Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does the MA in Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition (ALSLA) lead to secondary certification?
No. There are many MAT (Masters in the Arts of Teaching) programs that lead to secondary certification. The Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition targets higher education teaching opportunities as a first option, though non-certified opportunities at the secondary level also exist.
Is an interview required of all students accepted into the program?
Students should be rated at the advanced-high level (ACTFL) in the language that they intend to teach. The admissions committee may request an interview.
Where should all documents be sent?
All application materials will be submitted online.
How many students are admitted each year?
The total number of students may vary between five and ten each year.
Will I be able to get a job with this degree?
Placements of MA graduates have included the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, Young Scholars of Pennsylvania, Boston University, Middlebury College, the Hearn Academy in Phoenix, Case Western University, Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar, the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University and Canterbury Upper School in St. Petersburg, among others. Additionally, many MA graduates have continued on to doctoral study in the U.S. (University of Illinois, Iowa State University, University of California at Irvine, University of Arizona, Michigan State University) or abroad (Great Britain, Spain). While potential for employment will vary by language and by individual graduate, our experience shows that our graduates are competitive for positions at four-year universities. Community colleges tend not to advertise nationally, so job prospects are more difficult to estimate in that area, but are not insignificant. Demand for qualified teachers in private secondary schools has been consistent. In international ESL (English as a Second Language) education, opportunities for graduates with training are significant at all levels in the United States, and especially in China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
How should I submit the audio recording?
Use the application portal to record a three-minute unscripted audio recording in the language in which you intend to teach (one recording for each language selected on the Language of Interest page in the application portal), describing both your language experience and professional goals.
Can I apply in more than one language?
It is possible to apply in more than one language, but applicants should indicate their priority during the application process. An applicant might first be considered in the ESL pool, for example. If accepted in that pool, the applicant would not be considered in other language pools (Spanish, for example). If, however, the applicant was not admissible in the first choice pool, they would be automatically considered in the second-choice pool.
Can I get credit for courses taken as an undergraduate or at another institution?
This is not recommended due to the fact that the curriculum is tightly structured curriculum designed specifically for this program; in addition, some courses must be taken in tandem. The two resident semesters (ten courses total) required for the MA do not allow time for courses outside of the program. Possible exceptions might include an SLA core course taken early by a CMU undergraduate, or an appropriate graduate-level elective taken at another institution. Approval will be given on a case-by-case basis by the Program Director. Such approval will not affect the two-semester resident requirement, nor will it have an impact on program cost.
Is it possible to enroll on a part-time basis?
Part-time enrollment may be possible for qualified applicants. Contact the Program Director.
Are TA positions available to MA students?
No. TA-ships are not available to MA students. However, other on-campus employment opportunities exist, including a role as a consultant in the Student Academic Success Center (SASC) for students who enroll in the fall mini-course and are subsequently trained as consultants.