The Master’s in Applied Linguistics is a 30-credit program that must be completed within a five year period from the time of matriculation.  In order to remain active, students need to take one course per semester. In order to complete the elective requirements (two courses) students may take courses in the summer semester or an additional course during the fall or spring semesters. Upon completion of all coursework, students must also complete a four-hour written comprehensive exam that assesses their understanding of and ability to use all of the content of the coursework of this program.

The program has four components:

(1) Core Requirements (students are required to take six courses):
APLING 601 Linguistics
APLING 603 Cross-Cultural Perspectives
APLING 605 Theories and Principles of Language Teaching
APLING 621 Psycholinguistics
APLING 623 Sociolinguistics
APLING 698 Field Experience

Choose a concentration from the choices below and complete the required courses for that concentration:

ESL Studies (ESL)
APLING 618 Teaching ESL: Methods and Approaches
APLING 614 Foundations of Bilingual/Multicultural Education

Foreign Language Pedagogy (FL)
APLING 611 Methods and Materials in Foreign Language Education
APLING 612 Integrating Culture into the Language Curriculum

Bilingual Education Concentration (BE)
APLING 615 Methods and Materials in Bilingual Education
APLING 616 Curriculum Development in Bilingual Education


(2) Electives
Students have the option to take two courses as electives in related disciplines that complement their specialization in one of the three concentration areas. The program offers a variety of elective courses to students in all three tracks. Students from one track may enroll in required courses from another track and count those credits toward their electives. 

(3) Final Exercise
All students who are degree candidates must successfully pass a four-hour long written comprehensive exam as part of their capstone requirement.

(4) Field Experience
The field experience is required of all students who have had no on-site teaching experience. This requirement can be satisfied through teaching in University undergraduate ESL classes, in a public school system, at a private language institute, or at a community agency. Students, who are currently teaching or have had substantial experience teaching in a language classroom, may apply for a waiver of the Field Experience requirement. If students obtain a waiver, they must replace the field experience with a 3-credit elective course in order to complete the 30 graduate credits required for your degree.

Transfer Credit
Applicants who have completed graduate course work at other accredited institutions may transfer toward the completion of a UMass Boston graduate degree up to 6 credits from such courses in which the applicant received a grade of B or higher. Applicants who have completed graduate course work at UMass Boston as a non-degree student may transfer toward the completion of a UMass Boston graduate degree up to 6 credits from such courses in which the applicant received a grade of B or higher.

These courses may be accepted for transfer provided that they:

  • Have not been used to fulfill requirements for another degree
  • Were earned no more than seven years before matriculation in the program into which the student wishes to transfer credit
  • All grade must be a B or higher,  "Pass" is not acceptable grade
  • Transferred courses cannot be used to substitute core courses, they can count only as electives
  • Prior course work must be equivalent and relevant to course work offered in the program for transfer credit to be awarded

The combined total of courses transferred from other institutions and from UMass Boston courses taken as a non-degree student may not exceed 12 credits.

Accepted students who wish to take non-degree courses in the semester between acceptance and matriculation that will take them over the 6-credit transfer limit may petition their program director to grant them a Pre-Matriculation Transfer Waiver. Students should consult with their advisors about transferring credits. 

Transfer credit is subject to the final approval of the graduate program director and the Dean of Graduate Studies.