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Required Courses

All MA students must complete 30 credits, including the following five required courses: LING 5030: Linguistic Phonetics, LING 5410: Phonology, LING 5420: Morphology and Syntax, LING 5430: Semantics and Pragmatics, and LING 5570: Introduction to Diachronic Linguistics.  Required courses count for 15 credits, while electives count for the remaining 15. 

Year One

Fall Spring
LING 5030: Linguistic Phonetics
LING 5420: Morphology and Syntax
LING 5410: Phonology
LING 5430: Semantics and Pragmatics

Year Two

Fall Spring
LING 5570: Diachronic Linguistics
[elective] + preparation for comprehensive exam

This is a sample schedule. Electives may be taken in any semester.


Starting July 2024, students will have the option to either write an MA thesis or take the comprehensive exam in order to complete the MA degree requirements.


MA without Thesis

The MA without thesis plan requires 30 semester hours of course work plus the comprehensive examination. A specialization or certificate is possible. The 30 credit hours include the 5 required courses described above (which collectively constitute 15 credit hours) and 15 credit hours of electives, 9 of which must be taken in Linguistics.

MA with Thesis

A thesis is not required for the MA; however, a student may elect to write a thesis. A thesis is prepared under the guidance of an MA thesis committee consisting of the thesis advisor, a second reader in the Department and a third member (possibly external to Linguistics). Once you have constituted your MA thesis advisory committee, you must fill out and submit the Master's Thesis Plan form.

The MA with thesis plan requires 30 semester hours of course work, including at least four and at most six hours of thesis credits, plus the comprehensive examination. The 30 semester hours are distributed as follows: 15 hours of required MA coursework, as described above, 9 hours of elective courses within Linguistics (which must include at least 4 and at most 6 MA thesis credits), and up to 6 hours of elective coursework outside Linguistics. A student following the thesis plan takes the MA comprehensive examination and an oral examination that consists principally of a defense of the MA thesis. For detailed information about the Linguistics MA thesis, read about MA thesis procedures. If you do not defend and file the MA thesis, you will not be allowed to apply any thesis credits you have accumulated toward the 30 credits needed to obtain the MA.