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Admissions Information

Application Deadlines

Degree Requirements


Financial Assistance







DeKeyser, Robert, Full Member

Doughty, Catherine J., Adjunct Member

Long, Michael H., Full Member

Ross, Steven J., Full Member

Associate Professor

Gor, Kira, Full Member

Jiang, Nan, Full Member

More SLMA Faculty Information

Second Language Acquisition (SLMA)   

Program Title and Classification

Second Language Acquisition

Graduate Degree Program

College: Arts and Humanities


The M.A. is intended primarily as a two-year program for full-time students. A very limited number of part-time students would also be admitted. It will provide students with rigorous, comprehensive training in the theory and research of second (including foreign) language learning, teaching and testing, and related areas. A major program focus includes preparation for those working, or intending to work, in programs for tertiary students and adults studying less commonly taught languages (LCTLs), e.g., East-Asian and Middle-Eastern languages, and such modern European languages as Spanish, French, Italian and German. Areas of particular faculty expertise include cognitive processes in SLA; language teaching methodology and pedagogy; psycholinguistics; language processing; individual differences in such factors as age, aptitude, and working memory; second language analysis; interlanguage studies; heritage learners; needs analysis; syllabus design; materials writing; learner training; language assessment; program evaluation; second language research methods; task-based language teaching; and uses of technology in language learning and testing.

Admissions Information

General Requirements:

Program-Specific Requirements:

  • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE): The GRE is required of all native speakers of English and recommended for non-native speakers.

Students may enter the program in the Fall semester only. Prior to admission to the program, applicants must have successfully completed a Bachelors degree from an accredited university in a relevant field, e.g., linguistics, applied linguistics, psychology, foreign languages, applied linguistics, cognitive science, anthropology or education. 

For more admissions information or to apply to the program, please visit our Graduate School website:

Application Deadlines

Type of Applicant Fall
Domestic Applicants:
US Citizens and Permanent Residents
17 Jan
International Applicants:
F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas
A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.
1 Feb

Other Deadlines: Please visit the program website at

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Total CreditsCore Requirements

Thesis option: 30 credits

Non-thesis option: 30 credits

Core courses:

SLAA 610: Research and Theories in Second Language Acquisition (3 credits)

SLAA 611: Fundamentals of Foreign Language Acquisition and Instruction (3 credits)

SLAA 630: Second Language Testing (3 credits)

SLAA 640: Psycholinguistics (3 credits)

SLAA 650: Second Language Analysis (3 credits)

SLAA 620: Second Language Research Methodologies (3 credits)

Thesis option: In addition to the core courses, thesis students must complete 6 credits of approved electives and 6 credits of SLAA 799: Master's Thesis Research.

Non-thesis option: In addition to the core courses, non-thesis students must complete 12 credits of approved electives.


The M.A. in SLA is a 30-credit program, with two tracks: Plan A, by coursework and thesis, and Plan B, by coursework only. These two tracks are meant to accommodate two slightly different populations, those planning on going on for the Ph.D. at Maryland or elsewhere (Plan A) and those who will be consumers and interpreters rather than producers of research and for whom the M.A. will be a terminal degree (Plan B). A Certificate in SLA will also be offered. The Certificate requires 18 credit hours of course work from the Plan B curriculum.


Facilities and Special Resources

In addition to the University graduate library, the SLA program offers research facilities and resources to facilitate research and materials development, including a multimedia SLA Lab, the Language House, The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, the Office of Information Technology, and the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Students completing coursework with affiliate faculty in the Departments of Psychology, Communication, Linguistics, and Education as well as the Center for Advanced Study of Languages may have access to their respective resources.

Financial Assistance

Masters Degree and Certificate students in the College of Arts and Humanities are rarely offered funding. It is expected that students admitted to the SLA M.A. or Certificate Program will come with outside sponsorship.

Contact Statement

The SLAA Web site offers more information about the program. For further inquiries, please contact Dr. Steven J. Ross, Graduate Director, at or (Tel: (301) 405 4246). Alternatively, if you have particular interest in the research of individual faculty members, you are welcome to contact them by email.



Dr. Steven J. Ross, Director, SLA Program

School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures 3215 Jimenez Hall, University of Maryland, College Park

MD, 20742

Telephone: 301 405 4246

Fax: 301 314 9752


Associated Information












second language learning, second language pedagogy, task-based learning, needs analysis, second language phonology, second language pragmatics, critical period, second language processing, language testing, program evaluation.