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 Language, Culture, and Identity
APLING 605 Theories and Principles of Language Teaching
APLING 621 Psycholinguistics
APLING 623 Sociolinguistics
APLING 690 Field Experience

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

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

Foreign Language Instruction
APLING 611 Methods and Materials in Foreign Language Education
APLING 612 Integrating Culture into the Language Curriculum


(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) 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.

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

(b) Students may consider the option to write a thesis. They must have a grade point average of 3.5 or better. They must take at least one research methods course, and must demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research. Students who pursue the thesis option must have been invited do so by a professor who decides for a variety of reasons to invite the student to complete the thesis under his/her supervision (e.g., is aware of the student’s research interests, believes it would be worthwhile to expand on the student’s coursework or term project, is aware of the student’s superior research skills, writing skills, and willingness to take on an ambitious task requiring much time and effort on the part of all involved parties). It is important to note: Under no circumstances may the thesis serve as an alternative to the comprehensive exam in the event that a student fails the exam on the first or second try. Please see our thesis handbook for more information.



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:

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.