30 credit hours | Launching in Spanish | 5-year BS/MS option for BS-ALIS majors | 12-month full-time study or part-time format
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).
MS-ALIS is BOR approved and pending SACSCOC accreditation in 2019.
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.
The Spanish Program
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
5-year BS/MS Program
The 5-year BS/MS-ALIS allows students majoring in Applied Language and Intercultural Studies (ALIS) to continue their studies to gain an advanced degree that qualifies them for leadership positions in a variety of careers--including management, international business, globally oriented design and engineering, and communications.
Students participating in this program can count up to 6 credit hours of graduate-level coursework for both degrees (the Graduate Course Option). BS/MS-ALIS Students enroll in SPAN 6500 Intercultural Seminar in their final BS semester, as both the BS-ALIS Capstone and MS-ALIS core course.
Currently, students must be enrolled in the BS-ALIS degree to apply for the 5-year BS/MS. Eligibility for students enrolled in BS-IAML and BS-GEML is underway. BS-ALIS majors may apply to complete an MS-ALIS in Spanish even if their BS-ALIS concentration is in a language other than Spanish, provided they meet the application requirements (including proficiency in Spanish).
Students must apply for the MS-ALIS at least two academic semesters (Fall & Spring) before their anticipated graduation date, so they can be accepted and enroll in SPAN 6500 (Intercultural Seminar), which serves as both the BS-ALIS capstone and an MS-ALIS core course, in the spring of their final year of BS-level study.
Recommendation by two faculty members in the School of Modern Languages
GPA of 3.0 or higher in all BS-ALIS Spanish coursework
Spanish Oral proficiency of least Intermediate High according to the standards set by the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Please monitor this website for details about obtaining proficiency assessments.
- Application materials as specified for MS-ALIS Admissions
Please contact Jenny Strakovsky, Assistant Director of Graduate Programs, to get on our mailing list and receive details about application procedures. Please see Admissions for deadlines and application requirements.
BS-ALIS students are strongly encouraged to speak with faculty who can serve as potential advisors or recommenders as early as possible.