The Department of Classical & Modern Languages and Literatures (CMLL) at Mississippi State University is a dynamic and growing M.A. program in Foreign Languages (French, German, and Spanish). CMLL currently offers a traditional face-to-face program.
Our graduate courses focus on literature, culture, linguistics, and film, with a strong foundation in language pedagogy. Our program provides an extremely flexible and interdisciplinary course of study.
The majority of our M.A. students work for the department as Teaching Assistants, which covers the cost of their education and pays them a stipend for living expenses. Roughly one-third of our graduates go into teaching at the secondary or post-secondary levels, and another quarter of our graduates continue study in a Ph.D. program. Several of our graduates have also pursued work abroad following the completion of their degree. The department works to ensure that its graduate students receive advising related to academic and career options, and our faculty is happy to help cater the program to best position its students for future success. The department has also encouraged its graduate students to help coordinate its summer study abroad programs with an experienced faculty member, or to attend programs and earn graduate credit, with financial assistance. Overall, the program is designed to allow students the flexibility to earn a Master's degree that will best position them for their future, with faculty that are fully invested in the success of the department's graduates. If you have questions about our program or you would like to schedule a campus visit, please contact the CMLL Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Kelly Moser.
Admission and Costs
Students interested in applying for the M.A. in Foreign Language will apply directly to the Graduate School (for tuition and fees, see the Office of the Controller and Treasurer website). Application materials will be reviewed by CMLL's faculty, and a decision is generally made within two to three weeks of submitting the completed application. Application deadlines are different for domestic and international applicants; deadlines can be viewed here. Please note that these deadlines are to apply for the program; however, CMLL has an earlier deadline for students seeking funding. The Graduate School requires that all applicants have a minimum 2.75 GPA (or equivalent) on the last two years of undergraduate coursework. Provisional admission is possible for students not meeting this requirement.
All applicants will be required to submit their application, along with a statement of purpose (outlining their reasons for wishing to study in the department and plans following completion of the M.A.), three academic letters of reference, unofficial transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate coursework (official copies will be required upon admission), and the application fee. GRE scores are accepted but not required by CMLL.
International students from non-TOEFL exempt countries must have a TOEFL score of 54 iBT to be admitted. Students scoring below 79 iBT will be required to complete ESL coursework upon admission, and might not be eligible for a Teaching Assistantship. Students with questions about TOEFL scores may contact the Graduate Coordinator.
The Department of Classical & Modern Languages and Literatures provides Teaching Assistantships to qualified graduate students. The department provides Teaching Assistants with a 100% tuition remission and a stipend to pay for living expenses. Teaching Assistants work with experienced faculty during the first year of their appointment, helping to lead class sessions of the department's first-year language courses. During their second year, many of our Teaching Assistants teach their own language class as instructor of record. Prospective graduate students interested in applying for a Teaching Assistantship should fill out and submit the Graduate Assistantship Application directly to the Graduate Coordinator. The Graduate Assistantship Application and the application for the graduate program must be complete (e.g., including all materials and TOEFL test scores if applicable) and submitted by April 1 for fall admission. CMLL has moved towards admitting Fall cohorts of students who will serve as Teaching Assistants. Students who apply for admission in the spring will rarely be considered for funding through the department. Generally, students are not admitted in summer semesters. Please note that the April 1 deadline for the Teaching Assistantship is earlier than the application deadline for admission to the university to allow faculty adequate time to review materials; students are encouraged to apply as early as possible if they desire funding through an Assistantship. Students receiving a Teaching Assistantship will be required to complete FL 8693 Advanced Foreign Language Pedagogy during their first year of appointment.
Students pursing the thesis option are required to take at least 30 hours of graduate-level coursework, including:
- 21 hours within the major field of study (FLx);
- At least 9 of those hours must be at the 7000- or 8000-level; however, these can be language-specific (FLx), related to foreign language (FL), or from another department;
- No more than 6 hours of Directed Individual Study (FLx 7000) coursework can be used toward the total hours;
- Students must complete 6 hours of Thesis Writing (FLx 9000) toward the 30-hours requirement; however, these credits do not satisfy the 9 hours of 8000-level credit.
The thesis option will require an oral defense of the thesis at the time of the qualifying exams (in the last semester of study). Please talk with your thesis director to determine if other requirements need to be met.
Students pursing the non-thesis option will be required to take at least 33 hours of graduate-level coursework, including:
- 21 hours within the major field of study (FLx);
- At least 12 of those hours must be at the 7000- or 8000-level; however, these can be language-specific (FLx), related to foreign language (FL), or from another department;
- No more than 6 hours of Directed Individual Study (FLx 7000) coursework can be used toward the total hours.
Non-thesis students will be required to complete a comprehensive examination with written and oral components, based on their coursework and a departmental reading list based on their language of study.
For more details, consult the Graduate Catalog.
Students have the option of completing a dual-language degree by completing 18 hours of coursework in each of the languages of study. This is a rigorous course of study but will enable graduates to teach in both languages upon completion of the degree, or to be well-positioned for doctoral study. Dual-language students will be responsible for the reading lists of both languages when completing their comprehensive examination and will have faculty from both languages on their exam committee. All other requirements listed above for the thesis or non-thesis options still pertain to the course of study for a student choosing to complete coursework in two languages.
All students working toward an M.A. in Foreign Language have the option of completing a minor in a field related to their course of study and their academic interests, in addition to the major coursework. Many of CMLL's M.A. students have worked toward minors in fields such as Curriculum and Instruction, Business, History, or Political Science, or have completed the requirements for a TESOL certificate. Requirements for the minor are determined by the department offering the minor, and generally include either 9 or 12 hours of graduate-level coursework. In addition, a professor from the minor field of study must be included on the student’s comprehensive exam committee. Students should speak to a professor or the department head of the department they wish to work with to determine the specific requirements for completing the minor.
World Language Teaching Minor and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
Graduate and undergraduate students have the option of completing a minor in World Language Teaching. Those who have earned a degree can work toward a post-baccalaureate certificate. Both options provide students with the opportunity to learn about teaching a world language other than English and to apply new knowledge by interacting directly with K-12 learners in Mississippi’s schools. The minor or certificate requires 15 hours of coursework including a 9-hour core. See here for the list of courses.
Required Core Courses:
- FL 4203/6203 Methods of Teaching K-8 World Languages (Fall odd years)
- FL 6213 Methods of Teaching 9-12 World Languages (Spring even years)
- FL 6233 Linguistics for World Language Teachers (Fall even years)
The remaining six hours may include two of the following:
- Any FLx (e.g., FLF, FLG, etc.) 4000/6000-level course
- EN/FL 4463/6463 Studies in Second Language Acquisition
- EN 4603/6603 Introduction to Linguistics
- FL 4223/6223 Foundations in Online Language Teaching
- FL 4243/6243 Introduction to Ecolinguistics
- FL 4253/6253 Biosemiotics
- FL 8693 Advanced Foreign Language Pedagogy
- FL 8793 Foreign Language Planning, Instruction, and Assessment
If you are interested in our graduate program or have any questions, please reach out to our Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Kelly Moser at email@example.com