University of Mississippi

M.A. in Modern Languages

The Department of Modern Languages offers the M.A. in Modern Languages with emphases either in FrenchGermanSpanish, Linguistics, or Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).

We have a young, dynamic faculty in a department that teaches ten foreign languages and linguistics at the undergraduate level. Click here to see a complete list.

We are a state leader in promoting foreign language teaching and provide many course offerings in culture studies, film, linguistics, and literature. The Modern Languages department looks favorably on studying other languages as electives within your program in TESL, Linguistics, Spanish, French or German; if you reach graduate level study (500) these courses may count toward your Modern Languages degree with prior permission.

The Modern Languages Department is located in Bondurant Hall near the library and shares the building with the English Department. We sponsor an annual lecture and many talks and workshops throughout the year. The small classes and frequent professorial contact within the degree make for a close-knit community. The advantages of small academic seminars are complemented by the social, sport, and cultural opportunities of a great American university in a vibrant campus town, not far from the cities of Memphis and Tupelo.

Three types of financial assistance are offered from the department: teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and graduate instructor positions.  Consideration for assistance by the department is automatic with admission to the graduate program.

Regarding Financial Assistance, please consult: University of Mississippi Financial Aid

For any additional questions, please email the Chair of Modern Languages, Dr. Donald Dyer, mldyer@olemiss.edu.

For more information about the University and the surrounding area, please explore these websites:

For more information about the program, contact us:

Graduate Director for French, German, and Spanish:
Dr. Diane Martingdmarting@olemiss.edu
Phone: 662-915-7104
E-104 Bondurant

Graduate Director for TESL:
Dr. Tamara Warholtesl@olemiss.edu
Phone: 662-915-5029
213 Howry

Graduate Director for Linguistics:
Dr. Allison Burketteburkette@olemiss.edu
Phone: 662-915-1458
210 Howry

Chair, Department of Modern Languages:
Dr. Donald Dyer, mldyer@olemiss.edu
Phone: 662-915-7298
C-115 Bondurant

Mailing address:
Modern Languages Department
P.O. Box 1848
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
Fax: 662-915-1086

Preliminary Requirements for Admission

The M.A. in Modern Languages degree with a specialization in French, German or Spanish requires, as a prerequisite, 30 hours of course work in one of the three languages in which the student intends to specialize or a total of 30 hours in two or three languages, ancient and/or modern, provided that at least 18 hours are in the major language to be studied. In extraordinary cases, this prerequisite may be modified. First-year languages courses in any language and second-year language courses in the student’s major language do not satisfy this prerequisite.

The M.A. in Modern Languages degree with a specialization in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) program requires, as a prerequisite, either 30 hours in English, linguistics or a foreign language, or a total of 30 hours in any combination of the above, provided that a minimum of at least 18 hours are in one of the fields. In extraordinary cases, this prerequisite may be modified.

The M.A. in Modern Languages degree with a specialization in Linguistics requires, as a prerequisite, either 30 hours in English, linguistics or a foreign language, or a total of 30 hours in any combination of the above, provided that a minimum of at least 18 hours are in linguistics. In extraordinary cases, this prerequisite may be modified.

For more information, see the Graduate Admissions website.

Requirements for the Modern Languages Master of Arts

In addition to the following course requirements, students must maintain at least a B average in their course work or be subjected to probation and/or expulsion from the program.

Specialization in French

An M.A. in Modern Languages with a specialization in French gives graduates a high proficiency in communicative skills and a deep awareness of cultures in the French-speaking world. The degree prepares students for a teaching career at a variety of levels as well as doctoral work in the discipline.

REQUIREMENTS

Two options are available. One option requires 24 hours of graduate-level course work with a minimum of 15 hours in the major field (French) plus a thesis in the major field, and a maximum of 9 hours in the minor field, subject to approval of the department. The second option requires 36 hours of graduate-level course work, of which a minimum of 24 hours must be in the major field and up to 12 hours in one or more minor fields, subject to department approval.

Students proposing a thesis are expected to decide on a topic and choose a tentative director as soon as possible after beginning Year One of their program so as to present a finished proposal for defense during their second semester of graduate school. The thesis director in consultation with the thesis committee decides the requirements for the proposal and the deadlines for each stage of development. The proposal for a thesis will normally consist of statements: (1) of a research question; (2) of a methodology or approach; (3) of a literature review or the state of the field; (4) describing the preliminary outline of chapters; and (5) of a bibliography.  The minimum length of the thesis proposal will be set by the thesis director. The proposal should be approved by the director of the thesis before being submitted to the whole committee, usually during the second semester a graduate student is in attendance. Students are encouraged to download the Graduate School’s style instructions for a thesis from the very beginning of the process and use them for the proposal as well.

