Carnegie Mellon University

Graduate Programs

The Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon offers two graduate programs, a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and a Masters in Applied Second Language Acquisition.

Masters in Applied Second Language Acquisition

The Masters in Applied Second Language Acquisition is a one-year intensive program preparing U.S. and international students for careers in second language teaching in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and English as a Second Language (ESL). The program draws on strengths of the Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon in the areas of second-language acquisition, cultural studies, pedagogy, and technology-enhanced learning.

Graduates of our program have continued their studies by entering Ph.D. programs at schools including the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Iowa State University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Others have gone on to teach at universities or at primary, secondary, or private schools including Boston University; Case Western Reserve; the Hearn Academy in Phoenix; Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh; the University of Mississippi; the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia; William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia; Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School; and others. Several have taught online, and one is implementing a new ESL program in South Korea.

Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition

The Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) program provides students and future professionals with a theoretical grounding in linguistics and cognitive sciences, coupled with broad training in qualitative and quantitative research methodology. The goal of the program is to create independent and insightful researchers capable of using analytical and empirical methods to illuminate and understand the acquisition, use, and maintenance of second languages.

Since the program was established in 1997, virtually all graduates have begun postdoctoral research or transitioned into a teaching position immediately following graduation. Many received lecturer or tenure-track positions at schools including Ball State University, Brandeis University, Brigham Young University, California State University at Long Beach, Duke University, Georgia State University, Kent State University, Michigan State University, Pomona College, the University of Arizona, the University of California San Diego, the University of Kansas, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the University of Washington. Several have stepped into leadership roles at their respective institutions, for example, serving as associate chair or director of a language program in their department.