The INCC MA Program is composed of 10 courses ( 30 credits). There are two concentrations available:

  1. LANGUAGES AND CULTURES (Hispanic, French and Francophone, Germanic, Russian Studies)
  2. CULTURES AND DIVERSITY (under development)


A. four core courses:                                                                                              A. four core courses:

MLL 605 The Field of Intercultural Communication                                              MLL 605 The Field of Intercultural Communication
MLL 602 Ethnography of Communication                                                            MLL 602 Ethnography of Communication
MLL 601 Intercultural Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis                                   MLL 601 Intercultural Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis
MLL 603  The Political Economy of Culture                                                          MLL 603  The Political Economy of Culture


B. four Language and/or Intercultural Communication Courses                         B. two Intercultural Communication courses
LANG 6xx (topics will vary)                                                                                 MLL 625 Intercultural and Cross-Cultural Communication
LANG 6xx                                                                                                            MLL 626 Advanced Methods in Intercultural Training
LANG 6xx or MLL 625 Intercultural and Cross-Cultural Communication
LANG 6xx or MLL 626 Advanced Methods in Intercultural Training

C. two electives at 600 or 700-level.                                                                  C. four electives at 600 or 700-level.



The thesis option requires 6 credits of Masters thesis research (MLL 799) and 9 credits of language and intercultural communication courses courses and one elective course. For the Cultures and Diversity Tracks, the thesis option also requires 6 credits of Master thesis research (799), which will count as two electives.
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 scholarly paper option. The scholarly paper option requires a written comprehensive exam covering the material in 3 of the 4 core courses and writing a scholarly paper.
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.

Read more about the requirements of the SCHOLARLY PAPER AND THESIS OPTIONSIf you would like to consult a sample, please email the Graduate Program Director. 



Students also can enhance their M.A. degree by choosing an optional specialization by pursuing one of the following.  These are optional (i.e. not required) courses.

INTERCULTURAL TRAINING (MLL 625 Intercultural and Cross-Cultural Communication and MLL 626 Advanced Methods in Intercultural Training)

INTERCULTURAL FILMMAKING (MLL 606 Theory and History of Intercultural Film and MLL 695 Intercultural Filmmaking)

INTERCULTURAL POLICY ISSUES  (MLL/LING 610 Language Planning, PUBL 601 Political and Social Context of the Policy Process, PUBL 602)

Students may also complete a TESOL Post Baccalaureate Certificate  by using two of the electives from our program toward the completion of this four course certificate.


To apply for graduation :

(1) Follow the guidelines and application procedures of the Graduate School.

(2) Complete the Scholarly Paper Completion Form and the Exit Survey.


MLL 605: The Field of Intercultural Communication (semester 1)

This course introduces the history and practices of the field of intercultural communication, including its diverse theoretical and conceptual approaches, its analytical and methodological tools of evaluation and assessment, basic principles of training and professional and career development opportunities in the various areas of the discipline, particularly as it is practiced at UMBC.

This is the first course to acquaint incoming INCC MA students with the field of intercultural communication. It is designed to be a critical orientation to an academic discipline with a recent history and sometimes controversial theoretical and methodological approaches. This seminar will help equip students with the theoretical foundations and methodological tools to develop career perspectives in a self-sufficient manner throughout their course of studies. It will help develop foundations for developing skills in intercultural training, intercultural filmmaking, intercultural policy issues, and intercultural education.

Students will gain insight into various subfields of intercultural communication and study research from these areas: 1) cross-cultural psychology, 2) intercultural communication, 3) intercultural education, 4) international business and management, 5) intercultural pragmatics and linguistics.

By the end of this course, students will have an overview over the most important kinds of research in the field of intercultural communication, be acquainted with the main tools and concepts of intercultural analysis, and gain insight into some avenues of professional and career development.

MLL 601: Intercultural Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis (semester 2 or 4)
In this course we will examine the pragmatic components of human interaction within an intercultural context. We will be concerned with the crucial role context and pragmatic principles play in understanding the invisible meanings of utterances in everyday conversations and other forms of human communication. Topics of investigation will include: the role of culture and the cultural unconscious in meaning making; content and co-text; situation, frames and scripts in defining context and meaning; implicature; cooperative principle; relevance theory; politeness theory; speech act theory and performativity; and the relationship between language and power. Some emphasis will also be given to the role social markers (i.e. gender, class, race, and sexual orientation) play in communication and miscommunication among speakers across categories. Our approach will be informed by the scholarship in various disciplines that draw on the methods of conversation and discourse analysis. We will also explore several practical applications of pragmatics, including examples from the media (scripted vs. naturally occurring dialogues), as well as those found in legal, educational, commercial/business and familial settings. Exploring the reasons for intercultural miscommunication and examining practical applications of pragmatics will be central to the course.