Once a defense is scheduled, the thesis director will notify the graduate program coordinator (in advance of the proposal defense) of the date, time, and place, and afterward, of the result. The defense should be held in person, but under certain circumstances (study abroad, for example), it may occur by email or audio/video technology. It is important that the student receive comments from the whole committee at this stage of development. Following a successful proposal defense, the proposal will be placed in the student’s file by the thesis director. The thesis proposal committee normally will also be the committee for a student’s exams for graduation. Adjustments to the committee may be made as necessary, up to two months before the end of the exam process, the date by which the graduate school must be notified by the graduate program coordinator of the members of the comprehensive exam committee or thesis defense committee.

Click here to see a list of all French courses offered by the department. Courses numbered 500 and above are at the graduate level: http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/modern_languages/FrenchCourses.html

For more information on the French program, please consult this link: http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/modern_languages/French.html

Specialization in German

An M.A. in Modern Languages with a specialization in German gives graduates a high proficiency in communicative skills and a deep awareness of cultures in the German-speaking world. The degree prepares students for a teaching career at a variety of levels as well as doctoral work in the discipline.

REQUIREMENTS

Non-native speakers of German are required to take two non-thesis classes taught in German each semester.

Two options are available, both of which require 36 total hours of graduate-level credits. The first option requires a thesis in the major field and at least 24 hours of graduate-level course work, of which a minimum of 15 hours must be in the major field (German) and may include up to 9 hours in a subfield, subject to department approval.The Graduate School requires a minimum of 6 thesis hours. The second option requires a minimum of 24 hours of graduate-level course work  in the major field (German) and may include up to 12 hours in one or more subfields, subject to department approval. Six hours constitutes a subfield for this purpose. Students proposing a thesis are expected to decide on a topic and choose a tentative director as soon as possible after beginning Year One of their program so as to present a finished proposal for defense during their second semester of graduate school. The thesis director in consultation with the thesis committee decides the requirements for the proposal and the deadlines for each stage of development. The proposal for a thesis will normally consist of statements: (1) of a research question; (2) of a methodology or approach; (3) of a literature review or the state of the field; (4) describing the preliminary outline of chapters; and (5) of a bibliography.  The minimum length of the thesis proposal will be set by the thesis director. The proposal should be approved by the director of the thesis before being submitted to the whole committee, usually during the second semester a graduate student is in attendance. Students are encouraged to download the Graduate School’s style instructions for a thesis from the very beginning of the process and use them for the proposal as well.

Once a defense is scheduled, the thesis director will notify the graduate program coordinator (in advance of the proposal defense) of the date, time, and place, and afterward, of the result. The defense should be held in person, but under certain circumstances (study abroad, for example), it may occur by email or audio/video technology. It is important that the student receive comments from the whole committee at this stage of development. Following a successful proposal defense, the proposal will be placed in the student’s file by the thesis director. The thesis proposal committee normally will also be the committee for a student’s exams for graduation. Adjustments to the committee may be made as necessary, up to two months before the end of the exam process, the date by which the graduate school must be notified by the graduate program coordinator of the members of the comprehensive exam committee or thesis defense committee.

Click here to see a list of all German courses offered by the department. Courses numbered 500 and above are at the graduate level: http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/modern_languages/GermanCourses.html

For more information on the German program, please consult this link: http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/modern_languages/German.html

Specialization in Spanish

An M.A. in Modern Languages with a specialization in Spanish allows students to focus on literature or linguistics and gives graduates a high proficiency in communicative skills and a deep awareness of cultures in the Spanish-speaking world. The degree prepares students for a teaching career at a variety of levels as well as doctoral work in the discipline.

Spanish students choose either a Linguistics or a Literature focus and read from the matching list to prepare for the comprehensive exams. A student with a Linguistics focus will read the list labeled Linguistics, and a student with the literature focus will read the list called Literature. All students will be examined on both literature and linguistics; it is merely a question of emphasis depending on the focus you choose. The professors who examine you also change according to the focus you choose.

REQUIREMENTS

Three options for completing the degree are available, all of which require 36 hours and must include SPAN 672 and 572 as well as two of the following four literature survey courses: SPAN 577, 578, 579, and 580. The three options are as follows: (1) 33 hours of coursework in Spanish including all four literature survey courses (SPAN 577, 578, 579, and 580) and one elective; (2) a minimum of 24 hours of coursework in Spanish and between 6 and 12 hours of coursework in a departmentally approved subfield; or (3) a minimum of 24 hours of coursework in Spanish and between 6 and 12 hours of thesis work. When scheduling comprehensive exams, students must declare emphasis in either literature or linguistics. Students may not both write a thesis and study a subfield.

