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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 M.A. in Applied Linguistics/TESL 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 M.A. in Applied Linguistics/TESL from USF?
    • Our Master's program is appropriate if you are interested in teaching adult second language learners. This program will prepare you for a career in private institutes or in university-affilitated programs. You would be prepared for positions in teaching or administration in these settings. In a competitive job market, your master's degree will make you a desirable candidate. This is true for positions in the United States as well as abroad. The M.A. program is also appropriate if you are interested in teaching in public schools in this state (please contact COEDU for further information about this process). Finally, several of our graduates have pursued doctoral studies and found our M.A. program to be excellent preparation for 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 had some English language teaching background; 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 the undergraduate degree. Many of our students enter this field at a later stage in life as a second career. A wide age range is represented in our student population. We have had students in their 20s and we have had students in their 50s, even 60s.


  • 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, non-native 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 M.A. students will have personally experienced the second language acquisition process.


  • Can you tell me details about the coursework?
    • Our Master of Arts in Linguistics / TESL comprises 36 credit hours of coursework. This includes two semesters of supervised internship. Our program blends applied linguistics and ESL teaching. Most students find the combination of theory and practice helpful and illuminating.
      The courses are taught on the Tampa campus, in a face-to-face mode. We are developing some web-enhanced courses and considering distance delivery for others; at present, however, we have no plans to make our program distance only. Most courses are delivered in evening hours, with most classes meeting once a week. Students generally find this allows them to work while completing their M.A.


  • 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 Advisor for help in planning the 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 -- that 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 M.A. in Linguistics / TESL is valuable for our students' professional and personal development. Will our program suit your needs? Well, we recommend that prospective students carefully analyze their career and personal goals when choosing among the numerous programs in this field. As well, prospective students should attempt to assess the quality of a program before making a commitment. Finally, we advise prospective students to examine whether there is a good match between the student and the program. If you are considering the M.A. in Applied Linguistics at USF, you are welcome to call the Advisor 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 page 10 of 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. Check out the page of links.