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College of Letters and Science
The Department of Applied Linguistics offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Applied Linguistics, the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Linguistics, and the Certificate in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language.
Program is not accepting applications for 2015-2016
Leading to the degree of
Admission Limited to
Deadline to apply
GRE (General and/or Subject)
GRE: Not required
Letters of Recommendation
In addition to the University’s minimum requirements and those listed above, all applicants are expected to submit a statement of purpose.
M.A. Applicants to the M.A. program are expected to submit a relevant research paper as a writing sample, and a statement of research. The statement of research should contain the reasons for wishing to study applied linguistics at UCLA; the area of applied linguistics in which the applicant may want to specialize and do research and the reasons for this interest, the qualifications and professional experience relevant to doing research in this area; and knowledge of other languages, dialects or cultures.
While not required for admission, admitted applicants may be required to take or audit any course including Linguistics 103, 120A, and 120B to make up deficiencies in preparation as deemed necessary by the faculty.
Ph.D. Applicants are expected to submit a statement of research and a relevant research paper, such as a master’s thesis, related research paper or comprehensive examination, as a writing sample. The statement of research should describe the applicant’s research background and expectations of type of dissertation to be prepared.
Admitted applicants may be required to make up deficiencies in preparation as deemed necessary by the faculty.
Program is not accepting applications for 2013-2014.
New students entering the program discuss their academic program with a faculty mentor initially assigned by the faculty according to areas of common interest, expertise, and experience. Students may request a change of mentor at any time through the graduate adviser. Students must nominate a thesis committee before beginning work on the thesis and at least one quarter before filing the thesis. The chair of the thesis committee assumes the role of faculty mentor after the committee is appointed.
Students meet each quarter with their faculty mentor and the graduate adviser to discuss their course of study and are required to have their course enrollment plan approved by their faculty mentor and the graduate adviser. During the year the faculty and the graduate adviser review the student’s records and advise on progress in the program and the remaining requirements that must be met. In addition, the graduate adviser provides guidance on a variety of academic issues.
Areas of Study
Students may specialize in areas of applied linguistics such as language acquisition, language assessment. discourse analysis, service learning, and others, depending on faculty expertise. Students should consult the department regarding what is available. In particular, students who are interested in specializing in language assessment should contact the department prior to submitting an application.
Foreign Language Requirement
Before advancement to candidacy, students must demonstrate effective knowledge of one foreign language equivalent to a minimum of three quarters of foreign language study at the university level. This knowledge may be demonstrated by : (1) completion of the third quarter of instruction in a foreign language with a minimum grade of B or better; (2) completion of the second quarter of instruction in a foreign language course plus Linguistics 221; (3) a UCLA Foreign Language Department Placement Test, demonstrating equivalency to completion of the third quarter of instruction in a foreign language. Non-native speakers of English may petition to use English to fulfill the foreign language requirement.
A total of 10 courses is required for the M.A. degree, including a minimum of seven 200-series courses. Nine of these courses are applied toward the University’s nine-course minimum for the master’s degree. A total of eight units of 500-series courses may be applied toward the 10 courses required by the department for the M.A. degree; however, only four of those units may be used to fulfill the University’s nine-course minimum requirement for the degree.
Prerequisites: Introductory course in phonetics taught at UCLA (Linguistics 103); a minimum of two quarters of a foreign language.
The typical course of study for the first year of the M.A. program is as follows:
Fall Quarter: Applied Linguistics C201 and C204, one additional course.
Winter Quarter: Applied Linguistics C202, two additional courses.
Spring Quarter: Applied Linguistics 208, two additional courses.
Five foundation courses (Applied Linguistics 200, C201, C202, C204, and 208) are required. Choice of additional coursework in the first year is flexible and is to be determined in conjunction with the faculty mentor and graduate adviser. Those students who lack the prerequisite linguistics courses and foreign language background are expected to take these courses within their first two quarters.
Students who come to the program from fields other than linguistics may need to take additional courses in the nature of language and language analysis, in order to better prepare themselves for advanced study in one of the three areas of specialization offered in this program. Exceptions to the above requirements are made only after consultation with the faculty mentor and graduate adviser.
The typical course of study for the second year of the M.A. program is as follows:
Fall Quarter: Applied Linguistics 200, two guided electives.
Winter Quarter: Applied Linguistics 598, two guided electives.
Spring Quarter: Applied Linguistics 400, 598.
During the second year, students complete their specialization and elective course requirements and work on their thesis. The four elective courses are to be chosen in consultation with the student’s faculty adviser/mentor from courses in the department. Two of these electives must be 200-series courses in the student’s area of specialization, beyond the foundation courses. In order to enhance an interdisciplinary perspective, students are also encouraged to take relevant electives in other departments and programs, such as Anthropology, Education, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Psychology, and Sociology.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, each student must enroll in Applied Linguistics 200. By the end of the fourth quarter the thesis proposal must be approved by the thesis committee and submitted to the department chair. Once students complete the thesis proposal, they enroll in Applied Linguistics 598, which is conducted as an independent tutorial with the master’s thesis committee chair as mentor until the thesis is completed, typically the end of the second year. Students may only apply Applied Linguistics 598 once towards the 10-course requirement.
Applied Linguistics 400 is a seminar in which M.A. candidates present and defend the results of their thesis research. Enrollment is required in Spring Quarter but does not count as one of the 10 courses required for the M.A. degree.
Every master’s degree thesis plan requires the completion of an approved thesis that demonstrates the student’s ability to perform original, independent research.
