One-Year Master of Science in Applied Language and Intercultural Studies

30 credit hours | Available in: French, German, or Spanish

The Master of Science in Applied Language 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 is available as a 5-year coterminal BS/MS for Georgia Tech BS-ALIS majors. Learn more about the BS/MS-ALIS. 

Program of Study

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). The MS-ALIS can be completed in 3 semesters or part-time.

Program of Study


Required Courses

Our core curriculum emphasizes proficiency, perspectives, and professionalization. It is designed to help students hone their professional-level language, master the ability to navigate between cultural systems, and apply these skills toward the next step in their career.

  • Theory and Foundations (ML 6501, 3 credits): Theoretical knowledge and its practical applications in key areas of culture, literature, media, and linguistics studies. 
  • Intercultural Seminar (FREN/GRMN/SPAN 6500, 3 credits): Applies cross-cultural research and reflection toward the discussion of current issues in the language and culture of focus.
  • Professional Portfolio (ML 6503, 3 credits, online): 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.

Experiential Courses:

The opportunity to apply cultural knowledge in practice is a signature of our program. Experiential courses are project-based electives designed in collaboration with a faculty advisor. They are not required to graduate.

  • Applied Language Practicum (FR/GR/SP 6510) – co-design and co-teach an advanced undergraduate course (3000-4000 level)
  • Applied Language Practicum Abroad (FR/GR/SP 6511) – Co-design and co-teach part of Georgia Tech’s signature study abroad, Language for Business and Technology
  • Internship Abroad (FR/GR/SP 6695U) – complete an internship in the target language
  • Research Assistantship (FR/GR/SP 6698U) – conduct graduate research with faculty
  • Graduate Research (FR/GR/SP 6699) – conduct independent research un the U.S. or abroad
  • M.S. Project (FR/GR/SP 6998, 1-9 credits)
  • M.S. Thesis (FR/GR/SP 7000, 3-6 credits)

Georgia Tech Undergraduates: The Graduate Course Option is available to all Georgia Tech students to double-count 6 credit hours of their undergraduate degree toward graduate degree requirements. Learn more about the Graduate Course Option.

Degree Requirements

30 credit hours at the 6000+ level:

  • 9 credits of MS-ALIS required core courses
    • ML 6501. Theory/Foundations [English], 3 credits
    • SP/FR/GR 6500. Intercultural Seminar [Language], 3 credits
    • ML 6503. Professional Portfolio [English], 3 credits 
  • 21 credits at the 6000+ level

Individualization Guidelines:

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.

ALIS Language Programs



Spoken by more than 400 million people worldwide, about 6.5% of the world’s GDP is produced in Spanish-speaking countries, which makes Spanish the third language most commonly used for business. With more than 41 million speakers, the United States has recently become the country with the second largest Spanish speaking population after Mexico, and it is predicted to be the first by 2050 if current demographic trends continue.  

The Spanish program at Georgia Tech is designed to develop the 21st century skills student will need to succeed in today’s world economy.  Applicable to almost any career choice, our interdisciplinary curriculum will provide students with the linguistic, content areas and research skills they will needed to achieve their professional goals.

There is a lot of reflection--written, verbal, creative, or project-based--built into the courses, so that students can explore how their experience abroad relates to their career plans...Many of them developed skills--linguistic, intercultural, interpersonal, professional--directly relevant to future career possibilities....I am proud of the work these students did in the local community, as well as of the glowing reviews from their Spanish supervisors.

        – Kelly Comfort, Director of the Serve-Learn-Sustain in Spain Program


More information about the Spanish Program



French is the official language of twenty-nine countries, and is widely spoken in about fifty more, while eighty-four belong to the International Organization of La Francophonie. With a high number of secondary speakers throughout the world, French has been described as the third most useful language for business after English and Chinese, and it is the second most studied language worldwide after English.

The French program in the School of Modern Languages is not just for students interested in France, but also for those interested in the economies, literatures, cultures and ways of life in the Francophone world.  The dedicated and creative teachers and scholars in our French program share a commitment to excellence of instruction, whether it be in a first-year French class, a specialized course for minors or majors (all of which are taught in French), a course on French or Francophone literature, French or Francophone cinema, on Francophone Africa, or an advanced seminar across the curriculum on France and globalization. 

SLS-France Program at Georgia Tech-Lorraine, Georgia Tech’s European campus in historic Metz, France, hosts a number of programs and welcomes hundreds of students each year. Beyond Metz, Georgia Tech has many partners and programs in France and in Atlanta where a yearly France-Atlanta convention is organized each year. All of our students are encouraged to study abroad through our LBAT programs or Georgia Tech-approved programs such as Georgia Tech-Lorraine in France.

More information about the French Program 



Spoken by about 100 Million people worldwide, German is the language of the strongest economy in the European Union. Apart from its importance for the global economy, German is a highly relevant language in academia as well. On this campus, German Studies intersects and enriches the dialogue with numerous disciplines in the sciences, engineering, international affairs, economy, media, communications, and history, to name a few. A major or minor in German makes our students stand out as interdisciplinary thinkers and as inter-culturally competent candidates on the global job market. Graduates of the Georgia Tech German Program regularly place into highly prestigious jobs in the global workplace.

The German Program at the School of Modern Languages provides students with an integrative academic experience that emphasizes linguistic and cultural proficiency, intercultural studies, and applied language use. A close-knit combination of language and culture studies, faculty-led study abroad, academic exchanges, and internships in the German-speaking world encourages our students to make German an integral part of their career paths. Students can study German at all levels ranging from beginning language courses (also available online), to advanced language acquisition courses, to courses focusing on intercultural studies, cultural history, race and gender studies, technology, film, digital media, and literature.

More information about the German Program


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