Frequently Asked Questions
Does the MA in Applied SLA lead to secondary certification?
No. There are many MAT (Masters in the Arts of Teaching) programs that lead to secondary certification. The MA in Applied SLA 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?
Only candidates intending to teach in a second language will be asked to participate in an interview. For example, if you are a native speaker of English intending to train as a teacher of French, you must be interviewed. If you are a native speaker of Chinese intending to train as a teacher of Chinese, no interview is required. If, however, you are a native speaker of Chinese intending to train as a teacher of English as a Second Language you will need to be interviewed before final acceptance.
Where should all documents be sent?
All materials related to the application 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 around the world, and especially in China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
How should I submit the audio recording?
Your audio recording should be made in a quiet environment and saved in either MP3 or WAV digital formats (Audacity is free software allowing you to do this), labeled with your name and uploaded with other documentation with your application.
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, (s)he would be automatically considered in the second-choice pool.
Can I get credit for courses taken as an undergraduate or at another institution?
The simple answer to this question is no. There are two resident semesters required, with a tightly structured curriculum designed specifically for this program, of which some courses must be taken in tandem. 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. In exceptional circumstances, mentored adjunct status may be possible in the spring semester for students with extensive teaching experience prior to enrollment. This would then count as the second practicum course (82-894).