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Graduate Degree Programs

The Department of World Languages and Literatures offers degree programs leading to the M.A. in World Language with a major in French, German, Japanese or Spanish; and the M.A. in World Languages and Literatures, with a concentration in two world languages and in linguistics. This page also lists other programs and certificates that are available.

 





Master of Arts in French, German, Japanese or Spanish

The M.A. is a graduate degree with a major in French, German, Japanese or Spanish language and literature.  This degree is available with a thesis or a nonthesis option.  The thesis option is generally recommended for students who intend eventually to obtain a doctorate.  The nonthesis option is often appropriate for those who intend to use their M.A. coursework as direct preparation for secondary school teaching or another career.  Students should consult with their adviser to determine the best option.

Admission to the Program
Applicants for admission must meet the University admissions requirements as well as the following departmental requirements:
  1. A Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent in the major language, with a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all coursework.
  2. Oral and written proficiency: Advanced High on the ACTFL scale in French, German and Spanish; Advanced Low in Japanese.

Degree Requirements:
A candidate for the Master of Arts in a world language must complete a minimum of 45 graduate credits, of which 30 must be taken in residence after admission to the degree program. You choose either a thesis or nonthesis option. The 45 credits are to be distributed as follows:

    Thesis Option  

    560, Principles of Scholarly Research
    4
    551, 552, 553 (Poetry, Drama, Prose any two)
    8
    WLL 593 (Testing) or WLL 598 (Methods)
    4
    503 Thesis
    6- 9

    Additional adviser approved coursework

    20-23

    TOTAL
    45


    OR


    NonThesis Option  

    560, Principles of Scholarly Research
    4
    551, 552, 553 (Poetry, Drama, Prose any two)
    8
    WLL 593 (Testing) or WLL 598 (Methods)
    4
    501 Research, other adviser approved credits
    6-9
    Additional adviser approved coursework
    20-23

    TOTAL
    45

Note: The student's program may include, with adviser's approval a maximum of 12 credits in 501 and/or 505 and a maximum of 9 credits in 508 and/or 509 combined.

In addition to the required coursework, the candidate will have to:

  • Demonstrate reading competence in a second world language.
  • Thesis option: Submit a thesis, written in either the world language or in English, and pass a final examination in accordance with University requirements.
  • Nonthesis option: Submit two research papers in different adviser approved subject areas, written either in the world language or in English, and pass a final written and oral examination.

MA Requirements Printable pdf 



Master of Arts in World Languages and Literatures (M.A. in W.L.L.)
The M.A. in World Literature and Language is a graduate degree with concentration in a primary language, a secondary language, and linguistics. The primary language may be French, German, Japanese or Spanish; the secondary language may be Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish.

Admission to the Program.
Applicants for admission must meet the University admission requirements, as well as the following additional requirements:
  1. In the primary language:
    • Bachelor of Arts in the language with a 3.00 GPA in the literature courses, or its equivalent as determined by the Department.
    • Oral and written proficiency: Advanced High ACTFL scale.
  2. In the secondary language: Demonstration of third year proficiency.
Degree Requirements: 
A minimum of 60 credits, of which 40 must be earned in residence distributed among the 3 following areas:

     
    Primary Language
    Credits
    Principles of Scholarly Research 560
    4
    Eight credits chosen from courses numbered 551, 552, 553
    8
    Other adviser approved 500 level courses
    16

    Primary Language total
    28
       
    Secondary Language
    Credits
    Advanced  Language 511 and 512 or Span 514
    8
    Twelve graduate credits chosen from:
    500 level literature courses (not to include Literature in Translation) and/or Linguistics 594, 595 and/or Stylistics 584
    12

    Secondary Language Total
    20
       
    Note: If upper division courses in fourth year language (411 and 412 or 414) have been successfully completed at the undergraduate level (with a GPA of 3.00 or above), they can be waived, reducing the total credits required by a maximum of 8.
       
