The objective of the Program in Applied Linguistics is to provide students with training in the field of applied linguistics. While some programs define applied linguistics as the study of second language learning and teaching, we consider applied linguistics in the broadest sense: applications of linguistic theory. Thus, students will not only study second language acquisition and pedagogy but also discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, as well as combinations thereof. Students are thus given a broad formation that will allow them to carry out interdisciplinary work in applied linguistics.

Two degrees are offered in the program: M.A. (Master of Arts) and PhD (Doctor of Philosophy). The M.A. degree is in Applied Linguistics, while the PhD degree is in the language of study (e.g. PhD in Germanic Languages, Literatures and Linguistics), with a specialization in applied linguistics. We do not currently offer a PhD in Applied Linguistics.

The Applied Linguistics program at the University of Alberta is housed within the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies. Such an arrangement offers students several unique opportunities:

  • Students are able to work with more than one language simultaneously within the same department.
  • Students have the opportunity to learn about the culture(s) of the language(s) that they are working with, as the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies includes not only applied linguists but also many specialists in literary and cultural studies. This is a vital step in the training of applied linguists, given that a language cannot be properly studied in isolation from its speakers.
  • Students have daily contact with speakers of their language(s) of study through interactions with faculty members and fellow students who are native or near-native speakers of the language. In the case of non-native speakers, this contact is key for developing and maintaining proficiency in the language.
  • Students are given the opportunity to put their coursework into immediate practice by applying for Teaching or Research Assistantships.

The languages of study within the program are French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian. Students will be able to conduct research about one (or more) of these languages.

If you are interested in applying to our program, we urge you to first contact a potential supervisor. Information on the application procedure can be found on the department website.