The M.A. in Linguistics focuses on investigating language from both theoretical and functional approaches. Our dynamic curriculum combines core studies in the structure of language (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics) with current approaches in sociolinguistics, language acquisition, psycholinguistics, language contact, world Englishes, endangered languages and language documentation, discourse analysis, and identity studies.
Our carefully designed curriculum provides students with a solid foundation in the study and understanding of human language as a convergence of genetic, psychological and social systems and networks. We train students to critically examine and analyze the world within and around them—skills that can be applied to teaching, curriculum development, corporate cultures, legal contexts, intercultural communication, forensics, artificial intelligence, publishing, counseling, speech pathology, and child development. Knowledge of how and why we use language brings us closer to understanding who we are and how we can affect our worlds.
Students who embark on the journey to mastery of a discipline do so for a variety of reasons: career enhancement or change, curiosity, and love of learning, self-discovery, and, ultimately, personal fulfillment. Our Linguistics graduate program is unique in providing an emphasis on the analysis of both the structure and the function of language for professional careers and personal growth. Through coursework and hands-on research, students gain knowledge of:
- the nature and structure of language,
- principles and methods of language analysis and documentation,
- relationships between language, mind, and cognition,
- the nature and process of language acquisition and multilingualism,
- relationships between language and cultural, national, social, and personal identity,
- the role of language as a mediator of intercultural understanding,
- how to apply their new-found expertise to a variety of professions.
The M.A. in Linguistics also prepares students for doctoral study and research in linguistics, anthropology, education, psychology, and other related fields.
An M.A. in Linguistics is a recognized asset for careers within the social and behavioral sciences.and will enhance your career opportunities in the following fields:
- Technology: Work in speech recognition, text-to-speech synthesis, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and computer-mediated language learning.
- Language preservation: Documentation and preservation of endangered languages, establishing literacy programs, translating documents for the preservation of cultural heritage.
- Education: Teach English and other languages, develop language teaching curriculum, train teachers, design assessment.
- College/University Teaching: Use your degree to teach linguistics course at colleges and universities.
- Publishing: Take a position in editing, publishing, or writing.
- Advertising and Branding: Develop advertising strategies and brand names.
- Government agencies: Work for the Foreign Service, NSA, Department of Education, Department of Defense, FBI, or CIA.
- Film and Theater: Create languages, coach dialects, and accents.
- Consulting: Become a consultant on language and interaction in professions such as law or medicine.
The Linguistic Society of America offers more information on what a Linguistics degree can do.
Requirements for Admission to the Program
Students must fulfill the requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies & Research of Northeastern Illinois University and apply to the Linguistics Department (GC11) for admission to the degree program. A student-at-large may transfer no more than 9 credit hours of graduate coursework into the graduate Linguistics program.
The applicant must possess:
- a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
- an undergraduate academic record with a grade point average of 2.75 or better (4-point scale). No GRE is required.
- nine hours or the equivalent of college-level foreign language study.
When students do not meet the language requirement, they may be given provisional admission and may complete their required foreign language coursework while enrolled in the MA program.
The language requirement must be fulfilled before applying for graduation. International students must score 550 (213 on the computer-based exam) or higher on the TOEFL, Or a score of 6.5 on the IELTS. In some instances, a Test of Written English (TWE) score may also be required. Admission to the M.A. program may be restricted if a student possesses a bachelor’s degree from a non-accredited or foreign institution.
Requirements for the Degree
12 courses/36 hours of coursework; Cumulative 3.0 GPA in Linguistics courses with no more than 2 grades of C; successful completion and oral defense of a Linguistics Capstone course or Thesis.
|LING-401 Fundamentals Of Modern Linguistics||3|
|LING-422 Phonetics & Phonology||3|
or LING-435 Semantics
|LING-437 Introduction To Generative Grammar||3|
|LING-448 Discourse Analysis||3|
|LING-450 First Language Aquisition||3|
|LING-461 Issues In Multiple Language Acquisition||3|
|Select 2 electives and a Capstone course OR select one elective and Thesis Hours. Electives may be selected from the list below or from one of the Capstone courses without the Capstone requirement.||9|
|LING-440 Linguistics And Literacy|
|LING-447 The Origin Of Language|
|LING-472 American English - History And Growth|
|LING-473 The English Language - History And Development|
|LING-475 Historical & Comparative Linguistics|
|LING-481 Language & Tourism|
|LING-483 Field Methods In Linguistics|
|LING-484 Language Endangerment And Documentation|
|LING-489 Linguistics In The Professions|
|Select one of the following courses as a Capstone course or select Thesis Hours.|
|LING-430C Structure Of Language: Lakhota|
|LING-449 Anthropological Linguistics|
|LING-453 Language Contact|
|LING-454 Language and Identity|
|LING-462 Lexical Acquisition|
|LING-471 World Englishes|
|LING-488 Languages & Cultures Of Iran|
|LING-491E Translation And Linguistic Analysis: Aleut|
|LING-491F Translation: Mandan|
|LING-491N Translation: Biloxi|
|A total of 6 credits of Thesis Hours required (from the LING 590 series)|
Completion of the M.A. in Linguistics
Students may choose to complete their MA degree through either a Capstone Experience or the Thesis Seminar. Both options engage students in an assessment component that authentically addresses and evaluates their knowledge and skills in linguistics and applied linguistics. Students will have completed the 9 required courses with a B average or higher, and have obtained the approval of their graduate advisor before registering for a capstone course or thesis.
The Linguistics MA capstone has two components. The first is the completion of a capstone course (see a list of Capstone Courses). The second component is a 20-minute presentation based on the capstone paper at the NEIU Student Symposium or at a Linguistics Department Student Colloquium.
The capstone offers students a unique opportunity to integrate their MA linguistics education and demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of linguistics. Students complete their capstone research by demonstrating how their understanding of a number of the linguistic sub-areas covered in the required courses are relevant to the content of their capstone course and paper. The product of this capstone experience will be a research paper that is appropriate for conference presentation and/or publication.
Students will work with a committee of three Linguistics faculty to conduct original research and to write a thesis. Students will have completed the 9 required courses with a B average or higher, and have obtained the approval of their graduate advisor before registering for the thesis hours.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated June 1, 2018