Master of Science in Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies

The Master of Science in Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies (MS-ALIS), offered by the School of Modern Languages, is one of the first professional master’s degrees in foreign language and cultural studies in the United States. It emphasizes the real-world professional applications of language for a wide range of career paths, from communications and non-profit to business, engineering, and medicine.

In addition to rigorous training in advanced-level language and cross-cultural communication, students have the opportunity to go abroad to study, do research, and complete for-credit internships. Students graduate with a professional portfolio in the language of concentration, positioning them to pursue a range of internationally oriented career paths.

The MS-ALIS degree is currently available in Spanish. Projected language tracks include: French (2020), German (2020), Chinese (2021), Japanese (2021), and Russian (2021). For current Georgia Tech undergraduates, the MS-ALIS is also available as a 5-year BS/MS to BS-ALIS majors. Availability for BS-GEML, BS-IAML, and BS-INTA is in the proposal phase. 

Degree Requirements

The MS-ALIS is a flexible program that can be completed in as few as 3 semesters or part-time over a longer period. To graduate, students must earn 30 credit hours at the 6000+ level and present a professional portfolio in the target language that demonstrates advanced-level competence in the language and culture of focus (completed in LANG 6503: Professional Portfolio during the final semester of study).

Required Courses

  • 9 credits of MS-ALIS required core courses 
    • Theory and Foundations (LANG 6501, 3 credits): Theoretical knowledge and its practical applications in key areas of culture, literature, media, and linguistics studies. 
    • Intercultural Seminar (LANG 6500, 3 credits) Applies cross-cultural research and reflection toward the discussion of current issues in the language and culture of focus.
    • Professional Portfolio (LANG 6503, 3 credits, online/self-paced – final semester of study): Students prepare a professional portfolio in the target language, which includes job application materials and work samples and which connects their coursework to the next step in their career.
  • 21 credits of electives at the 6000+ level

The opportunity to apply cultural knowledge in practice is a signature of the MS-ALIS. In addition to regular 6000-level courses in cultural studies, language, and media, we offer a range of individual project-based opportunities. These experiential courses are elective courses and are designed in consultation with the graduate advisor. 


This degree is adaptable for students’ needs, interests, and goals. Each student’s course of study will be designed in communication with faculty advisors, according to the following guidelines:

  • The course of study should indicate an area of specialization that applies language expertise to a particular thematic or disciplinary field.
  • Students may count up to 3 credit hours of 6000+ level coursework from another School toward the degree.
  • Students may count up to 12 credits of experiential courses toward the degree.
  • Students may enroll in “MS Thesis” for no more than 3 credits during the Summer semester.

Application Requirements

Applications for the MS-ALIS program are accepted on a rolling basis with a priority deadline of January 15th. International students are strongly encouraged to apply by this deadline to allow sufficient time for obtaining a U.S. visa. The final deadline for application is March 1st.

Application requirements include:

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Official Transcripts
  • 2 Letters of recommendation
  • Cumulative GPA 3.0+
  • TOEFL score (international students)
  • Intermediate-high level proficiency in the language of focus (ACTFL standards)
  • Minimum GPA 3.0 in the language of focus

Language Proficiency Assessment (online post-submission): Language Proficiency will be evaluated via self-paced online interview after applications have been submitted. You will receive an email prompt from Georgia Tech Admissions, which will allow you to log in to complete the video interview. Interviews include questions in the target language and in English and are suitable to be completed by both language learners and native speakers. They should take approximately 15 minutes to complete and do not require advance preparation. Interviews are an opportunity to showcase your abilities in both English and Spanish. 

For admissions details, visit Graduate Program Admissions Page.

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