MLL 602: Ethnography of Communication (semester 2 or 4)
At the intersection of linguistics and anthropology, the ethnography of communication has as its goal an understanding of the patterning of communicative behavior within culture and between different cultural groups. The course will include discussions of what it means to communicate in different cultural contexts, the symbolic organization of the world in writing and speaking, language attitudes and social prestige, how languages and cultures are acquired and reproduced. Readings will include case studies drawn from work on various cultures.

MLL 603: Political Economy of Culture (semester 3)
This course examines the ways in which cultural, economic, and political forces intersect. The course is organized along the following lines:

1. Study the intersections of three systems: capitalism, white racism, and patriarchy.
2. Examine those three systems from the positions of subjects who do not benefit from them. (e.g. capitalism from the perspective of workers, white racism from the perspective of the colonized and oppressed, patriarchy from the perspectives of women and homosexuals).
3. Study all issues as moments in and part of a world historical process. The course establishes a theoretical framework by focusing on the ways in which the world order, social class, nation, ethnicity, race, gender, and sexual orientation contribute to the formation of cultures. It also analyzes the production and reproduction of culture through communicative practices. In class, we will apply the studied theoretical tools to current events and we are going to analyze them through case studies and discussions of novels as well as films.

MLL 625 – Intercultural and Cross-Cultural Communication (semester 1 or 3)
The purpose of this course is to study communication within the context of the cultural setting. The three main goals are: (1) to provide students with materials, both cognitive and experiential, with which they can develop an awareness of their own cultural identity; (2) to increase their knowledge of the special communication problems to be expected in a cross-cultural situation; and (3) to offer students the opportunity to apply new insights to cross-cultural encounters.

MLL 626 – Advanced Methods in Intercultural Training (semester 2 or 4)
This course will continue the acquisition of complex intercultural training skills initiated in MLL 625, including needs assessment, training design, planning and implementation. Students will develop and implement training modules for real-life cases inside or outside the university. Training will be applicable both across national cultures (global diversity training) and co-cultures (national diversity training). Students will show their gained skills by doing a needs assessment, designing and implementing a one-day training workshop and presenting it to the client. This course requires active participation and a high level of engagement and commitment. Experiential exercises will be a recurrent element during the sessions.

MLL 606- Theory and History of Intercultural Media
This course will trace the historical and stylistic evolution of documentary and other film genres, including ethnographic and feature films, while exploring the use of these as a conduit for intercultural communication. Students will view intercultural film and video projects of the invited filmmakers. Reading selected texts will help inform the discussion and analysis of what constitutes the genre “intercultural film.”

MLL 695 – Intercultural Filmmaking
Development of skills pertaining to the operation of cameras, recorders control consoles, lighting instruments and general operating procedures. Each student gains experience as a team member participating in studio and field video productions, applying skills and knowledge in MLL 606 and realizing projects designed in MLL 606.


FREN 600 Special Projects in French (1-3 credits)
FREN 610 Studies in French Language and Linguistics (3 credits)
FREN 630 Studies in French Literature (3 credits)
FREN 640 Studies in French-Speaking Culture and Society (3 credits)
FREN 650 Seminar in French (3 credits)
GERM 600 Special Projects in German (1-3 credits)
GERM 601 Studies in German Language (3 credits)
GERM 621 Studies in German Culture (3 credits)
GERM 681 Seminar in German (3 credits)


SPAN 600 Special Projects in Spanish (1-3 credits)
SPAN 601 Studies in Spanish Language (3 credits)
SPAN 621 Studies in Hispanic Literature (3 credits)
SPAN 671 Topics in Spanish Society (3 credits)
SPAN 672 Topics in Latin American Society (3 credits)


Linguistics electives

LING 600 Advanced Special Projects in Linguistics (1-3 credits)

LING 610 Language Planning (3 credits)
LING 670 Linguistics, Cognition and Language Pedagogy (3 credits)
LING 680 Studies in Theoretical Linguistics (3 credits)
LING 690 Seminar in Theoretical Linguistics (3 credits

Other electives

MLL 612 Linguistics and Bilingualism (3 credits)
MLL 690 Seminar in Modern Languages and Linguistics (3 credits)
MLL 790 Internship/Practicum in Intercultural Communication (3 credits)