30 credit hours | Available in Spanish | Full-time (12 months) or Part-time
The Master of Science in Applied Language and Intercultural Studies (MS-ALIS), offered by the School of Modern Languages, is one of the first professional master’s degrees in foreign language and cultural studies in the United States. It emphasizes the real-world professional applications of language for a wide range of career paths, from communications and non-profit to business, engineering, and medicine. In addition to rigorous training in advanced-level language and cross-cultural communication, students have the opportunity to go abroad to study, do research, and complete for-credit internships. Students graduate with a professional portfolio in the language of concentration, positioning them to pursue a range of internationally oriented career paths.
Additional Tracks in development: French (2020), German (2020), Chinese (2021), Japanese (2021), and Russian (2021).
Current Georgia Tech Students: The MS-ALIS is a standalone 30-credit hour MS degree. For information about our 5-year BS/MS-ALIS for current majors, please click here.
Program of Study
The MS-ALIS is a flexible program that can be completed in as few as 3 semesters or part-time over a longer period. To graduate, students must earn 30 credit hours at the 6000 level and present a professional portfolio in the target language that demonstrates advanced-level competence in the language and culture of focus (completed in LANG 6503: Professional Portfolio during the final semester of study).
Proficiency, Perspectives, Professionalization
The core curriculum is designed to help students hone their professional-level language, master the ability to navigate between cultural systems, and apply these skills toward the next step in their career.
MS-ALIS has three required courses:
- Theory and Foundations (LANG 6501, 3 credits): Theoretical knowledge and its practical applications in key areas of culture, literature, media, and linguistics studies.
- Intercultural Seminar (LANG 6500, 3 credits): Applies cross-cultural research and reflection toward the discussion of current issues in the language and culture of focus.
- Professional Portfolio (LANG 6503, 3 credits, online/self-paced – final semester of study): Students prepare a professional portfolio in the target language, which includes job application materials and work samples and which connects their coursework to the next step in their career.
The opportunity to apply cultural knowledge in practice is a signature of the MS-ALIS. We offer a range of individual project-based opportunities. Experiential courses are elective opportunities designed in collaboration with a faculty advisor. They are not required to graduate.
- Applied Language Practicum (LANG 6510) – co-design and co-teach an advanced undergraduate course (3000-4000 level)
- Applied Language Practicum Abroad (LANG 6511) – Co-design and co-teach part of Georgia Tech’s signature study abroad, Language for Business and Technology
- Internship Abroad (LANG 6695U) – complete an internship in the target language
- Research Assistantship (LANG 6698U) – conduct graduate research with faculty
- Graduate Research (LANG 6699) – conduct independent research un the U.S. or abroad
- M.S. Project (LANG 6998, 1-9 credits)
- M.S. Thesis (LANG 7000, 3-6 credits)
30 credit hours at the 6000+ level:
- 9 credits of MS-ALIS required core courses
- LANG 6501. Theory/Foundations, 3 credits
- LANG 6500. Intercultural Seminar, 3 credits
- LANG 6503. Professional Portfolio, 3 credits – taken in the final semester
- 21 credits at the 6000+ level
This degree is adaptable for students’ needs, interests, and goals. Each student’s course of study will be designed in communication with faculty advisors, according to the following guidelines:
The course of study should indicate an area of specialization that applies language expertise to a particular thematic or disciplinary field.
Students may count up to 3 credit hours of 6000+ level coursework from another School toward the degree.
Students may count up to 12 credits of Experiential Courses toward the degree.
- Students may enroll in “MS Thesis” for no more than 3 credits during the Summer semester.
Spanish at the School of Modern Languages
Spoken by more than 400 million people worldwide, about 6.5% of the world’s GDP is produced in Spanish-speaking countries, which makes Spanish the third language most commonly used for business. With more than 41 million speakers, the United States has recently become the country with the second largest Spanish speaking population after Mexico, and it is predicted to be the first by 2050 if current demographic trends continue.
The Spanish program at Georgia Tech is designed to develop the 21st century skills student will need to succeed in today’s world economy. Applicable to almost any career choice, our interdisciplinary curriculum will provide students with the linguistic, content areas and research skills they will needed to achieve their professional goals.
Language for Business and Technology
Through the MS-ALIS, students have the opportunity to take a leadership role in our summer study abroad program, Language for Business and Technology (LBAT). Conducted entirely in Spanish, the LBAT experience is designed for in-depth language development and cultural understanding and experience.
Since the program began in 2001, over 700 students have participated, many of whom follow their LBAT summer with an exchange semester or internship abroad. MS-ALIS students are also eligible and encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities.
The Spanish LBAT is the largest of the faculty-led study abroad initiatives at the School of Modern Languages. Students have the chance to spend the summer studying in two of four countries: Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru.
Serve-Learn-Sustain in Granada, Spain
An exploration of sustainable practices through service-based learning
The Serve-Learn-Sustain program in Spain is a semester-long study abroad program in Granada, Spain, led by Dr. Kelly Comfort. Coursework explores the economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability studies in the Spanish context. Students conduct site visits and field work to examine sustainable business, architecture, agriculture, and tourism. Visits include Andasol Solar Energy Plant, Cuevas del Tio Tobas, a series of modern cave-houses, and Tropolis Museo, where students learn bread-making, cheese-making, and ceramics.
Students also complete up to 75 hours of service in a project tailored to students' individual professional interests. Projects have included shadowing at a hospital, conducting communications for a non-profit, co-teaching computer classes to local students.
"There is a lot of reflection--written, verbal, creative, or project-based--built into the courses, so that students can explore how their experience abroad relates to their career plans...Many of them developed skills--linguistic, intercultural, interpersonal, professional--directly relevant to future career possibilities....I am proud of the work these students did in the local community, as well as of the glowing reviews from their Spanish supervisors."
- Kelly Comfort, Director of the Serve-Learn-Sustain Program