The Linguistics Department offers a five-year concurrent Bachelor's and Master's degree program for students with strong abilities and motivations. The student in this program normally receives the BA and MA simultaneously, at the end of the fifth year of study. You apply to this program in the fall or spring of your junior year.

Before You Apply

You should begin planning to apply to this program while selecting the courses for the fall term of your junior year, and you should apply to the BA/MA when the midterm grades for that term become available. Before your application to the BA/MA program is approved, you must have completed the following courses and done well in them:

  • LING 2000 (Students with a grade lower than B+ in LING 2000 will not ordinarily be considered for admission to the Linguistics BA/MA program.)
  • One of the three upper-division required undergraduate courses: LING 3100, 3430 or 4420
  • An upper-division LING elective (See catalog for listing)

In addition, you must be enrolled in an MA course, called the qualifying course, in that semester of your junior year in which you apply to the BA/MA program. These courses are as follows:

  • For Fall Applicants:
    • LING 5420 (if you have not already taken LING 4420)
    • LING 5030
  • For Spring Applicants:
    • LING 5430

Your admission to the BA/MA program will not be decided until midterm grades for one of these two graduate-level courses have been made available to the admissions committee. We will occasionally consider requests to use a different LING MA course as the qualifying course.

Fall applications must be received before October 25. Spring applications must be received before Spring Break.

Undergraduates cannot register for these courses directly; if you want to take one of them, you must see the Department's Graduate Advisor or the Department Chair. If they approve your plan to take one of these courses in preparation for applying to the BA/MA program, they will ask the Department office to register you for that course.


Download and fill out the BA/MA application. You will submit it to the Graduate Assistant in the Department main office once it is complete. You must submit a 1-2 page statement of purpose with your application, in which you explain your suitability and preparedness for the program and how the program will help you advance academic and/or career goals. You must also submit two letters of recommendation; present the letter of recommendation request form to each recommender once you have signed the waiver. If your application to the BA/MA program is not approved, or if you decide to withdraw from the program, any graduate courses that you have completed satisfactorily will count towards the undergraduate degree, as upper division electives or as replacements for the corresponding required courses (5420 for 4420, 5430 for 3430, 5030 + 5410 for 3100). However, to have them counted towards the BA degree, you will need to file a Change of Major Requirement form with the Primary Advisor during the semester prior to the one in which you expect to graduate. Consult the Graduate Advisor for full information and advice.

Course of Study

To complete the Concurrent BA/MA program, you will take:

  • Twelve undergraduate course credits (instead of the 27 required for the BA). These may be elective courses or required courses within the major. For example, if you have already taken LING 2000, LING 3100 and LING 4420 prior to entering the BA/MA, these can all be counted toward the 12 undergraduate credits needed.
  • Five hours of upper-division language, as required for the BA as of Fall 2013 (or two additional LING electives, if your non-English language proficiency is already above the third-year college level).
  • The remaining required and elective courses ordinarily needed for the MA, for a total of 30 graduate hours (including an MA thesis if desired).
  • The MA comprehensive examination.

Students accepted to the BA/MA program must consult initially with the departmental graduate advisor in choosing courses. However, you may change to an advisor in your specific area of interest with the permission of the Department chair or the graduate advisor.

Your advisor will help you plan your courses to make sure that you fulfill all the BA requirements by the end of your fourth year, so that you can graduate at that time if you change your mind and decide not to complete the MA.

Graduate Courses Required for the MA

LING 5030 Linguistic Phonetics Fall
LING 5410 Phonology Spring
LING 5420 Morphology and Syntax* Fall
LING 5430 Semantics and Pragmatics Fall/Spring
LING 5570 Introduction to Diachronic Linguistics Fall

Graduate Electives (a non-exhaustive list)

LING 5300 Research in Pyscholinguistics
LING 5610 English Structure for TESOL
LING 5832 Natural Language Processing
LING 6200 Issues and Methods in Cognitive Science
LING 6300 Topics in Language Use
LING 6510 Language Structures
LING 7100 Field Methods
LING 7200 Computational Methods in Linguistics
* If LING 4420 has already been taken, it can count as meeting the LING 5420 requirement, and a 3 credit elective can then be taken to replace those credits.