    Linguistics and Methods
    Credits

    12 graduate courses chosen from:
    WLL 593
    Language Proficiency Testing and Teaching
    WLL 598 Methods of Teaching World Languages
    FR 594 French Linguistics
    FR 597 Applied French Linguistics
    Ger 594 German Linguistics
    Ger 597 Applied German Linguistics
    Span 594 Spanish Linguistics
    Span 597 Applied Spanish Linguistics
    Other adviser approved courses

    12

    Linguistics & Methods Total
    12

    TOTAL
    60
In addition to the required coursework the candidate will have to:
  1. Submit two research papers to the graduate committee, one dealing with the primary, the other with the secondary area.  These may be written either in the primary or secondary languages, respectively, or in English.
  2. Be rated in oral and written proficiency in the secondary language only. Minimum proficiency level for French, German, and Spanish: Advanced. For Japanese and Russian: Intermediate High.
  3. Pass a final comprehensive written and oral examination over coursework taken in the primary and secondary areas and over the research papers.
MA in WLL Requirements Printable pdf

     

Certificate Programs

Certificate in Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language (TJFL)

This program is designed to familiarize participants with principles of instructional methods in teaching Japanese to speakers of languages whose orthography is not kanji-based. It is designed to fit into the programs of majors in a wide variety of fields, including Japanese, education, linguistics, and the social sciences. Candidates may enroll as postbaccalaureate students or while completing undergraduate degree requirements in another field.

Admission requirements

  1. Admission to Portland State University
  2. Japanese proficiency at the ACTFL intermediate high level, or higher.

Students whose proficiency is lower may be provisionally admitted; they will need to study Japanese while taking other courses in the certificate program.

Course requirements
To qualify for the TJFL certificate, the student must complete 16 credits in theoretical and applied linguistics (through the departments of World Languages and Literatures or Applied Linguistics), 16 credits in Japanese area studies (literature, history, anthropology, etc.), and 8 credits in TJFL Methods (Jpn 477, 478).


Linguistics
16
Area Studies
16
TJFL Methods
8

TOTAL
40

All courses used to satisfy certificate course requirements must be graded C or above.

Secondary Education Program
Advisers: French, S. Walton; German, W. Fischer; Japanese, S. Watanabe; Russian, M. Hickey; Spanish, R. Sanders

Students who wish to teach a world language in Oregon secondary schools must be admitted into the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) in Portland State’s Graduate School of Education and complete the requirements for an Oregon Teaching License. Admission to GTEP as a world language specialist requires a bachelor’s degree in a world language taught in Oregon schools, and the recommendation of the Department of world Languages and Literatures. For other criteria, please refer to the Graduate School of Education section of the Bulletin.

In order to be recommended by the department, the applicant must have:

  1. Applied for admission to the Graduate Teacher Education Program in the Graduate School of Education.
  2. Completed a B.A. or B.S. which includes coursework equivalent to the 52 credits required for a major in one world language at Portland State University.
  3. Have maintained a 3.00 GPA in the last 40 of the above 52 credits earned.
  4. Obtained an Oral Proficiency Rating of Advanced High or higher on the ACTFL scale in French, German, or Spanish, or a rating of Intermediate High or higher in Japanese or Russian.

The Department of world Languages and Literatures highly recommends that applicants earn upper-division credits in their chosen language beyond the minimum of 52 required; that they spend time in a relevant program abroad; and that their coursework include as many of the following as possible: Phonetics, General Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Culture and Civilization, Practicum, and Methods of Teaching World Languages.




Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik
Graduate credits earned in German through the Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik can be accepted as in residence credit at Portland State University only if taken after formal admission to the M.A. in World Language program in German, to the M.A. in World Literature and Language, or to the M.A.T. or the M.A.T. with initial license in German. Graduate credit earned at the DSaP prior to admission to either program is normally limited to 15 credits, in accordance with the University’s transfer regulations.

An M.A. degree in German earned solely by attendance at the Sommerschule normally entails four summers’ work plus thesis. You can find more information about the program at the Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik web page.



Graduate Forms & Printable Information
(you can find more graduate forms at the Graduate Studies Office website)

 Disclaimer: The purpose of this webpage is to help the student understand the requirements set forth in the Bulletin and in no way supercedes the authority of the Bulletin.