Middlebury Language School Graduate Programs


MA Academic Tracks

The Arabic School’s MA degree program offers two academic tracks. The general track in Arabic studies features in-language coursework on topics in literature, history, religion, popular culture and art, and contemporary politics and society (including current events). The Arabic language pedagogy track focuses on Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL), combining advanced coursework in Arabic and Arabic linguistics with training in second language acquisition, modern teaching methods, language assessment, classroom technology, and related areas. The Arabic pedagogy track is suitable for both current and prospective teachers of Arabic, at the primary, secondary, and college levels. Academic program requirements for the two tracks are listed below.

Academic program for the general track in Arabic studies

  • 3 units in Arabic language and linguistics
  • 3 units in literature
  • 3 units in civilization, culture, and society
  • 3 elective units

Academic program for the Arabic language pedagogy (TAFL) track

  • 5 units in Arabic linguistics and/or pedagogy
  • 3 units in literature, civilization, culture, and society
  • 1 unit of language practicum
  • 3 elective units

Each unit is equivalent to three semester course hours at a regular academic-year program. To earn the MA degree, the student must successfully complete a total of 12 units in the appropriate areas within a 10-year period.

MA Program Options

In addition to an academic track, MA students must select a program option:

Option 1: Four 6-week graduate summer sessions at Middlebury at Mills. This option is suitable for students on either academic track. The four summer sessions do not need to be consecutive. (Graduate credits may be applied toward the MA degree for up to 10 years.)

Option 2: One 6-week graduate summer session at Middlebury at Mills, two semesters (a full academic year) at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, followed by a final summer at Middlebury at Mills. This option is intended for candidates on the Arabic pedagogy (TAFL) track only.

Note about program option 2: During the academic year at Monterey, students will be enrolled in 18-20 credits of coursework in areas such as Arabic language pedagogy, Arabic linguistics, curriculum development, language assessment, sociolinguistics, and second language acquisition. Although some Monterey courses may be conducted primarily in Arabic, the Language Pledge will not be in effect during the Monterey period.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MA degree program must hold a BA or its equivalent with a GPA of 3.0 or higher before the initial graduate session. They should have completed a major or concentration in Arabic or have studied Arabic at the college level for four years or more. Applicants must submit all application materials and meet the proficiency requirements for admission. Language proficiency is assessed on the basis of a writing sample, proficiency test, and telephone interview with the director. Please see the application instructions for details.

All graduate students (regardless of academic track or program option) must successfully complete an initial 6-week graduate summer session at Middlebury at Mills (3 units) in order to establish their candidacy for the MA degree.

Applicants pursuing an MA are encouraged to apply for financial aid, as graduate students enrolled in an MA degree program at the Language Schools receive 100% of demonstrated need for summer sessions.Applicants may also apply for merit-based scholarships such as the Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace. MA students who select program option 2 will receive a 50% tuition scholarship at Monterey Institute during the academic year, in addition to any summer aid offered by Middlebury. For details, please visit our dates and fees page.

Non-degree students (e.g., candidates for degrees at other institutions, or individuals who want to take graduate-level courses in Arabic without pursuing the MA) may also apply to the 6-week graduate session and for financial aid or scholarships. Preference in admissions may be given to applicants committed to pursuing the MA degree.

The GRE is not required.

Non-native speakers of English who received their undergraduate degrees from an accredited four-year US institution are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Non-native speakers of English who did not receive undergraduate degrees from an accredited four-year US institution must submit either TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Minimum TOEFL scores

  • Internet-based test (IBT): 100 overall (25 reading and listening, 23 speaking, 27 writing)
  • PBT: 600
  • CBT: 250

Minimum IELTS scores

  • 7.5 overall
  • 7.5 listening and reading
  • No sub-score below 7.5

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