Bachelor of Science in Applied Languages & Intercultural Studies

The School of Modern Languages offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies (ALIS) with separate language concentrations in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. The B.S. in Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies equips students with 21st-century foreign language study and expertise  that acknowledges a rapidly globalizing world. 

The B.S. in ALIS is more than language study. As an international institution located in the global hub that is Atlanta, Georgia Tech sits at the intersection of global culture and innovation. Our degree recognizes that it is no longer enough to learn a new language if it is not accompanied with applicable skills for emerging industries, real-world problem-solving, and sustainable development. The B.S. in ALIS takes an intercultural and interdisciplinary approach that trains students in their language concentration, as well as in linguistics, literature, media, cultural studies, comparative analysis, and critical awareness.

The B.S. in ALIS program is designed around the cultural perspectives, industry knowledge, humanities skills, and technological innovation required to participate and thrive in the current competitive global market. By coupling advanced language skills with intercultural competence, ALIS majors are positioned to work in a variety of fields that include: local and national government; non-profits and NGOs; healthcare and medicine; international business, law, and trade; global affairs and public policy; new media development and web design; journalism, marketing, and advertising.

Students in this program take 30 credit hours of advanced language study at the 3000-/4000-level, although students may count CHIN 2002/FREN 2002/GRMN 2002/KOR 2002/JAPN 2002/RUSS 2002/SPAN 2002 (or CHIN 2501, FREN 2005, KOR 2692, RUSS 2692) for 3 of the 30 credits. In addition, students must complete an 18-credit-hour concentration in an approved cluster, which consists of coursework applied toward certificates, minors, additional degrees, or study-abroad programs. A total of 12 credit hours from the language electives for the ALIS Major Requirements or from the Approved Cluster must be completed abroad in the language of study.

The B.S. in ALIS degree program is intentionally flexible with a high number of free electives, which allows students to combine it with another major or minor(s).


International Plan

The degree requirements for the Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish) - International Plan (ALIS - IP) are basically the same as for the ALIS degree, except that students are required to spend two terms abroad and then achieve Intermediate High (for Chinese, Japanese, and Russian: Intermediate Low) on the standardized ACTFL testing scale during an oral interview. The costs of the test will be paid for by the School of Modern Languages for each student. The terms abroad must total a minimum of twenty-six weeks; typically these consist of one semester of study plus a significant amount of time spent with a research or work project abroad. Only one summer semester abroad will count in this total. ALIS-IP majors are strongly encouraged to enroll in the Language for Business and Technology (LBAT) intensive summer programs offered by the School of Modern Languages.

In addition to gaining advanced global competence, the International Plan designation will set ALIS majors apart from other applicants with recruiters from top companies and governmental agencies. Other required courses include the following, which can easily be obtained within the regular required curriculum offerings of Modern Languages (these requirements can also be met with courses taken abroad, upon consultation with ALIS degree advisors):

  1. One course focused on international relations historically and theoretically, including topics such as:
    1. the role of state sovereignty and nationalism and non-state actors in the international system;
    2. international conflict, peace, security, intervention, and nation-building;
    3. international organizations, law, and ethics; and
    4. transnational problems of the environment, terrorism, health, and migration; among other issues.
  2. One course that provides a historical and theoretical understanding of the global economy, including topics such as international trade, finance, investment, and production; regional economic integration (such as the EU); economic development and modernization; and questions of natural resource sustainability.
  3. One course that provides familiarity with an area of the world or a country that allows them to make systematic comparisons with their own society and culture. A culminating course, occurring either at the end of or after the international experience that integrates knowledge of the discipline and the international experience in a global context. (satisfied by the CHIN 4500/FREN 4500/GRMN 4500/JAPN 4500/KOR 4500/RUSS 4500/SPAN 4500 course)

BS/MS Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies

Eligibility requirements:

1. Recommendation of two Modern Languages faculty members

2. Grade of 3.0 or higher in all BS-ALIS coursework as demonstrated through official GT transcript (as of 2019-20 Spanish coursework)

3. Oral proficiency level of at least Intermediate High according to American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) standards and OPI assessment procedures.  This will be determined by in-person interview or ACTFL phone test.

4. Students must apply by March 15 of their junior year, so as to be accepted into the program and enroll in the graduate version of the required Intercultural Seminar (Capstone) course in the spring of their senior year.

5. Student acceptance will be recommended by a Graduate Committee comprised of members of the language programs to which students apply.

6. Students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA throughout the MS ALIS program.

Program of Study and BS/MS ALIS Curriculum:

Following the model of other BS/MS degrees at Georgia Tech, ALIS majors meeting and maintaining eligibility requirements for continuing with the BS/MS ALIS may double count up to 6 credit hours of language study at the 4000 level or higher toward both degrees. BS/MSALIS students must complete at least 146 hours (total hours for BSALIS = 122 credit hours and total hours for MSALIS = 30 credit hours equal 152 credit hours with 6 credit hours being shared = 146 credit hours. Students may double count a 6000-level elective (3 hours) and 6000-level Intercultural Seminar (3 hours) toward undergraduate and graduate requirements.

BS/MS ALIS students also 21 take credit hours of graduate electives (3 credits of this requirement will be completed at undergraduate level), of which 18 or more must be in the target language, while one advisor-approved course not in the target language is allowed (3 credit hours of graduate level coursework taken at the undergraduate level will satisfy both BSALIS ML elective and a MSALIS elective requirement). BS/MS students must also complete Intercultural Seminar (6500) that will satisfy both the undergraduate and graduate seminar requirement.