Computational Linguistics combines knowledge of Computer Science and Linguistics; it requires students to have a fundamental understanding of both fields to conduct research and solve practical problems on machine-human communicative interactions, such as modern speech technologies and natural language processing. Skills in Computational Linguistics can also aid students in other Linguistics areas with contemporary computer-based automated methodologies in the digital era. The Certificate in Computational Linguistics (CCL) is a multidisciplinary program for graduate students interested in speech and language processing technology. It is open to students pursuing a Ph.D. or MATESL degree in the Departments of Linguistics. By participating in the program, students would earn a Graduate Certificate in Computational Linguistics, in addition to the Ph.D. or MATESL that they are expected to earn in the Departments of Linguistics. Under the program, students will take courses from a specified list. The certificate will be awarded upon successful fulfillment of the requirements stipulated below.


CCL is currently open for graduate students admitted to study in the Department of Linguistics only. In order to earn this certificate, graduate students will need to complete a minimum of 16 credit hours from the courses offered by the Department of Linguistics:

A. Two core courses (8 credits) (required):

1. One course in language processing:

  • LING 406: Introduction to Computational Linguistics

2. One course in speech processing:

  • LING 446: Fundamentals for Speech Signal Processing and Analysis

B. Two elective courses (8 credits):

Option 1:

  • LING 413: Corpus Linguistics
  • LING 506: Topics in Computational Linguistics (one section)

Option 2:

  • LING 506: Topics in Computational Linguistics (two sections on different topics).

The courses required for the certificate also count towards the student’s graduate degree. For students in the Linguistics Ph.D. program, the four courses can all count as core courses and/or electives towards Stage 1 and/or Stage 2 requirements.

For MATESL students, these courses also count as electives. However, please note that the MATESL degree requires two elective courses, while the CCL certificate requires four courses; furthermore, the courses required for the certificate also have prerequisites (such as LING 402). This means that MATESL students pursuing the CCL certificate will need to take at least 48 to 52 credit hours, instead of the 40 required for the degree, and should plan accordingly to make sure they can complete all the coursework in two years.


The CCL is not a Ph.D. program, so students in the CCL program must first be admitted to the Ph.D. program or the MATESL program in the Department of Linguistics. Students may then indicate their interest in the CCL program by contacting the CCL Program Chair.


Financial aid is handled through the Department of Linguistics, not the CCL program.


Inquiries on the CCL Certificate can be directed to the CCL Program Chair:

Yan Tang

4023 Literatures, Cultures & Linguistics Building

707 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801