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Master of Science in Applied Linguistics

Program Highlights

The online Master of Science (MS) in Applied Linguistics at Virginia International University is designed to prepare the talent necessary to improve the effectiveness of language instruction, content delivery, and program efficacy.  The program seeks to be a pioneer in the fie­­ld of language teaching by building a curriculum that includes the recommendations from employers in the community during the creation and development of new courses’ overall goals. This provides graduates with a needed edge in their job search, as the curriculum is focused on providing employers what they are looking for in current and future candidates. Concentrations are available in multilingual education, program management, and educational technology.

Graduates from VIU's MS in Applied Linguistics program will be able to successfully apply their understanding of teaching in a variety of educational settings locally, nationally, and globally. Upon graduation from VIU's online MS in Applied Linguistics program, graduates will have the ability to build careers in various educational institutions employing foreign and additional language teaching in post-secondary educational settings, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

VIU's online MS in Applied Linguistics maintains the university's mission of striving to embrace freedom of thought and diverse interpretations of human experiences, aspects that are vital in the field of education and in a global context. Our goal is to graduate students who display and make use of their moral, intellectual, and professional excellence to serve as role models for and educate future generations and make a difference in their communities.

Degree at a Glance

The online MS in Applied Linguistics program can be completed within four (4) semesters of full-time study and is offered in both the online and residential formats. A total of 36 credits (12 courses) are required for graduation. The required minimum cumulative GPA for this program is 3.0. The program consists of seven (7) core courses (21 credits), four (4) concentration courses (12 credits), and one (1) elective course (3 credits).

Area # of Courses Credit Hours
Core Courses 7 21
Concentration Courses 4 12
Elective Courses 1 3
Total 12 36

Program Description

Courses in the field of education that are designed to prepare future educators for leading roles in the growing field of education. Graduates from the online MS in Applied Linguistics will be able to work as educators and consultants in a broad array of educational institutions that provide services to learners from differing linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Graduates of the MS in Applied Linguistics program can serve in these institutions as second language instructors, researchers, program administrators, intercultural communications specialists, or second language technology specialists. All of these areas are increasingly in high demand and will continue to grow as the field of linguistics expands into new areas of technology and intercultural interactions.


The mission of the online Master of Science in Applied Linguistics program is to enable professional educators and administrative leaders to effectively serve in culturally diverse and technologically enhanced educational environments by providing them with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary in the modern-language program or school.

Academic Preparation

  • Assist in the strategic growth and development of an academic program
  • Apply a solid linguistic and pedagogical base to classroom teaching and curriculum development
  • Manage a variety of classroom and organizational scenarios effectively
  • Develop and create interesting and meaningful teaching materials
  • Evaluate and assess student and program performance
  • Use innovative technology in the classroom
  • Communicate effectively with students from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds
  • World-class faculty and staff

The applied linguistics program boasts a history of highly skilled and dedicated faculty and staff who are ready to assist students along their journey through the program. The program's faculty offer expertise in various areas including curriculum development and design, technology in the language classroom/program, language acquisition, program management, and online education.

Delivery of the curriculum is only one aspect of the programs at VIU! Come experience the personalized, accessible, engaging, and fun experience!

Program Overview

Benefits of VIU's degree in applied linguistics:

  • Gain a solid understanding of language acquisition principles and how to effectively teach based on how people acquire a language
  • Obtain practical experience through the internship course
  • Learn methods of incorporating technology and how to foster a nurturing and supportive learning environment
  • Gain practical skills to foster a class/campus culture supportive of various backgrounds and learning styles
  • Learn how to develop a classroom that focuses on student needs and ultimate goals through outcome-based course and lesson development

Program Features

Features of the applied linguistics program include:

  • Faculty with real-world language teaching experience
  • A solid field-based curriculum built with feedback from employers
  • Receive a world class education in an engaging and supportive learning environment
  • Improve upon teaching abilities and qualifications
  • Faculty are available outside of the classroom for assistance
  • Program can be completed with courses taken online and on-ground
  • Dedicated program administrators for every student

Admission Requirements

Admission to the program does not require any previous coursework in pedagogy or language studies. A bachelor's degree or equivalent in any field and evidence of sufficient English language proficiency are required for admission. Candidates are also required to submit a minimum of one official recommendation, an academic statement of purpose, and a résumé or curriculum vitae.

Graduation Requirements

To qualify for the MS in Applied Linguistics degree, students must meet all credit requirements, as described below:

  1. Students enrolled in the graduate program must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B), out of 4.0, and a minimum of grade not less than 2.0 (C), out of 4.0, in all courses to qualify for the MS in Applied Linguistics degree and remain in good academic standing to graduate. The maximum time frame permitted for the completion of any graduate program is 54 semester credits.
  2. Only graduate-level courses may be applied toward the degree. A master's student may transfer up to 12 semester hours of graduate credit earned at other accredited institutions.
  3. Beyond the prerequisites, the student must have completed 39 credit hours, consisting of 30 credit hours of required core courses, 6 content area credit hours, and 3 credit hours of specialization area courses.
  4. No degree credit is earned by a graduate student for any grade below 2.0 (C), out of 4.0, received in a graduate-level course. However, any grades lower than 2.0 (C), out of 4.0, will be calculated in the grade point average.

All candidates for graduation are required to submit a formal Summative Concentration Portfolio, the details of which include content in the following areas: career preparation; writing samples, concentration application; and internship experience. Additionally, students will take a comprehensive exit examination prior to graduation. Students must demonstrate proficiency in at least one other language other than English prior to graduation from the program. Proficiency can include a minimum of an intermediate level by demonstrating graduation from a secondary or post-secondary program whose primary language was a language other than English, taking a graduate course in a language other than English, proficiency as demonstrated by completion of a recognized proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.), obtaining an intermediate level in a foreign or second language as demonstrated by completion of coursework from an accredited institution, or as deemed by the Director of the School of Education.


Virginia International University is an accredited institution of higher learning holding accreditation through the accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and is certified to operate by the Virginia State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Additional information on accreditation can be found in the Accreditation and Certifications section of the Academic Catalog.

Optional Master's Thesis Track

Students electing to complete the optional thesis track must be on track for successful completion and must meet all other program requirements prior to conferral of the degree. Students must be in good academic standing at the time of registration for the thesis and must remain in good standing throughout the time enrolled in the thesis course (typically the final semester of study). VIU's MS in Applied Linguistics program, with the optional thesis, requires completion of APLX 699 as the elective course option for a minimum of three credits.

NOTE: Please note that this program does not provide the licensure required to teach in grades K-12 in American public schools. In order to obtain teacher licensure, please contact the respective state Department of Education to determine eligibility and requirements.