Linguistics, MA

College of Arts & Sciences

Program Description:

The Department of Linguistics offers the Master of Arts degree in Linguistics with flexibility in selection of an area of study. This degree is offered under Plan I (24 credit hours plus thesis) or Plan II (32 credit hours) according to the regulations set forth in earlier pages of this catalog, except that a minimum of 12 credit hours of 500-level courses is required.

Minimum prerequisites for pursuing the M.A. in Linguistics are 12 credit hours of basic linguistics, including introductory linguistic analysis, phonetics, phonological analysis, and grammatical analysis. Deficiencies in these prerequisites may be made up after admission to the program but such course work may not be counted toward the degree.

Candidates for the master's degree must complete 21 credit hours of core course work, including 3 credit hours in each of the following areas: phonology (502, 503), morphosyntax (512), psycholinguistics (560, 565, 566, 567, 568), sociolinguistics (533, 534, 539, or a seminar on a relevant topic), language change (546), and two of the following three areas: discourse/syntax (523, 529, or a seminar on a relevant topic), cognitive linguistics (519, 525, or a seminar on a relevant topic), and typology (513, 517, 548, or a seminar on a relevant topic). The remaining required hours are selected by the candidate, with the approval of the Graduate Advisor.

Plan I students are required to undergo an oral examination of the master's thesis. Plan II students are required to take a written comprehensive examination.


Admission Requirements:


Incoming MA students should have at least 12 hours of basic linguistics courses, including the following courses (or their equivalents):

  1. introductory linguistic analysis (Ling 301)
  2. phonetics (Ling 303)
  3. phonological analysis (Ling 504)
  4. grammatical analysis (Ling 522).

It is possible to make up deficiencies in these prerequisites after admission to the M.A. program, but these prerequisite courses must be completed as soon as possible and may not be counted toward the minimum coursework requirements of the degree.

Career Opportunities:

 Linguistics is the study of how languages work, change, are learned, and are used. Linguists, therefore, see language as an intricate system of interacting semantic, grammatical, phonological, and pragmatic rules and principles to study, describe, and ultimately to understand. The concerns in linguistics overlap with those of other language sciences, making linguistics a truly interdisciplinary field.   A bachelor's degree is the minimum formal education required, and qualifies one for entry-level positions in business, nonprofit organizations, and government. Depending upon the student’s career interests, and due to the major’s emphasis on analysis, argumentation and reasoning, and communication, a linguistics major is may pursue a professional degree in law, business, government or education. 

Contact Information:

Yvonne Martinez-Ingram: Department Administrator
(505) 277-6353