FAQs



What do I need to apply to the program?

Please see the application form on the Graduate School website. Please do not forget to include the Supplemental Program Form also listed on the Grad School site.

Should I have my letters of recommendation sent to the Department or the Graduate School?

Please send your letters of recommendation directly to the Graduate School. They will process them and send them along to our Department.

Would it be possible to visit the campus and sit in on a class?

We encourage applicants in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, as well as others who might want to visit us on campus, to sit in on the core courses offered in a particular semester, as well as relevant language courses in order to experience learning in an intercultural environment. We believe that our unique core courses are perfectly suited to illustrating what our MA program is designed to accomplish. To arrange a visit to our department, please contact the Program Director.

If I am a returning Peace Corps volunteer, do I need to send in two applications, one to the Graduate School and one to the Shriver Peaceworker Progam? Can I use the same letters of recommendation?

We require you submit an application and letter of recommendation to our Program. You should check with the Shriver Peaceworker Program about what they require. We generally consult with Shriver during the admissions process about funding issues.

What scores do I need for the GRE and TOEFL? Do these scores weigh heavily in admission decisions?

We do not require a particular score on the GRE, but we use it as one form of measurement to help us make a final decision in the application process. For the TOEFL, we look for a score of 80 or above.

How long does it take to complete the MA degree?

Full-time students generally take from 4-5 semesters to complete the 30 hours of degree requirements. Part-time student enroll in either one or two courses a semester and therefore take longer to complete their studies. Part-time students usually take between 4-5 years to complete the MA degree.

How many credits may be earned toward the MA degree in courses at universities other than UMBC?

Masters students may earn a total of 6 credits toward their MA degree from other universities. None of these may have been used to satisfy degree requirements at the undergraduate level or other graduate-level degrees.

What kind of graduate assistantships are available?

We are only able to offer a handful assistantships to our students. These are normally reserved for native speakers of German, French, Spanish, or Chinese with no other means of financial support. Teaching assistants generally teach the lower-level undergraduate language courses. We try to maintain a reasonable teaching load for the full-time students: 1 course in the first semester (to accommodate adjustment by new student teaching assistants), two in the second and third semesters, and one course in the fourth semester to accommodate the writing of thesis or scholarly paper and facilitate the completion of the degree requirements in order to graduate. Also visit: Financial Aid and Graduate Assistantships. We recommend that our US students apply through the FAFSA program for financial aid based in work/study arrangements. The Graduate School and other offices on campus offer various jobs and forms of employment throughout the semester with flexible hours.

Foreign Language Competency: What foreign language skills are necessary?

For US students, we require foreign language skills in Spanish, French, or German, (in exceptional cases and only after intense consultation Russian), i.e., in the languages in which we offer graduate-level seminars. Language competency in these languages should be sufficient to be able to read very complex theoretical texts, conduct difficult academic discussions, and write seminar papers at this level. Therefore we require both an outside evaluation as well as a self-evaluation of your language skills as a prerequisite for admission into the MA program. Hence, you need to provide evidence that you can speak a foreign language and should fill out the self-evaluation form for competency in the target language.

Do I have to take just one language? Can I do two languages?

You need to complete four graduate-level courses in your primary language. Many of our students opt to enroll in other language courses, and you are free to do that.

What is the size of the program? What are the class sizes?

Each year we admit a new cohort of approximately 12-15 graduate students. On average, graduate courses enroll 12-15 students.

What are the specifics of coursework in the INCC program?

Please visit our Core Course and Specialization page for more information

Are we required to choose a track, such as intercultural training or filmmaking?

You are not required to choose a track, but many of our students find that it increases their competitive edge after graduate school.

What classes are permissible for our elective courses? Do they all have to be graduate(600)- level courses?

You are free to take 600-level courses in any academic department, provided they complement the INCC curriculum and your career goals. You should discuss this option with your academic advisor.

What study abroad opportunities are available as an INCC student?

INCC students in Spanish have the option of spending one summer in our Salamanca program. Our INCC student in French can opt to spend one academic semester at our exchange-partner institution Université de Nancy.

Internships: What opportunities are there to do internships?

You may complete 3 credits of internships on a pass/fail basis as an elective, using 40 hours of work per semester per credit. Prior to enrolling in the internship course, you will consult with the internship coordinator to arrange the enrollment, process preliminary reports and submit the necessary documents for obtaining credit upon completion of the internship. Plan your internship early in your time at UMBC because it sometimes take a semester or two to locate and secure an internship opportunity. For some ideas, visit: Internships & Employment

What professional development and employment opportunities are available?

Some of our students have gone on to further graduate studies in PhD programs in literature and cultural studies, anthropology, law, language, literacy, and culture, and political science. Many of our students are teachers who have continued their professional development within the MA in Intercultural Communication. Some of our students have gone into translating and interpreting, some are teachers of English in various countries in Europe and Asia. Some students are preparing to be intercultural trainers. Also visit: Internships & Employment and our Alumni page to see what they are up to.

Thesis or non-thesis option: What are the differences between the two?

The thesis option requires 6 credits of Masters thesis research and 12 credits of language courses for US students enrolled in the language tracks. After choosing a research advisor (towards the end of the first half of your studies), you would discuss with the research advisor whether to do the thesis or the non-thesis option. The non-thesis option requires 18 credits of electives, which may be split between language electives and other relevant ones. In addition, the non-thesis option requires a written comprehensive exam covering the material in 3 of the 4 core courses. The non-thesis option requires writing a scholarly paper as well. We recommend that students select the thesis option only if they attain a grade of “A” in at least half of their core courses and focus on a topic covered by a paper in at least two of them.

Who will be my Academic Advisor?

Upon admittance to the INCC program, the Director of the program will assign you an academic advisor based on your background and interests and will communicate this to you in your welcome letter. This advisor will serve as your initial contact at UMBC and you may choose to work with this person throughout your entire degree program at UMBC or you may choose another advisor along the way. This is general practice.

What is a a Research Advisor? How do I choose this person?

Your research advisor should guide you through the process of writing your thesis or scholarly paper, and you should select the advisor on the basis of work in either the core courses or the elective courses. The research advisor should be able to help you chose the topic of your scholarly paper or thesis and should have expertise in this area in order to be able to offer you guidance and advice. Ideally, the scholarly paper or thesis should revolve around a topic that you have had in either the core courses or the electives. Therefore, the research advisor will usually be one of the professors with whom you have had either a core course or a language elective. This person will also serve as the primary reader on your scholarly paper or thesis. Your academic advisor and your research advisor can be two completely different faculty members.

What is the role of the second reader on my scholarly paper?

Once your Research Advisor has accepted your thesis or scholarly paper, you will circulate it to a second professor who will serve as second reader and give you final comments and feedback that you will incorporate before you submit your final paper work to the MLLI Office and the Graduate School.

How can I get help writing papers and theses?

Both the Graduate Student Association as well as the English Language Institute offer tutorials and consultations for writing papers, helping with editing and corrections, and advice in the organization and refinement of expression.

Is it possible to get into the LLC PhD program after being in the INCC program?

Indeed, as you will see from our Alumni page, many students in the INCC program opt to apply to the LLC doctoral program.