Admission FAQ

Q: What do MA and MALLT stand for?
A: MALLT stands for Master of Arts in Language, Literature, and Translation, the name of the interdisciplinary graduate program in which one earns an MA in a language, comparative literature, linguistics, or translation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).

Q: Is MALLT the same as a department?
A: MALLT is not a department in itself. It is the combined Graduate Program of four departments:

  • Foreign Languages and Literature (FLL)
  • French, Italian, and Comparative Literature (FICL)
  • Linguistics
  • Spanish and Portuguese

Q: Can I get a Master’s in Spanish (or French, German, etc.)?
A: No, your degree will not be an MA “in Spanish.” Your degree is an MA “in Language, Literature, and Translation,” with a concentration in Spanish (or French, German, etc.), which would be designated on your transcript. MALLT is an interdisciplinary graduate program that includes an array of theoretical and methodological seminars (MALLT core seminars) common to all the concentrations. Students who desire to complete a concentration ONLY in Spanish and Hispanophone Language, Literature, and Culture should apply to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese M.A. program. The MALLT program allows students interested in the Spanish concentration to complete either a double concentration, such as Spanish and Translation-Spanish or to participate in the joint Master’s of Library & Information Science (MLIS) Degree.

Q: What can I study in MALLT? What are the concentrations?
A: The four departments that make up MALLT offer many graduate courses in their curricular areas.Graduate School Bulletin

Five courses (15 credits) in a single area are required for a concentration. The following nine areas are official “Transcript-designated concentrations”:

  • Ancient Greek
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • French
  • German
  • Latin
  • Linguistics
  • Spanish
  • Translation

It is also possible to complete a MALLT degree with two concentrations, for example, two languages. The minimum number of credits required for double concentrations is 36.

For more detailed information about the MALLT plan of study requirements, including MALLT core seminars (6 credits required) and related courses (9 credits required).

Q: How long does it take to get an M.A.?
A: The MALLT degree requires 30 credits and a Comprehensive Exam. It is possible to complete this work in 4 semesters. A double concentration would require an additional semester.

Q: Can I study in the Master’s program part time, while working during the day?
A: Yes, a number of MALLT students are part time and take one course per semester. The Graduate School requires that Master’s programs be completed within five years.

Q: What do I need to do to apply to Graduate School?
A: Please see the Admissions page of the MALLT web site for detailed information about application procedures.

Q: What is the deadline for applying?
A: Applications should be received by December 15 to be considered for admission in the following Fall semester. Applications should be received September 15 to be considered for admission in the following Spring semester.

Application materials may be submitted after this date, but late submission will delay the completion of your application file. Late applications can adversely affect your chances of receiving Teaching Assistantship support.

Your application will be processed as soon as all required materials have been received.

Q: Is the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) necessary for admission to the MALLT Program?
A: No. But it is a good idea to take the GRE if you plan to apply for a Graduate School Fellowship or an Advanced Opportunity Program Fellowship. International students must take the TOEFL exam. See Center for International Education.

Q: How many letters of recommendation does the MALLT application require?
A: The program requires three letters of recommendation, to be sent to the MALLT Coordinator, not the Graduate School. All letters should be accompanied with a Letter of Recommendation Form. Please ask the persons writing a recommendation for you to use institutional stationery or other appropriate official letterhead. At least two of the letters should come from former instructors who can speak to your ability to do graduate work. For more information, please see the Admissions page of the MALLT web site:

Q: Is the Translation Program Qualifying Exam written, oral, or both? What criteria are used to grade it?
A: Please see the Admissions Page for detailed information.

The Qualifying Exam is written. There is no oral component, since translators (unlike interpreters) do not have to speak the language they translate.

While the admissions process is different for the 24-credit Graduate Certificate Program in Translation and the 30-credit MA with a concentration in Translation, both programs require satisfactory performance on the Translation Program Qualifying Exam for admission.

The exam is two-part: 1) is a 250-300 word text to translate from the candidate’s source language (usually the second or third language) into the target language (usually the first language) with dictionaries; 2) is a 150-word essay to be written in the candidate’s target language. Candidates are given 2 hours to complete the exam.

Qualifying exams are evaluated on a pass/fail basis by translation faculty to determine whether the candidates know their source language well enough to be able to translate accurately and whether they write well enough in their target language to make translation a viable career option.

Q: About how much would tuition cost for this program?
A: Tuition varies from semester to semester and is subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, please see:

Q: What about financial aid? Teaching assistantships?
A: Financial aid is available to graduate students in the form of Teaching Assistantships, a limited number of Graduate School Fellowships, AOP Fellowships, and Non-Resident Tuition Remission. Student loans and work-study opportunities are also available. For information on Fellowships and Teaching Assistantships, go to For loans and work-study opportunities, go to and click on “Financial Aid Information.”

If you wish to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship, please see the application procedures outlined on the Teaching Assistantships page of the MALLT web site:

Q: Are any classes offered at night or on the weekends?
A: We try to offer our courses at 4:00 pm or later. Some meet twice a week for 75 minutes per session and others once a week for 2 1/2 hours. All MALLT core seminars are offered after 4:30 pm.

Q: Are any courses offered on-line?
A: Students have the option to take some courses online. MALLT core seminars are not currently available online, with the exception of MALLT/Translation 709: Seminar in Literary and Cultural Translation that is occasionally offered online.

Q: Can I transfer credits from a different university?
A: Any course submitted for transfer must be no more than five years old at the time of your admission to the MALLT Program, and no more than 12 credits may be transferred. To qualify for transfer, courses must have been taken at the graduate level in a recognized institution, must have been completed with a grade of B or better, and cannot have been used to meet previous degree requirements.

Q: What have graduates done professionally with a MALLT degree?
A: A number of MALLT graduates go on to PhD programs at prestigious universities, such as Yale, Indiana University, UW-Madison, Penn State and Washington University. Others continue teaching high school (but at a higher salary) or enter secondary education. Some have entered the business world and work for international companies. One MALLT graduate is a law librarian.

Translation as a program was introduced in 1997 and has 71 graduates, as of August 2009. A number of our graduates have found employment as project managers, client services directors, sales representatives, or account specialists in translation companies. Others handle multilingual projects for companies doing business internationally. A few have obtained employment as medical and/or community interpreters. Some have continued their employment as high school teachers while free-lance translating on the side, while others have launched themselves as full-time free-lance translators. Finally, some opt to continue studies in PhD programs, either in Translation, Languages, English or Second Language Acquisition.

Q: How can I keep track of everything during my time in the MALLT Program?
A: You can work closely with your major professor, and refer to the often!