Online Graduate Certificate in Spanish for Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare worker with stethoscope talking to Spanish woman.



The University of South Alabama Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literature in the College of Arts and Sciences offers a fully online graduate certificate program tailored for students in the Colleges of Nursing, Allied Health and Medicine, as well as for healthcare professionals across the region. Focusing on the multiple dimensions of effective communication (language-related, cultural and ethical), the program prepares learners to serve the growing monolingual Spanish-speaking and limited English populations (LEP) in the United States. The four-course program can be completed in three to four semesters.

Why Should Healthcare Professionals Study Spanish?

The Latino population in the U.S. is projected to double over the next 50 years, while the proportion of Latino physicians is expected to decrease over the same interval. The goal of the Graduate Certificate in Spanish for Healthcare Professionals is to train current and future generations of healthcare providers to establish effective rapport with their Spanish-speaking patients. The certificate program consists of 12 credit hours and will support clinicians, nurses, administrators and other professionals serving monolingual Spanish-speaking and LEP (Limited English Proficiency) patients. The coursework for this certificate is fully online, which benefits healthcare students and practitioners across the region, and can be completed in three to four semesters.

Application Deadline

Summer 2024: Semester Starts May 29th,  2024 (Apply before May 1)

Fall 2024: Semester Starts August 20, 2024 (Apply before August 1 )

Spring 2025: Semester Starts January 13, 2024 (Apply before December 15)

* Spots are limited.

▼   Admissions Requirements
The Graduate Certificate in Spanish for Healthcare Professionals is only for graduate students. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree.
▼   Certificate Description

The four-course program is for current and future healthcare professionals interested in building or expanding their Spanish-language and cultural skills. Each class builds on language and vocabulary at the same time as medical terminology. Besides language proficiency the program also equips students with the requisite cultural competency to treat Spanish-speaking patient populations with  sensitivity and respect in a diverse healthcare setting. The certificate will consist of 12 credit hours earned by taking three fully online courses and by doing a practicum at a University of South Alabama-approved healthcare facility either within the United States or in a Spanish-speaking country. The program breakdown is as follows:


LG 511 Introductory Spanish for Healthcare Professionals : 3 credit hours 

LG 512 Intermediate Spanish for Healthcare Professionals: 3 credit hours 

LG 513 Advanced  Spanish for Healthcare Professionals: 3 credit hours 

LG 514 Practicum Spanish for Healthcare Professionals: 3 credit hours 

▼   What You Will Learn

Students will develop both spoken and written language competency in Spanish. They will learn to establish and maintain clear, precise and effective conversations with your LEP patients in Spanish. Students will also learn to write effective, clear and precise case histories, prescriptions and other relevant reports across a wide spectrum of commonly encountered medical scenarios in Spanish.

While in the certificate program, students will acquire cultural competency on economic, social and cultural facets of Spanish-speaking populations. They will do so by gaining familiarity with social and cultural issues that may influence the overall well-being of Hispanic patients and also shaping these patients' responses to the treatment protocols. Students will also be able to identify how cultural beliefs and practices shape ethical considerations in the Spanish-speaking world. Students will learn to employ these insights in analyzing ethically difficult situations. And through the practicum, students will apply the acquired language and cultural skills in a healthcare facility serving a Spanish-speaking patient population.

▼   Program Faculty

Dr. Zoya Khan
Spanish Section Head
Telephone: (251) 461-1360

▼   La Pagina de Recursos Sanitarios/Healthcare Resources Page

Esta base de datos completa proporciona información sobre una amplia gama de temas de atención médica en español.

This comprehensive database provides information about a broad variety of healthcare topics in Spanish. 

▼   Media Coverage 

Over the three years of its existence, the graduate Certificate in Spanish for Healthcare Professional has touched many lives. It is gratifying to see how the  Certificate helps healthcare providers communicate better with their patients.  Here are two examples: 

1. Spanish certificate program helps USA Health providers connect with patients

2. USA Health Physician Shares Perspective as Student in South’s New Spanish for Healthcare Professionals Graduate Certificate Program