The culmination of the mentoring relationship during the M.A. degree is the master’s thesis, which is based on research that each student plans and conducts under the supervision of a faculty mentor. The master’s thesis is a substantial research report, which could provide the basis for a journal article. During the fourth quarter, each student must enroll in Applied Linguistics 598. In this course, the student prepares a thesis proposal and forms, in collaboration with a faculty mentor, a thesis committee, which consists of three members who meet University regulations for service on thesis committees, at least two of whom must be from the department. By the end of the fourth quarter the thesis proposal must be approved by the thesis committee and submitted to the department chair.
From admission to award of the M.A. degree: six quarters, and in some cases, a summer session. Students must complete the degree, including the filing of the thesis, within three years of beginning the M.A. program. If the degree is not completed within that time period, a petition must be filed with the department indicating reasons for the extension of time.
New students entering the program discuss their academic program with a faculty mentor initially assigned by the faculty according to areas of common interest, expertise, and experience. Students may request a change of mentor at any time through the graduate adviser. Students must nominate a doctoral committee at least one quarter before taking the University Oral Qualifying Examination . The chair of the doctoral committee assumes the role of faculty mentor after the committee is appointed.
Students meet each quarter with their faculty mentor to have their course enrollment plan approved and to discuss their progress toward the degree. This process is intended to assist students in making satisfactory progress and to encourage a strong mentorship relationship between students and faculty. During the year the faculty and the graduate adviser review the student’s records and advise on progress in the program and the remaining requirements that must be met. In addition, the graduate adviser provides guidance on a variety of academic issues.
Major Fields or Subdisciplines
Students may specialize in areas of applied linguistics such as language acquisition, critical applied linguistics, discourse analysis, service learning, and others, depending on faculty expertise. Students should consult the department regarding what is available.
Foreign Language Requirement
Before advancement to candidacy, students must demonstrate effective knowledge of one foreign language. This knowledge may be demonstrated by: (1) completion of the sixth quarter of instruction in a foreign language with a grade of Satisfactory or a grade of B or better; (2) a UCLA Foreign Language Department Placement Test, showing equivalency to completion of the sixth quarter of instruction in a foreign language. Non-native speakers of English may petition to use English to fulfill the language requirement.
Basic Preparation. Students must take Applied Linguistics 209 during their first quarter in the program.
Units and Courses. As a breadth requirement, students must take at least 32 units (eight courses) of graduate-level coursework (in the 200 or 500 series), determined in consultation with the student’s faculty mentor. These 32 units may not include Applied Linguistics 400, 597, or 599. No more than eight of the 32 units may be in 596 courses, and these should be in Applied Linguistics 596.
Appropriate graduate courses taken at UCLA after completion of an M.A. degree but before admission to the doctoral program may be applied toward the eight-course requirement for the Ph.D. degree. Credit may be transferred for up to two courses taken at another institution, but only for graduate-level courses taken after completion of an M.A. degree and preferably taken within the framework of Applied Linguistics 501.
Courses that may be taken on an S/U basis include undergraduate courses taken as prerequisites to required graduate courses, undergraduate courses not required, reading courses in a foreign language, graduate courses taken in addition to the required 32 units, Applied Linguistics 209, 501, 597, and 599. All other courses must be taken for letter grades.
Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations
Academic Senate regulations require all doctoral students to complete and pass University written and oral qualifying examinations prior to doctoral advancement to candidacy. Also, under Senate regulations the University oral qualifying examination is open only to the student and appointed members of the doctoral committee. In addition to University requirements, some graduate programs have other pre-candidacy examination requirements. What follows in this section is how students are required to fulfill all of these requirements for this doctoral program.
In lieu of a written qualifying examination, students are required to submit one Qualifying Paper that is an original research paper of publishable quality. This paper may be a revised or an extended seminar paper but must be prepared after admission to the Ph.D. program. Students choose the topics of these papers in consultation with appropriate faculty members from the department and with the consent of the faculty mentor. The finished paper is evaluated by three faculty members, two of whom must be from inside the department and one of whom must be from outside of the department.
The doctoral committee administers the University Oral Qualifying Examination, the focus of which is a prospectus of the dissertation that must be submitted to the committee prior to the examination. The committee also has the responsibility for determining the adequacy of the student’s preparation for writing the dissertation. If prospectus and preparation are judged adequate, the choice of the dissertation topic is thereby approved, and the student becomes eligible for advancement to doctoral candidacy. In case of failure, the doctoral committee determines whether or not the student may be reexamined and if further courses must be taken before the reexamination.
Advancement to Candidacy
Students are advanced to candidacy and awarded the Candidate in Philosophy (C.Phil.) degree upon successful completion of the written and oral qualifying examinations.
Every doctoral degree program requires the completion of an approved dissertation that demonstrates the student’s ability to perform original, independent research and constitutes a distinct contribution to knowledge in the principal field of study.
Final Oral Examination (Defense of Dissertation)
Not required for all students in the program. The decision as to whether a defense is required is made by the doctoral committee.
From first enrollment in the doctoral program to advancement to candidacy: two to three years. From first enrollment to completion of degree: three to five years. The outside limit for the Ph.D. from start to finish, including leaves or interruptions of any kind, is seven calendar years from first enrollment. The approved normative time-to-degree for the Ph.D. is 15 quarters (five years).
Termination of Graduate Study and Appeal of Termination
A student who fails to meet the above requirements may be recommended for termination of graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.00) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing (some programs require a higher grade point average). Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree and poor performance in core courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.00) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their department. University guidelines governing termination of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.
Special Departmental or Program Policy
The chair makes a recommendation for termination on the recommendation of a departmental committee set up to review the particular circumstances of a given case. The committee includes at least one student. Either the graduate adviser or a member of the faculty may initiate the process by informing the chair of the need to recommend a student for termination.
A student may appeal a recommendation for termination to the chair who reconvenes the ad hoc committee to reconsider the matter.
A student who has not completed the degree within seven years will be recommended for termination. A student may appeal a recommendation for termination to the departmental committee that administers the program.