About this Program

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Applied Linguistics prepares students to pursue advanced graduate study, teach in colleges, adult education programs, businesses, private schools and institutions in the U.S. or abroad, work with private businesses, and help meet the language acquisition needs of second language learners. The Program takes pride in the international, intercultural, academic, and professional experience it offers to students from all over the world, including Germany, Russia, Slovenia, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Tunis, Afghanistan, Burma, China, Indonesia, Bolivia, etc. The core faculty who serve the program are dedicated teachers as well as accomplished scholars and researchers, devoted to mentoring graduate students and helping them achieve their academic and professional goals. See more information on the department's website.

Program Highlights

  • The program offers two concentrations--Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Sociolinguistics--which are uniquely intertwined.

  • TESOL International Association considers a Master's degree in TESOL or related area to be the terminal degree for teaching positions in English as a second, foreign, or additional language.

  • Students may earn a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and/or use appropriate courses in the program toward obtaining a Commonwealth of Virginia Endorsement for English as a Second Language (ESL) if they already have a teaching license.

Degree Level
Degree Earned
Master of Arts
Delivery Modes


Check out these ideas from ODU Career Development Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is a midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary

$77,660 Median Salary

Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Interpreters and Translators

$51,790 Median Salary

Interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another.


What are the requirements to apply for Applied Linguistics at ODU?
Students entering the Master of Arts program in Applied Linguistics should meet the minimum university admission requirements Graduate Admission.

Admission for the program is done on a rolling basis. However, to be considered for an assistantship, please submit your application by March 15th for Fall semester and October 1st for Spring semester.

  • An undergraduate degree

  • B average in their major field of study

  • Must have taken some undergraduate courses in the humanities, language (any language), linguistics or literature

  • Sample of academic writing

  • Essay/statement of purpose describing their goals for studying in the graduate Program in Applied Linguistics

  • Two letters of recommendation for domestic students. Three letters of recommendation for international applicants (one of which should evaluate the applicant's English ability)

  • Non-native speakers of English must submit scores from the TOEFL iBT (88 for regular admission and 80 for provisional admission) or from the TOEFL PBT (570 for regular admission and 550 for provisional admission), or IELTS Academic Module (6.5 or above)


Estimated rates for the 2023-24 academic year. Rates are subject to change. Anyone that is not a current Virginia resident will be charged non-resident rates. That includes international students.

Virginia Resident
Cost Per-Credit $599
Technology Delivered Courses Outside Virginia and/or the United States
Cost Per-Credit $623
Cost Per-Credit $1,439

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending ODU. For more information visit University Student Financial aid


The Applied Linguistics graduate program offers a small number of assistantships to select students. Contact the Department of English for more information.


Graduate Program Director

NORFOLK, 23529