretation. Readings of selected short stories that illustrate cross-cultural concepts will provide the basis for cultural contextual analysis.
Interpreting Skills II Multilingual
INT 355 3 credit(s)
(Formerly COM355.) Prerequisites: Interpreting Skills I, LLIC010/INT100 . Students integrate and apply the interpretation and translation theory learned in Skills I through extensive practice of simulations, predominantly in the consecutive mode. Students learn self-monitoring and coping strategies. They continue to develop bilingual medical and human service vocabulary and phraseology as well as explore the challenges of simultaneous interpretation.
Interpreter Internship
INT 300 3 credit(s)
Prerequisites: LLIC010/INT100, LLIC011/INT415, and Interpreting Skills I. Students strengthen and refine their interpreting skills at a local internship site. They are evaluated for ability to work with providers and clients and to demonstrate understanding of service protocols in their field. In addition to completing the internship in the field, students also participate in debriefing seminars at the college to share and reflect on the meaning of the internship experience.

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor

Adjunct Instructor



  • Admission Test:

    Passing grade on TOEFL (English language proficiency test) is required for international students.

  • Admissions Office:
  • Application:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)

General Requirements

Official Transcript: High school or GED
One Completed Recommendation Form
Personal Statement

Learn more about General Requirements 

State Requirements

College students are required to comply with state laws regarding individual health insurance and immunization. Compliance requirements currently exist for students in Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee. Learn more

International Students – Additional Requirements

International Students will need to complete supplemental documentation when applying. International transcripts must also be translated prior to submission in order to be evaluated for applicability. Learn more about international student requirements.

Transfer Credit Request Form

Only needed if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer credit. Learn more about transferring credits.


  • Credits:
  • Cost per credit hour:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)
  • Graduation Fee:
    $110 (charged in last term)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $1,497 (Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.)

Note: Rates are as of September 2013, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

Grants, Scholarships and Loans

Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

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