Carnegie Mellon University

Masters in Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition

Prepare for a career in language education and research

The Master's in Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition is a one-year, intensive program preparing U.S. and international students for a range of careers in language education and research, with opportunities to specialize in language learning research and teaching in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and English as a Second Language (ESL).

Full-time and part-time enrollment options are available.

The program draws on strengths of the Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University in the areas of second language acquisition, language program administration, cultural studies, pedagogy, and technology-enhanced learning.

Graduates of the program will be eligible for employment in institutions of higher learning, in private schools or public (alternative certification) secondary schools, and in a multitude of settings in the US and abroad, especially in ESL. The MA in Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition may also lead to further graduate work in second language studies.

The MA in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition may be completed in one full-time academic year or over up to 8 semesters of part-time enrollment. The program is open to undergraduates completing their four-year degree, as well as individuals interested in applied linguistics and second language acquisition research and developing their teaching skills in language, culture, and content. No teaching experience is required.

Apply for the MA in Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition

The MA in Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition program offers a combination of intensive training in second language teaching and ample opportunities to engage in second language research.

Program at a glance:

  • 90-unit program (one year full-time); can be completed part-time
  • High-quality training in language and culture teaching
  • Extensive research opportunities with award-winning faculty
  • Multilingual and intercultural training in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish
  • Varied course offerings in program administration, educational policy, and technology-enhanced language learning (TELL)

Students in the Master's program will:

  1. Develop foundational knowledge of current second language acquisition theory and research
  2. Apply current theory and research to practice in a broad range of educational contexts
  3. Design and carry out a small-scale research project on second language development
  4. Communicate effectively about research findings, student learning outcomes, and educational practice and policy in a range of professional settings

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A Certificate in TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages; not to be confused with TESOL certification) is a qualification commonly obtained to enhance teaching opportunities abroad.

Students concentrating in ESL (English as a Second Language) in the MA in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition program are eligible to receive a Certificate in TESOL.

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Graduates of the Master's in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition will be eligible for employment in institutions of higher learning, in private schools or public (alternative certification) secondary schools, and in a multitude of settings abroad, especially in English as a Second Language (ESL). The Master's in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition may also lead to further graduate work in second language studies.

The MA in Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition is a good fit for:
  • Individuals interested in applied linguistics and second language acquisition research and developing their teaching skills in language, culture, and content. No teaching experience is required
  • Currently certified K-12 teachers interested in additional training and research experience
  • Those interested in careers in language program administration at K-12 schools, community colleges, and higher education administration

The Department of Modern Languages is part of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Learn more about Dietrich College graduate tuition costs.

All students accepted to the Master's in Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition program will be considered for competitive Modern Languages scholarships. No additional scholarship application is required.

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Contact Information

Senior Administrative Coordinator

Vera Lampley

Director, Advisor, and Faculty for the MA in Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition Program

Bonnie Youngs