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Master of Arts in Linguistics

This program is designed both for students who wish to pursue further graduate study and those seeking a terminal degree. The program seeks to blend theoretical and applied aspects of linguistics and draws from a variety of disciplines.

The M.A. offers three options and one concentration:

Graduate assistantships may be available to qualified students.


1. A bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA for the most recent 60 units;

2. 18 units of undergraduate coursework (with a grade of "C" or above in each course) as follows:

A. Fifteen (15) units in Linguistics; the following courses or equivalent:

  • LING 301 Introduction to Research Methods (3)
    Prerequisites: LING/ANTH 170 or consent of instructor.
  • LING 325 Modern English Grammar (3)
    Prerequisite: None
  • LING 329 Introduction to Language Acquisition (3)
    Prerequisite: None
  • LING 420 Phonology (3)
    Prerequisite: LING/ANTH 170 or consent of instructor.
  • LING 421 Syntax (3)
    Prerequisite: LING 325.

B. Three (3) units in Language Variation:

  • LING 379, LING 413, LING 425, LING 426, LING 470, LING 472.

Advancement to Candidacy

1. Satisfaction of the general university requirements for advancement to candidacy, including prerequisites, the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) and 3.0 GPA.

2. Completion of the language other than English requirement, either:

  • A. Two courses of a language other than English at the upper-division level, or the equivalent, or
  • B. Two courses of an Indo-European language and two courses of a non-Indo European language at the lower-division level, or equivalent.

3. Completion of six units of course work within the program, exclusive of any classes used to meet prerequisites.

4. Approval of the candidate's graduate program by the Graduate Advisor, the Associate Dean for Instructional Programs of the College of Liberal Arts, and any other individuals identified by relevant university policy.

5. Advancement must take place no later than the semester before the student graduates.


1. A minimum of 33 units of approved upper division and graduate courses for the thesis path or a minimum of 34 units of approved upper division and graduate courses of the comprehensive examination path, including

2. A minimum of 21 units at the 500 or 600 level;

3. The completion of requirements of one of the options or the Special Concentration designated in the program;

4. Completion of one of two culminating experiences (Note: In order to satisfy the culminating activity requirement (thesis, project, or comprehensive examination dependent upon the program), students must earn at least three (3) units and no more than six (6) units related to the completion of the culminating activity.):

  • A. A thesis and its accompanying oral defense and oral examination (LING 698, 6 units).
  • B. The comprehensive examination and its accompanying graduate paper (LING 697, 1 unit).

5. A GPA of 3.00 on all courses included in the program.

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