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Frequently Asked Questions:
What Prospective Students Want to Know


Index Of Questions



  1. What kind of job will I be prepared for with the MA in Linguistics/ESL from USF?

  2. What kind of students are enrolled in the program?

  3. I'm not a native speaker of English. Will I fit in?

  4. Can you tell me details about the coursework?

  5. How long does it take to complete the M.A. degree?

  6. That's a long time! Don't you have a program that I can finish faster?

  7. Can I get financial aid or an assistantship?

  8. How can I find out more about USF?

Questions and Answers




  • What kind of job will I be prepared for with the MA in Linguistics/ESL from USF?
    • Our Master's program is appropriate if you are interested in teaching adult second language learners or pursuing doctoral studies in Applied Linguistics. This program will prepare you for a career in private language institutes or in university-affiliated language programs. You will be prepared for positions in teaching or administration in these settings. In both the US and abroad, your master's degree will make you a desirable candidate in a competitive job market. Our graduates are also well-prepared for pursuing doctoral studies and have found our MA program to be an excellent foundation for future careers in academia.


  • What kind of students are enrolled in the program?
    • Our graduate students come from the United States and many other countries. Most of our students have some English language teaching experience; many of them have worked in international contexts. In our program, you will likely find many shared experiences with the other students. Some students enter our program directly after completing an undergraduate degree. Many of our students enter this field at a later stage in life as a second career.


  • I'm not a native speaker of English. Will I fit in?
    • Yes, absolutely. Our program welcomes both native and non-native speakers of English. In fact, international English speakers are an important part of our student population. We do require sufficient English proficiency for academic success as our classes are conducted in English. Native speakers of English are required to demonstrate proficiency of a second language before graduating. In other words, all of our MA students will have personally experienced the second language acquisition process.


  • Can you tell me details about the coursework?
    • Our Master of Arts in Linguistics / ESL comprises 36 credit hours of coursework including one semester of supervised internship. Our program combines theory and practice which students find helpful and illuminating. The courses are taught on the Tampa campus, in a face-to-face mode. Most courses are delivered in evening hours, and meet once a week. Students generally find this allows them to work while completing their MA.


  • How long does it take to complete the M.A. degree?
    • The length of time depends on whether you attend full-time or part-time. Most students complete the program in two years, though part-time students might need more time. The program duration also depends on how well the course sequence is planned. Most courses are not offered every semester, but on a yearly basis. Every student should ask the Program Director for help in planning their individual program of study.


  • That's a long time! Don't you have a program that I can finish faster?
    • We realize that some prospective students might prefer a brief course of study. However, please consider this: the value of an educational degree is related to how much the student invests in it, in terms of time, effort, attention, finances, etc. We recognize that graduate students make sacrifices in order to earn the degree. Based on our graduates' experiences, we are confident that our MA in Linguistics / ESL is valuable for our students' professional and personal development. If you are considering our program but still have questions, you are welcome to call the Program Director to discuss these important matters.


  • Can I get financial aid or an assistantship?
    • Many, although not all, of our students are able to find funding to support their graduate education. For more information, please see the Handbook available on the Resources page.
    • There are other work-study programs that might be of interest to prospective students. You should contact the Financial Aid Office, who coordinates scholarships and work-study programs. Their web address is http://usfweb2.usf.edu/finaid/. Also, please be sure to note your interest in financial aid in your application, so that you will receive further information.


  • How can I find out more about USF?
    • There are some great web sites where you can explore this university. For example, you can read the Oracle (the student newspaper). You can even take a virtual tour. We invite you to come visit us and see if you would like to make USF your academic home.