Students proposing a thesis are expected to decide on a topic and choose a tentative director as soon as possible after beginning Year One of their program so as to present a finished proposal for defense during their second semester of graduate school. The thesis director in consultation with the thesis committee decides the requirements for the proposal and the deadlines for each stage of development. The proposal for a thesis will normally consist of statements: (1) of a research question; (2) of a methodology or approach; (3) of a literature review or the state of the field; (4) describing the preliminary outline of chapters; and (5) of a bibliography.  The minimum length of the thesis proposal will be set by the thesis director. The proposal should be approved by the director of the thesis before being submitted to the whole committee, usually during the second semester a graduate student is in attendance. Students are encouraged to download the Graduate School’s style instructions for a thesis from the very beginning of the process and use them for the proposal as well.

Once a defense is scheduled, the thesis director will notify the graduate program coordinator (in advance of the proposal defense) of the date, time, and place, and afterward, of the result. The defense should be held in person, but under certain circumstances (study abroad, for example), it may occur by email or audio/video technology. It is important that the student receive comments from the whole committee at this stage of development. Following a successful proposal defense, the proposal will be placed in the student’s file by the thesis director. The thesis proposal committee normally will also be the committee for a student’s exams for graduation. Adjustments to the committee may be made as necessary, up to two months before the end of the exam process, the date by which the graduate school must be notified by the graduate program coordinator of the members of the comprehensive exam committee or thesis defense committee.

Click here to see a list of all Spanish courses offered by the department. Courses numbered 500 and above are at the graduate level: http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/ modern_languages/SpanishCourses.html

For more information on the Spanish program, please consult this link:http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/modern_languages/Spanish.html

Specialization in Linguistics

Students who specialize in Linguistics will be exposed to a broad range of linguistic inquiry and will then be encouraged to develop a specific research agenda. With its strong emphasis on research and academic writing, this degree prepares students for doctoral study in general, theoretical, or applied linguistics.  Two options for completing the degree are available, both of which require 36 credit hours. These two options are as follows:

(1) 36 hours of graduate-level course work in LING, MLLL, and ENGL, including six (6) credit hours from among the core courses, which are LING 614, 615, 616, and 620; or
(2) 24 hours of graduate-level course work in the above areas, including six (6) credit hours from among the above-mentioned core courses and 12 hours of thesis work. Students who wish to choose the thesis option are additionally required to take either LING 613 or LING 639.

Students pursuing an M.A. with a Linguistics specialization will be encouraged to complete the thesis option and will be further encouraged to submit (at least) two publication-worthy research-based papers in lieu of a traditional thesis.

Specialization in TESL

Students who specialize in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) engage in best practices to help them succeed in their future careers as English-language teachers. Grounded in applied and theoretical linguistics, the TESL specialization within the modern languages master’s program also prepares its graduates for doctoral work in the discipline.

Three options for completing the degree are available, all of which require 36 credit hours. The three options are as follows:

(1) 36 hours of course work in TESL, Ling, Mlll, and Engl;
(2) 24 hours of course work in the above areas and 12 hours of course work in a minor field approved by the department; or
(3) 24 hours of course work in the above areas and 12 hours of thesis work.

The course work consists of 36 hours of 500- and 600-level courses from TESL, Ling, Mlll, and Engl. Eighteen (18) of the 36 credit hours must consist of the core requirements, which are Ling 592, 600 and TESL 542, 620, 645 and 695. Students who wish to pursue the thesis option are additionally required to take TESL 694.

For more information, please consult this link:http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/modern_languages/TESL.html

Additional Links for Currently Enrolled Students:

The University of Mississippi Graduate School Current Student webpage.

The reading lists for the comprehensive exams:

Recently admitted graduate students may find useful information here: www.olemiss.edu/gradschool/admitted_now_what.html.

German graduate students beginning before the Fall of 2014 may choose either of these two lists:
German MA Reading List for students beginning before Fall 2014
German MA Reading List for students beginning Fall semester 2014 and after

For Spanish graduate students, those beginning in the Fall of 2013 and after must use the following lists, and must read both literature and linguistics, but how many texts depends on their choice of literature or linguistics:

Spanish MA linguistics list for both literature and linguistics students

Spanish MA literature list for literature students

Spanish MA literature list for linguistics students

Spanish graduate students beginning before the Fall of 2013 may choose these lists instead:

Spanish MA list for linguistics track

Spanish MA list for linguistics track

Beginning French, German and Spanish graduate students are required to meet standards of oral proficiency in their language. The following description of the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) may be helpful:

Description of the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)

LINKS

The University of Mississippi offers an alternate route to teacher certification for secondary schools. For more information, please go to the Teach Mississippi Institute on campus.

Please visit the Mississippi Foreign Language Association, for links to professional associations in languages represented in Mississippi.

The Mississippi Foreign Languages Association website features information on the MFLA and its annual conference.

The Modern Language Association (www.mla.org) is a national organization for all modern languages and has a great deal of information on its website. Recently the MLA published a report on the status of languages in the U.S. It stresses the importance of language learning and reacts to recent cutbacks in language programs.