HCI Students around a table
Nora Teaching
Carmen Reading


The CCSF Health Care Interpreter Certificate (HCI) is widely accepted by hospitals and clinics in Northern California. Additionally the HCI program will program will provide students with the required skills and knowledge for success in the 2 National Certification Exams listed below. Previous HCI graduates who have taken these exams have done extremely well.

Graduates of the HCI program may choose to take these 2 National Certification examinations which are relatively new and not currently required by hospitals. Both exams require training and experience before the examinations.

The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters:


and the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters:


Currently there is not a California state certification for Health Care Interpreting, although there is one for Medical Interpreting Certificate used exclusively for legal/medical issues (like Workers Comp).

CAREERS: Most California Interpreters are HCI's and work as freelancers in a variety of settings; public, private and university hospitals, outpatient clinics, health plans, mental health services, telephone interpreting services, language services agencies, small enterprise opportunities. For more information about Careers for HCI graduates see the FAQ section.

CREDIT CURRICULUM: The Curriculum for the Health Care Interpreter Certificate is designed to train bilingual and bicultural students to develop the awareness, knowledge and skills necessary for effective language interpretation in health care settings.  Through academic preparation, practical skills training and service in community based health care settings and educational organizations, certificate candidates learn:

a) roles and responsibilities of a health care interpreter;
b) basic knowledge of common medical conditions, treatments and procedures;
c) insight in language and cultural nuances for specific communities;
d) application of interpreting skills in English and language of service.

Admission Requirements
Enroll and successful completion of HLTH 84 (.5 unit course)

Required Courses
Following the sucessful completion of HLTH 84, students enroll in:
HLTH 80 Interpreting in Health Care Settings I
HLTH 81 Interpreting in Health Care Settings II
HLTH 82 Field Experience in Health Care Interpreting

Recommended Courses
Prior to enrollment or during the first semester:

HIT 51 Basic Medical Terminology (1unit)
ANAT 14 Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology (4units)
PHYS 12 Introduction to Human Physiology (4units)

Requirements for Certificate of Completion
Complete each course with a grade of "C" or higher.

For more information see the FAQ section, call the program directly at (415) 452-5158 or the Health Education Department at (415) 239-3220.