All Graduate Programs

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages offers multiple graduate programs that allow you to become part of our dynamic, multilingual and multicultural community of scholars, educators and students. No matter which option you choose, Mason’s uniquely interdisciplinary and flexible programs allow you to deepen your cultural and linguistic expertise through courses on topics such as border studies, cultural studies, film, gender studies, heritage language education, history, language pedagogy, literature, second language acquisition, and sociolinguistics.

You will have the opportunity to learn from top scholars in Francophone, French, Latin American, Latinx, and Spanish cultures, linguistics, and literature. Faculty expertise spans subjects including applied linguistics; corpus linguistics; early modern French empire and warfare; language learning and teaching; Latin American film, media and popular culture; multilingualism; race, ethnicity and language; sub-Saharan African literature; and more. 

One-on-one advising and mentorship help you design a curriculum that matches your interests and allows you to achieve your academic and professional goals. Small graduate courses provide plenty of opportunities for interaction and discussion. Our students range from recent college graduates to mid-career professionals, and all benefit from their classmates’ diverse backgrounds and experiences. 

Mason’s location in Fairfax, Virginia, and our proximity to Washington, D.C., place our program in one of the most culturally rich and vibrant areas in the world.  Our graduates take advantage of strong employment opportunities in this region for people with degrees in foreign languages.  They pursue careers in education, non-governmental organizations, advocacy, government, international relations, and business, among others. 

Educators seeking professional development opportunities may take graduate courses as non-degree students. In most cases, non-degree coursework can later be applied to the MA and certificate programs.

MA in Foreign Languages

French concentration in the MA in Foreign Languages

The MA in foreign languages with a concentration in French offers students an opportunity to study a variety of topics—from the traditional academic study of the language, literature, and the culture of French to less traditional subjects such as film studies and the Francophone literatures of the Caribbean, Quebec, and Africa.

Spanish/Bilingual-Multicultural Education concentration in the MA in Foreign Languages

The MA in Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish/Bilingual- Multicultural Education combines courses in Spanish offered in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages with select courses in multicultural education offered by the College of Education and Human Development. This degree prepares individuals to effectively teach Spanish in diverse settings, including second language, heritage language, and mixed classes, as well as multicultural learning contexts. Virginia Licensure is available with additional coursework beyond the degree. 

Students can choose to simultaneously earn the graduate certificate in Spanish Heritage Language Education, which provides expertise on the linguistic, sociolinguistic, and cultural characteristics of Spanish-speakers in the US; heritage language educational policy; and social justice-oriented, antiracist approaches to teaching Spanish. Coursework can count for BOTH the MA and the certificate.

Spanish and French concentration in the MA in Foreign Languages

The MA in foreign languages with a concentration in French and Spanish allows graduate students to pursue a multilingual path of scholarship and an array of international opportunities. This expanded master’s degree combines the basic requirements of the concentrations in French and Spanish, with additional opportunities for electives and an optional thesis.

Students can choose to simultaneously earn the graduate certificate in Spanish Heritage Language Education, which provides expertise on the linguistic, sociolinguistic, and cultural characteristics of Spanish-speakers in the US; heritage language educational policy; and social justice-oriented, antiracist approaches to teaching Spanish. Coursework can count for BOTH the MA and the certificate.

Spanish concentration in the MA in Foreign Languages

The MA in Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish offers students an opportunity to study a wide variety of topics from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Coursework includes the academic study of the language, literature, and the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world (including the US) as well as applied linguistics, cultural studies, critical pedagogy, film studies, and Latinx studies.

Students can choose to simultaneously earn the graduate certificate in Spanish Heritage Language Education, which provides expertise on the linguistic, sociolinguistic, and cultural characteristics of Spanish-speakers in the US; heritage language educational policy; and social justice-oriented, antiracist approaches to teaching Spanish. Coursework can count for BOTH the MA and the certificate.

Accelerated MA in Foreign Languages

The Accelerated Master’s Degree program allows Mason’s highly qualified and highly motivated undergraduates to begin graduate study while still completing their BA. This allows them to earn an MA in a reduced amount of time, and at significantly reduced cost. Students accepted to the Accelerated Master’s Degree (BAM) program can complete both degrees with as few as 138 credits!

Students in the Accelerated Master’s degree in Foreign Languages can choose either the concentration in Spanish or the concentration in Spanish/Bilingual-Multicultural Education.

Graduate Certificate in Spanish Heritage Language Education

The Graduate Certificate in Spanish Heritage Language Education is a 15-credit program that can be completed fully online. It can be taken alone or in conjunction with the MA in Foreign Languages or another Mason graduate degree. Students develop familiarity with the linguistic, sociolinguistic, and cultural characteristics of Spanish-speakers in the US; heritage language educational policy and practice; and social justice-oriented approaches to teaching Spanish. The certificate prepares educators and affiliated professionals to advocate for heritage speakers of Spanish as well as to develop and implement teaching materials, curricula, and pedagogies for Spanish heritage language education.