MA in Language Teaching

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the questions most frequently asked by graduate students are addressed in this section. 

What are the grading requirements that apply to coursework in the M.A. Program?
All courses included on the M.A. Degree program must be taken for a letter grade. The only exceptions are as follows:
EDCI 689 Professional Field Experience
EDSL 696 TIL Comprehensive Examination
EDMA 697 Independent Study
-------- 699T Master’s Study
-------- 699P Master’s Project
Courses specified as ABC/No Credit (400/500-level courses), AB/No Credit (600-level courses), or Credit/No Credit grading only)
Approved course work taken in other departments
Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all course work on the approved master’s degree program as well as in post baccalaureate course work overall and all post baccalaureate course work at CSU, Chico.

What courses may be included on my program plan?
Graduate students may enroll in courses at any level. However, only courses at the 400/500- and 600-levels taken after receipt of the bachelor’s degree and within seven years of matriculation in the M.A. degree may be counted in the master’s program. Course work taken as part of the basic credential programs (Multiple Subjects and Single Subject) is excluded, as are 800-level extension courses. Courses already counted toward the requirements of another degree program may not be included in the M.A. program.
Students must take at least 21 units at the 600-level, more if they take a four-unit course such as ENGL 431

Will I receive transfer credit for course work taken at other institutions?
A maximum of 9 semester units of transfer credit may be applied toward the degree. To be accepted as transfer credit, the course work must be taken post baccalaureate within the program time limit, and completed at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association. Additionally, it must be acceptable in a master’s degree program at the school where it was taken. Correspondence courses and University of California extension course work are not acceptable for transfer. Any CSU, Chico course work completed through Open University and included in the program will also count against this 9-unit limit. 

Will I be able to include course work taken prior to admission in the program?
A limited amount of course work completed prior to admission in to the program may be counted toward M.A. program requirements. The number of courses that can be counted is dependent on considerations such as the amount of transfer course work in the program and the level of course work taken. The Graduate Coordinator should be contacted for information specific to each individual situation.

Will the courses I need be offered during summer session?
The availability of courses during summer session depends in part on the student’s area of specialization. Some courses have been offered periodically; others only during the academic year. Check with the Graduate Coordinator or a faculty adviser regarding the scheduling of specific courses.

How many units should I take each semester?
Defining what is an appropriate course load for a graduate student is an individual matter determined by a number of factors (e.g., work demands, financial aid requirements, family obligations, health considerations, time constraints). University policy dictates that a graduate student may not register for more than 16 units of work in any semester without written permission from the Graduate Coordinator. (Students working concurrently toward a basic credential may also need written permission from their Program Coordinator.) Whenever possible, students are encouraged to work on their M.A. degree on a full-time basis. Experience shows that students who do so are more likely to receive their degree.

Can I take courses as an undergraduate?
Although prerequisite courses may be taken as an undergraduate, all M.A. program course work must be taken after receipt of the baccalaureate degree with only one exception. Under certain conditions, students completing their bachelor’s degree at CSU, Chico may request the award of graduate credit for excess units taken in their final undergraduate semester. Students can obtain a petition for this purpose at the Office of Graduate Programs, and must complete and submit the petition during the first 4 weeks of their final undergraduate semester. If all criteria are met and the units are not needed for the bachelor’s degree, up to 9 units of 400/500- or 600-level courses may be allowed for the graduate credit in the master’s degree program.

Generally speaking, students need to be very careful taking 400/500- and 600-level courses at the undergraduate level. Although they may satisfy program requirements, the units can be applied toward only one degree. Except as noted above, taking courses from the M.A. program while you are an undergraduate will mean that additional substitute course work will have to be taken to meet graduate program requirements.

What is the University‘s continuous enrollment policy?
University policy requires that all students maintain continuous enrollment after admission into a master’s degree program. When this requirement is not satisfied by regular enrollment in course work, a fee must be paid through the Center for Regional and Continuing Education for enrollment in GRST 899. Students are advised that they will be charged a late fee if they fail to follow this policy in a timely manner. (For additional information, contact the Office of Graduate Programs.)

When should I enroll in units for the culminating activity?
Students should not enroll in Master’s Study (699) or comprehensive examination (EDSL 696) units prior to the semester in which work on the culminating activity work is in progress and expected to be completed.

May I write my master’s study in a language other than English?
Master’s theses and projects submitted by graduate students in the Language Teaching M.A. Degree program may be written in a language other than English when the area of specialization is Language Studies (Pattern B). This applies specifically and exclusively to graduate students in the Foreign Language Emphasis whose Master’s study 699 units are through Languages and Cultures. Students submitting theses and projects in a language other than English are required to include a précis (an extended abstract of 1000-1500 words) of their work in English as part of the Master’s study.

How many years do I have to complete my M.A. Degree?
All requirements for the M.A. degree in Language Teaching must be completed within seven years. Calculation of the seven-year time limit begins with the oldest course applied toward the degree. This is calculated from course work taken prior to admission if it is included on the program plan. The absolute maximum time limit for the program plan including course validations is nine years.

What is required to graduate with distinction?
M.A. degree candidates who maintain a 3.9 grade point average on all approved program course work and attain high standards of quality on a thesis, project, or comprehensive examination are eligible to graduate with distinction. Recommendation for graduation with distinction is made by the candidate's graduate advisory committee on the Final Progress Sheet that is submitted to the Office of Graduate Programs.

If I plan to enroll in a doctoral program upon completion of the MA degree, should I take any additional coursework?
Feedback from students who have continued their advanced studies at the Ph.D. level suggests that a course in statistics would be particularly appropriate for candidates planning to do quantitative research. Candidates are also advised to contact the programs they are applying to for additional recommendations, as requirements differ from one institution to another.

Are faculty available to work on theses, projects, and comprehensive exams during the summer?
Candidates are advised to complete program requirements by the end of spring semester, as program faculty are normally not on duty during the summer. Program policy specifies that students who are not finished by the end of May should be prepared to wait until faculty return to campus for the beginning of Fall Semester in August.

If I plan to enroll in the Graduate TESOL Certificate Program, should I do so concurrently?
As the Graduate TESOL Certificate (Department of International Languages, Literatures, & Cultures) is comprised of Education courses that also satisfy requirements or serve as electives within the MA in Language Teaching, students can easily complete both programs at the same time if they plan accordingly. In order to do so, however, students must apply for and be admitted to both programs. Admission to one does not guarantee admission to the other.