B.6 Master of Arts

Master of Arts Degree Candidacy

The Master of Arts degree in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Teaching Hebrew as a Second Language, Italian, Russian, or Spanish requires 12 units of course credit. Receipt of the Bachelor of Arts degree or the equivalent from a regionally accredited institution is a prerequisite for admission to the Master of Arts program. Students are notified by letter of their formal acceptance into the Master of Arts program after successfully completing three graduate-level courses during their first summer of study on the Middlebury or Mills campus.

If a student earns a grade lower than B- in any course during the summer of candidacy, the student will be notified in writing that admission to the Master of Arts degree program has been denied. Students who are denied admission to the Master of Arts degree program may submit a letter requesting reconsideration of candidacy if special circumstances exist that contributed to the negative outcome of the summer of candidacy. Written requests will be reviewed by the director whose decision, in consultation with faculty and the vice president’s office (if necessary), is final. Any student who is granted permission for readmission to the summer of candidacy must successfully complete all courses required for the degree.

A highly-qualified undergraduate student may accumulate, before receipt of the Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent, a maximum of three graduate units at the Language Schools to be applied toward the Middlebury Master of Arts degree. Such units will not count toward both degrees.

Master of Arts degree students who are assigned a grade of “F” will be dismissed from the program. All other failing grades (see Grades and Transcripts) represent unsatisfactory progress and may jeopardize a student’s eligibility for federal loans, and may be grounds for dismissal from the program. Transfer courses may not be used to make up failures (see Transfer Credits section below). All failed courses must be made up in a summer session at Middlebury or Mills. A Master of Arts candidate who withdraws from a School Abroad may complete the degree only through further study during a summer session at Middlebury or Mills. Special permission must be granted to complete the degree at a School Abroad.

Credits and Credit Load

(see Registration)

All credit awarded by the Language Schools is defined in terms of units. One unit equals three semester hours of credit. Students enrolled in the six-week graduate programs of the Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, and Spanish Schools normally earn three units of credit. Graduate students are not permitted to repeat a course for which they have received a passing grade and earned credit.

The Language Schools advise against taking more than the three-course load. Permission to take a fourth course must be obtained from the director or associate director of the School, and is granted only in rare exceptions, and only to graduate students who have studied previously at the School. Students are billed for extra courses after the beginning of the session (see Extra Course Fees). Payment in full is due upon receipt of the bill.

A degree must be earned within a 10-year period. All units of credit expire after 10 years, whether earned at Middlebury College or transferred from another institution. Thus, credit earned at the 2016 session will expire after the end of the 2026 session. The validity of a degree, which certifies a level of achievement, does not expire.

Independent Study Courses

Students may not earn academic credit for independent study courses conducted outside of the summer term (with the exception of courses taught at a Middlebury C.V. Starr School Abroad).

Transfer Credits

After formal admission to the program, candidates for the MA and DML degrees may request permission from the coordinator of their School to transfer from another institution the maximum of the equivalent of one full-time summer of study at Middlebury (three units). Final approval will come from the Registrar’s Office. To be considered for transfer, courses must be valued at the equivalent of one unit of Middlebury credit (three semester hours, four and a half quarter hours, or six ECTS units). For courses taken at institutions on the quarter system, as well as institutions whose courses do not carry credit equaling three semester hours, the Middlebury College Language Schools grant (a) one unit of credit for two quarter courses or (b) two units of credit for three quarter courses. Students need to submit in writing which option they intend to follow.

Only courses taken after successful completion of the initial summer and formal admission to degree candidacy can be transferred. Courses taken at other institutions before the first summer of study may not be transferred toward a Middlebury degree, and transferred courses may not be used toward any other degree. Written approval of a course’s transferability must be obtained from Middlebury before registering for the course. Courses that have not been pre-approved will be considered for transfer only in those instances in which a student can demonstrate that pre-approval was not possible (for example, due to a last minute cancellation of a pre-approved course). Middlebury College courses transferred from one degree program are not eligible for another Middlebury College degree.

Courses for transfer must be graduate level and taken at an accredited institution that offers a Master of Arts degree in either the language of study or a related discipline. In either case, to be considered for transfer credit, these courses must be taught entirely in the language of the student’s degree program. Middlebury College Language Schools do not accept certificate courses, asynchronous online courses, correspondence courses, independent study, courses taught fully or partially in English*, or courses from extension or continuing education programs. Students may not transfer courses from Middlebury Language Schools partner institutions abroad if they are not enrolled in a Middlebury Language Schools program at the time the student takes the courses. For specific Schools’ policies on transfer credits from MAT or MEd programs, please consult the School director.

*With the exception of the Middlebury-Monterey option of the Arabic or Chinese MA degrees.

Courses considered for transfer must be taught in the foreign language in the areas of language analysis and linguistics, culture and civilization, literature, or professional preparation, and must not duplicate courses already taken for degree credit. All units counted toward a degree must be taken on a graded, not a pass/fail or credit/no credit, basis. No grade below a B- may be applied toward a Middlebury College MA degree. No grade below B+ may be applied toward a DML degree. Courses may not be transferred to make up for courses failed at a Middlebury summer session or at a School Abroad. Students with failing grades forfeit as many possibilities of transfer credit as they have failing grades.

All courses approved for transfer must be completed by the May 31 of the year of graduation for August degree candidates and by the January 10 for March degree candidates.