MA in SLS Program

The MA Program in SLS at the University of Hawai‘i has been in existence since 1961. The Department of Second Language Studies is the first and one of the largest such departments at an American university. The Department has attained top-ranked international recognition due to the diverse expertise and professional activities of its faculty, the breadth and depth of its curriculum, and its research productivity.

Graduate Program Map

Program Learning Outcomes

For the MA in Second Language Studies the following objectives pertain. All students graduating with the MA in SLS will achieve the following learning outcomes:


1: Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge pertaining to second language studies in terms of linguistic analysis, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and broader issues in the field of applied linguistics.

2: Demonstrate understanding of research methodology and techniques in second language studies.

Inquiry and Applied Skills

3: Apply research methods to generate new knowledge and/or evaluate professional practice in the field of second language studies.

4: Critically analyze, synthesize, and utilize academic and professional resources in the field of second language studies.

Research Communication Skills

5: Skillfully communicate and disseminate information to stakeholders and fellow professionals in the field of second language studies.

Professional Skills

6: Conduct second language studies research and/or professional projects that demonstrate open-mindedness and respectfulness of social, cultural, and linguistic diversity.

7: Interact professionally with stakeholders and fellow professionals in second language studies.

For students pursuing one of the five MA in SLS tracks, additional learning outcomes are associated with each.

The program strives to maintain a balance between theoretical and practical concerns by requiring courses that are concerned with linguistic, psychological and sociocultural aspects of language as well as those which treat the methodological and practical aspects of language learning and teaching. By stressing the interdependence of theory and practice, we cultivate in our students the intellectual basis for an understanding of principles that will help guide them in their future careers.

Graduates of the MA program are able to assume key positions in a number of areas of applied linguistics, including teaching (both public and private sectors in the United States and abroad), teacher education, administration, research, evaluation, and materials writing. A substantial number of students have continued their graduate training in doctoral programs.