Purpose and Expectations
The Department offers a variety of unique Master of Arts programs:
- the MA in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (MA-LLC)
- the MA in Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Pedagogy (MA-LLCP)
- the MA in Italian Studies (MA-IS)
- the 4+1 MA in Italian Studies (4+1 MA-IS)
- the 4+1 MA Childhood Education in Languages, Literatures and Cultures (4+1 MA-CE)
The Masters in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (MA-LLC) and Languages, Literatures, Cultures, and Pedagogy (MA-LLCP) degrees are offered in the fields of French, German and Spanish. The MA-LLCP degree affords students the opportunity to continue their foreign language study at the graduate level with the option of working toward teacher certification.
The purpose of both these MA degrees is to provide students with the opportunity for professional growth in the areas of language proficiency, literature, culture, and pedagogy. The MA-LLCP degree is designed to offer an interdisciplinary course for those who wish to pursue a specialty area in Foreign and Second Language Education. The degree’s flexible options make it suitable both for those new to the field and for practicing teachers and other professionals.
Students typically take four semesters to complete their degree, and over the course of their study they are expected to perfect their linguistic and cultural proficiency in the foreign language as well as their knowledge and understanding of its literature. Students are also expected to significantly expand their research and teaching abilities.
The MA degree in Childhood Education (MA-CE) offers 4+1 opportunities for the University of Delaware Undergraduate Student with degrees in Elementary Teacher Education (ETE) and Early Childhood Education (ECE). It also provides a part-time option for in-service teachers in and around the Delaware community to refresh their linguistic and cultural proficiency, and to keep up with the latest strategies in teaching methodology.
Students and in-service teachers who pursue the MA in Childhood Education foster the Delaware and nation-wide goals to promote proficiency in world languages at the K-12 level.
The MA degree in Italian Studies (MA-IS) affords those students interested in expanded opportunities, career growth in Italian and related fields. University of Delaware students who are advanced language learners may opt for the 4+1 MA, which would allow them to start the MA in their senior year.
What Makes Us Unique
With Delaware’s MA in Languages, Literatures, Cultures, and Pedagogy (one of the few in the US), students graduating with a BA in French, German, or Spanish who make the decision to teach in their senior year now have the possibility of continuing their foreign language study at the graduate level while at the same time working towards teacher certification.
There are even fewer graduate programs that provide students with the opportunity to continue the study of two languages at the graduate level. Delaware’s MA in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Program offers students the possibility of single-language study or two-language study, either in a major-minor format or a double major. For talented polyglots proficient in two “favorite” languages, there’s no need to choose! At Delaware, you can deepen your understanding of two cultures, increase your fluency in two languages…and make yourself that much more flexible on the job market. Whether focused on a single major or a double major, this MA is suited for those students who may wish to pursue their studies at the doctoral level.
Students and in-service teachers may now pursue the MA in Childhood Education. For students with degrees in Elementary Teacher Education (ETE) and Early Childhood Education (ECE), this program allows for a MA with one additional year of study. It provides a more flexible plan of study for in-service teachers, allowing both to hone the knowledge and skills needed to teach effectively in the dual language immersion classroom. This interdisciplinary program provides the opportunity for professional growth in the areas of linguistic and cultural proficiency, as well as teaching methodology.
The MA in Italian Studies offers students the ability to work individually with a professor to develop effective written communication in Italian, to polish their critical thinking skills, and engage in interdisciplinary study. It offers expanded opportunities for career growth in a wide range of fields.
Recognizing that time spent abroad greatly enhances our students’ learning, some programs offer exchange programs in France and Spain for students who are not native speakers of the target language. These programs are competitive.
MA in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
This flexible master’s program has three options: a single major (30 credits), a double major (42 credits) or a major/minor (36 credits). The program offers students an in-depth study of the target culture(s) and literature(s). Students who complete this program find that the additional exposure to the language and the literature prepares them for positions requiring target language fluency and general familiarity with the target culture such as teaching, international business, and government.
