Undergraduate linguistics majors who plan to earn a master's degree in linguistics with a teaching English as a second language (TESL) subprogram have the opportunity to enroll in the Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in linguistics degree program. Students in the B.A./M.A. program take selected graduate-level courses while they are still undergraduates and may count 12 s.h. of advanced coursework toward both degrees. Once students complete the requirements for the bachelor's degree, they are granted the B.A., and they usually complete the M.A. one year later.

Having the M.A. degree provides important advantages in the TESL job market. The M.A. is the professional degree for teachers of ESL in colleges and universities in the United States. Earning this degree therefore affords many more job opportunities in the U.S. and abroad than does the B.A. with TESL Focus.

Application and Admission

Students wishing to enter the program must meet the following requirements:  

  • be a University of Iowa undergraduate student majoring in Linguistics
  • complete at least 80 hours of undergraduate work (typically at the end of the 5th semester)
  • have a minimum GPA of 3.5 at the time of submitting the application

Applicants to the program must submit a statement of purpose indicating why they seek admission and what their short-term career goals are and must submit to the Department an online application to the Graduate College. As part of the application to the Graduate College, applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, and must take and submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  Students who wish to apply for the program should discuss their plans with their academic adviser.

The joint degree program includes course requirements that differ slightly from the regular undergraduate major, specifically in replacing some elective course work with designated classes. Four of the courses are counted toward both the B.A. and M.A. degrees. The program requirements compared to the regular major and M.A. degrees are outlined below.