Master's Degree in Applied Linguistics: Program Information

Applied linguistics is the study of how individuals view language at a cultural level. Students analyze the importance of language, as well as how language is learned, taught, used, impacted or developed among cultures and individuals.

Essential Information

A master's degree program in applied linguistics promotes students' knowledge and proficiency in language and linguistics. Both online and traditional learning formats are available. Students are expected to complete a thesis or final project related to applied linguistics. Individuals must also speak two other non-native languages to properly complete the program, so extensive language study as an undergraduate is necessary. Students enrolled in an online program need to conduct fieldwork on their own time and take comprehensive exams at the school. Graduates apply for work as postsecondary teachers, interpreters and communications professionals. This degree takes approximately three years to complete.

Master's degree programs in applied linguistics require applicants to have previously obtained a bachelor's degree in a field related to applied linguistics. Also, programs request applicants submit transcripts from all prior colleges attended, as well as GRE scores.

Master's Degree in Applied Linguistics

Students entering a master's degree program in applied linguistics can expect to enhance their understanding of how language impacts human life. Individuals take courses in theoretical, psychological, and foundational subjects, in order to learn about the sociological and ethnographical topics in linguistics. Students choose to pursue a concentration in second language learning or foreign languages.

While studying applied linguistics, students take courses improving their skills and providing them with knowledge in language, literacy, research and theory. Students explore linguistics through courses including:

  • Phonetics and sign language
  • Cognitive development and language
  • Bilingualism and language teaching
  • Neurolinguistics and language disorders
  • Language and literacy
  • Methods in foreign language instruction

Popular Career Options

With skills in bilingualism and an understanding in language development, individuals with master's degrees in applied linguistics are prepared for careers in communications, education, writing and linguistics fields. More specifically, individuals can find jobs as:

  • Interpreters
  • Adult literacy teachers
  • Postsecondary foreign language teachers
  • Writers

Continuing Education

Students who earn a master's degree in applied linguistics can go on to earn a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics. These programs can prepare students for professional positions in a research or university setting, and they commonly incorporate additional fields of study, including technology or TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages).

Master's programs in applied linguistics will allow students to study language as it exists in human culture and society. Students interested in this degree can pursue a variety of careers in teaching, research, interpretation, and writing.

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