For globally minded students interested in languages and translation, the University of Iowa is the place to be!

Translation majors learn to critically think about the art and craft that is converting written materials from one language to another. Students will come to understand the role Translation has in areas such as world languages, literature, and global affairs. Engagement in Translation offers the opportunity to interact and collaborate with like-minded peers.

What is Translation about?

Translation is, at its essence, the process of converting meaning from one language to another. It plays a vital role in just about every facet of our increasingly global society, including literature, arts, and culture; business and communication; diplomacy and service; and science, medicine, and technology. Iowa's Translation major approaches translation as a crucial dimension of global literacy.

Why Iowa?

The University of Iowa is internationally known as ‘The Writing University’, and Iowa’s MFA in Literary Translation is the largest and strongest graduate program of its kind. Iowa also held the first-ever translation workshop in a U.S. academic institution here in the mid-1960s.

This will be the first BA in Translation to be offered at a Research 1 university in the U.S., building on the success of Iowa’s undergraduate minor in Translation for Global Literacy. Iowa offers many other Programs of Study that complement Translation study and coursework, including areas such as World Languages, Creative Writing, International Relations, International Studies, International Business, or Global Health.

Iowa provides students the opportunity to learn from prize-winning experts and interact with Translators in Residence, as well as alumni and current students in the MFA in Literary Translation program.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


  Four-Year Graduation Plan
Admission Process

Careers and Outcomes

Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.

Iowa Translation students graduate with valuable career competencies. Graduates work in a variety of capacities in the publishing industry, receive fellowships to travel and work/teach abroad, and pursue graduate education and training in literary, legal, medical, or business translation. Pairing Translation with another area of study only expands these possibilities.

Student Opportunities

In addition to having nearly 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Living-Learning Communities, Study Abroad Programs, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

As a Translation major, you will have the opportunity to:

  • read and discuss fascinating texts
  • translate texts
  • collaborate in translation workshops
  • join the student-led "Translate Iowa Project"
  • Study Abroad

The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college.

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.


At Iowa, you’ll collaborate with your peers in Translation workshops where you will learn and improve by exchanging feedback. You’ll also have Study Abroad and professional internship or mentorship opportunities with renowned professional translators. Studying Translation at Iowa provides you with career counseling relevant to your fields of interest to prepare you for your next steps, whether that is joining the workforce or continuing your education through the Graduate College to earn your MFA in Literary Translation.