MA in Linguistics

These are the new requirements implemented beginning in August 2019; for the old requirements, please click here.

Beginning in August 2019, there is no admission of applicants to the MA program in Linguistics. All applicants to the graduate program in Linguistics, with or without a prior master's degree, will be considered for admission to the PhD in Linguistics.

Students who complete Stage 1 of the PhD program in Linguistics may obtain a MA degree in Linguistics upon fulfilling the requirements below. The course requirements for the MA are identical to those of Stage 1 of the PhD. The only differences between Stage 1 and MA requirements are as follows:

  • GPA requirements: In order to advance from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the PhD in Linguistics, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all courses, and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the core courses. In order to earn an MA in Linguistics, only a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall is required.
  • Stage 1 qualifying exam requirements: In order to advance from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the PhD in Linguistics, students must earn a grade of High Pass on the Stage 1 qualifying exam. In order to earn an MA in Linguistics, a grade of either Pass or High Pass is sufficient.

Students who complete all MA requirements but do NOT meet the GPA and/or qualifying exam requirements of Stage 1 of the PhD must leave the program with a terminal MA. Students who complete all requirements of Stage 1 of the PhD may earn a MA prior to proceeding to Stage 2 of the PhD.

Students in the PhD program in Linguistics who wish to earn a MA in Linguistics must petition to transfer curriculum from the PhD to the MA; students who wish to subsequently proceed to Stage 2 of the PhD must transfer curriculum again from the MA to the PhD. Petitions to transfer curriculum are found on the Graduate College petition website.

 

MA Program Requirements:

A. The following courses are required (12 hours):

  • LING 501: Syntax I
  • LING 502: Phonology I
  • LING 507: Formal Semantics I

B. Choose at least one course each from two of the following four areas (8 hours):

  • Sociolinguistics:
    • LING 450: Sociolinguistics I
  • Computational linguistics:
    • LING 406: Intro to Computational Linguistics
      Note: LING 402 (Tools & Technology in Speech and Language Processing) needs to be taken as a pre-requisite to LING 406 for students without a computational background
  • Psycholinguistics/acquisition: one of:
    • LING 425: Introduction to Psycholinguistics
    • LING 426: Child and Adult Language Acquisition
  • Second language studies/applied linguistics:
    • LING 489: Theoretical Foundations of SLA

C. Choose at least one course in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods (4 hours):

  • LING 514: Design and Methodology in Linguistic Research
  • LING 516: Field Methods
  • A section of LING 490 or LING 591 on statistics for language research
  • A relevant course from another unit, such as Educational Psychology, Psychology, Anthropology, or Communications, with approval from the Student Examination and Evaluation Committee (SEEC)

D. Practicum and independent study are required (4 hours):

  • LING 504: Practicum (2 hours)
  • LING 590: Special Topics in Linguistics (2 hours)

E. Three elective courses are required (12 hours):

  • These may be any LING courses at the 400-level or above, or non-LING courses approved by the student's advisor.

F. Language Requirement:

  • Students must demonstrate proficiency in any language other than the student’s native language. This may be satisfied in a variety of ways:
    • For students who are native speakers of a language other than English, English satisfies this requirement.
    • For students who are native speakers of English, demonstrated 4th-level proficiency is required, which can be achieved by (a) completion of four semesters of college study (or four years of high school study), or equivalent, within 5 years of matriculation; or (b) corresponding placement on an Illinois foreign language placement test.

G. Stage 1 Qualifying Examination:

  • Students first work closely with a faculty member to prepare an original research paper. The paper must be submitted to the department in time to schedule the oral examination before the end of the second year.
  • The examination itself consists of an oral presentation of the research paper before a committee of faculty members, who may ask questions concerning the research, the written paper, and the presentation.
  • The examination is graded as follows:
    • High Pass: the student is eligible to proceed to Stage 2 of the PhD, as well as to earn a MA in Linguistics, provided all other requirements are met.
    • Pass: the student is NOT eligible to proceed to Stage 2 of the PhD, but the student IS eligible to earn a MA in Linguistics, provided all other requirements are met. The student has to leave the program with a terminal MA.
    • Fail: the student is NOT eligible to proceed to Stage 2 of the PhD, and NOT eligible to earn a MA; the student is dismissed from the program with no degree.

H. Minimum GPA requirements

  • Students who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in all courses are eligible to earn a MA in Linguistics, provided all other MA requirements are satisfied.