The program also prepares students for study at the PhD level in foreign literature or (especially in the case of those who elect the double major or major/minor option) in comparative literature.
- Major Fields: French, German, and Spanish
- Minor Fields: French, German, Spanish, Russian,
Latin, and Italian Literatures, Women’s Studies,
Applied Linguistics/Pedagogy, and related disciplines.
MA in Languages, Literatures, Cultures, and Pedagogy
This master’s program has three options: a single major (30 credits), a double major (42 credits) and a major/minor (36 credits).
The MA in Foreign Languages and Pedagogy is a flexible degree that can provide students with all the courses required for teaching certification in French, German, or Spanish. Students may apply for a fifth semester of funding to cover student teaching. Students already certified can take as many as 15 credit hours in foreign language pedagogy courses or closely related fields. All students take at least half their courses in the foreign language and literature of their major field (French, German, or Spanish). This program also prepares students for study at the PhD level in the field of Applied Linguistics. Students seeking teacher certification must take 33 credits, not including the student teaching semester. All other students must take 30 credits.
These two master’s programs have virtually identical entrance requirements but different course distribution requirements, reading lists, and comprehensive examinations.
The MA Childhood Education in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
The 4+1 program, Childhood Education in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, provides University of Delaware Elementary Teacher Education (ETE) and University of Delaware Early Childhood Education (ECE) students with the opportunity to take graduate courses that could count towards both the ETE/ECE major and the Master of Arts Childhood Education in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. This interdisciplinary MA degree, with coursework in pedagogy, language, and culture, trains candidates to teach in the dual-language immersion classroom. With this 4+1 plan and the proper scheduling of graduate EDUC courses, students may enter immediately into the MA program in the College of Arts and Sciences full-time after graduating with their Bachelor of Science in Education degree in four years, with the possibility of completing their MA within one year.
Additionally, the MA Childhood Education in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures has developed a program for Certified In-Service teachers to refresh their immersion language skills. School Districts nationwide are adopting dual-language K-12 programs to better prepare American youth for the demands of a growing international worldwide business and cultural perspective. The global nature of our life today requires increased reliance on strong foreign language skills. Join the many K-12 educators now entering the rapidly growing field of dual-language education and help our children become the multi-linguistic multicultural leaders of the twenty-first century!
The MA in Italian Studies
Both the 4+1 MA and the MA in Italian Studies require the completion of 30 credits in classes offered in Italian, Art History, English, Fashion and Apparel Studies, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and Latin. This degree offers students a way to apply their language learning in fields related to their future careers. Students will improve their Italian proficiency in written communication skills, as well as develop critical thinking skills and engage in interdisciplinary study. The program requires a thesis, completed in the last semester of study, which allows students to gain research experience with faculty scholars in a particular field of interest.
The Department has exchange programs with the Universities of Caen (France) and Granada (Spain). Students who go to Caen remain for a full academic year. Students wishing to participate in the programs in Bayreuth and Granada generally stay for one semester only. As a rule, students teach English courses at the foreign site, either at the university or secondary school level. They may also take a limited number of courses towards completion of their MA degree. Participation in the exchange programs is competitive. Students should consult the faculty liaisons for the program in which they’re interested one year in advance of the intended stay abroad.
For further information about specific language requirements, course distribution, and comprehensive examinations, please refer to:
For further information about reading lists (MA-LLC and MA-LLCP) for the specialization of interest to you, please refer to:
How to Apply
Most of your questions about the application process are already answered on the UD Grad Office’s site (be sure to read the items on the sidebar menu, which address each aspect of the application). Please be sure to follow the instructions carefully: http://www.udel.edu/gradoffice/apply/
FAQs for Applicants
Do I need to take the GRE?
No, our department does not require the GRE.
Do I need to take the TOEFL?
All international applicants are required to take the TOEFL, and to make arrangements for ETS (the Educational Testing Service, which administers the test) to report their scores (by the Feb. 1 deadline, if the applicant is requesting a teaching assistantship or tuition scholarship). You will need to enter UD’s code, 5811, so that the scores will be added automatically to your application as soon as they are received. Do not enter a department code.
