A dynamic program strong in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary research and teaching

The Department offers programs leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics. The core of the programs is in phonology, syntax, and language acquisition with an experimental focus. The M.A. degree provides a broad education in linguistics which serves as a base for further study in linguistics or related disciplines. If a student chooses the TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) focus in conjunction with the M.A., then the degree prepares students for a career in teaching English to nonnative speakers. The Ph.D. degree is primarily a research degree with a basis in phonology, syntax, and language acquisition, with the opportunity for students to develop an area of research specialization. Students pursuing the Ph.D. in Linguistics are encouraged to complete the Certificate in the Cognitive Science of Language, an interdisciplinary program including work in Linguistics, Psychology, and Communication Sciences and Disorders. Information on this program is available below. 

Master of Arts in Linguistics

Graduate programs in the Department of Linguistics emphasize theory and research. Students interested in non-university careers also may take courses in applied linguistics and other fields as an option in the M.A. program.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • be familiar with the basics of theoretical approaches to phonology, syntax, and language acquisition and able to analyze linguistic data using these formal approaches;
  • be familiar with the basics of empirical research in linguistics and able to use appropriate software and methods to understand original research;
  • be able to write a formal research paper in syntax, phonology, or language acquisition demonstrating a critical evaluation of a particular problem or issue they have investigated;
  • if completing the TESL focus, understand the theory and practice behind ESL teaching and evaluation and be able to teach ESL to adult learners; and
  • if intending to continue in a Ph.D. program in linguistics, formulate a research project in the area of investigation the student wishes to pursue.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum and requirements here.

Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics

The Department of Linguistics has particular strengths in multilingual language acquisition, phonology, and syntax. Students are encouraged to take courses in a wide variety of departments and programs across the university.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • be familiar with the fundamental concepts of phonology, syntax, and language acquisition;
  • expand their understanding of how the fundamental concepts of linguistics relate to those of cognate areas such as psychology, education, anthropology, and computer science, providing them with a broad perspective on human language;
  • complete coursework in statistical methods and have a clear understanding of how to carry out and interpret statistical analyses;
  • conduct original research in linguistics by writing two comprehensive exam papers of publishable quality and a dissertation; and
  • submit abstracts to conferences to disseminate their research and work towards publishing their comprehensive exam papers before graduation.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum and requirements here.

Graduate Certificate in Cognitive Science of Language*

The Graduate College offers the graduate Certificate in Cognitive Science of Language. Designed to complement doctoral study, the certificate program ensures that students have training in interdisciplinary approaches to the study of language along with strong theoretical grounding in their Ph.D. discipline.

Learning Outcomes

The certificate program ensures that students have training in interdisciplinary approaches to the study of language along with a strong theoretical grounding in their Ph.D. discipline. Certificate students work with their Ph.D. advisor and the certificate program's coordinator to develop an individual plan of study that complements their degree program and career interests. In order to be granted the Certificate in Cognitive Science of Language, students must complete all of the requirements of their Ph.D. program as well as all of the certificate requirements.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum and requirements here.