TOEFL exemptions apply to applicants who are not native speakers of English, but who belong to one of two groups: 1) those who have earned a university degree in a country where English is the official language, and 2) those who are permanent residents of the US. Both groups are still subject to the University’s English proficiency requirements for teaching assistants.
Are there alternatives to the TOEFL?
Yes. We also accept scores on the IELTS (minimum score of 6.5 overall with no individual sub-score below 6.0; scores are to be sent directly by IELTS International to the Office of Graduate and Professional Education, 234 Hullihen Hall, Newark, DE 19716) or the DELF/CEFR/Cambridge assessments (level C1 or higher).
Do I need to secure a certified English translation of my transcripts and/or diplomas?
In what language should my applicant essay and writing sample be written?
The writing sample should be in the target language, that is, the language in which you will be specializing. The application essay must be in English.
What sort of writing sample should I send?
We would like to see evidence of your analytical ability and your academic writing skills. Select an example of your very best writing, in the target language (i.e., if you are applying to an MA program in Spanish, submit an essay in Spanish). A paper for an academic course is ideal. The subject should be related to the area of study you expect to pursue at the MA level. The suggested length is five to ten pages. Please do not submit entire theses: select instead an excerpt and explain its context.
What information should I include in my applicant essay?
Your personal statement is a very important part of the application and is read with great care. It is highly recommended that you invest ample time in composing this statement and include enough detail to communicate your fit with our program (suggested length: 500 – 800 words). Your statement should address the following matters:
- It should describe why you have selected our program (MA-LLC, MA-LLCP, MA-IS, etc.) and how you intend to use the degree to fulfill your career goals or further educational aspirations.
- It should provide any other information about you (your experience, specific interests, talents or abilities, and/or your academic record) that you believe is important for the admission committee to know. If you are currently registered in a graduate program at this or another university, please explain why you wish to leave.
- If you are an MA-LLCP applicant intending to pursue the certification track, please mention this in your essay.
Can my letters of recommendation be written in a language other than English?
All letters of recommendation should be written in English. If this constitutes a problem for one of your recommenders, we can accept letters in Spanish, French, German or Italian if necessary.
Whom should I approach for letters of recommendation? Can letters be from current or past employers?
Your three letters of recommendation should preferably come from professors who know you well and who can comment on your academic performance in the target language and/or literature, as well as on your current target language proficiency (if you are a non-native speaker of that language). If you have been away from the academic world for some years, a letter from an employer may be substituted for one academic letter.
One of my professors has not yet submitted his/her letter of recommendation. Should I submit my application anyway?
Yes. But since we cannot make a final decision unless we have all three letters, do first gently remind that person that the letter has not yet been received. If s/he says that s/he is unable to submit the form at that point, find another recommender and add her/him BEFORE submitting your application.
I want to apply for a teaching assistantship (or tuition scholarship). What do I need to do?
Check the box on the application that says “I would like to be considered for financial aid.” There is no separate application for financial aid (including teaching assistantships) from the University.
I have been granted “full funding.” What exactly does that mean? Will there be any additional fees?
“Full funding” means that you will be paid a monthly stipend (paid twice a month, over nine months) plus a full tuition scholarship. There are still required fees for which you will be responsible: any visa-related fees, plus University-mandated mandatory health and activity fees (as of April 2015, these mandatory UD fees total approximately $400 per semester for domestic students and $500 per semester for international students). For updates, see the UD Financial Aid website: http://www.udel.edu/finaid/grad_rates.html. For a breakdown of mandatory fees, click the box on that page labeled “Related Fees.”
Continuation of your financial award is contingent upon your satisfactory progress in the program. A minimum average GPA of 3.0 is required.
When should I expect to hear whether I have been accepted?
If you have submitted all the required documents by the February 1 deadline for applicants requesting financial aid, you should expect to hear from us between March 1 and April 15. Decisions on late applications or on applications from those not seeking funding are issued on a rolling basis.