Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, MA


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Program Description

Degree Awarded: MA Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

The MA program in linguistics and applied linguistics focuses on the study of human language and the application of that study to the human condition.

At the master's degree level, the program provides foundational training and professional development in several interdisciplinary areas, including discourse analysis, Indigenous American linguistics, language contact and change, language revitalization, language planning, phonetics, phonology, pragmatics, second language acquisition, second-language learning and teaching, semantics, sociolinguistics, syntax, teaching English to speakers of other languages, and World Englishes.




At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No




Degree Requirements

Required Core (3 credit hours)
LIN 515 American English (3) or
LIN 516 Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis (3)

General Linguistics Track (6 credit hours)
LIN 511 Phonetics and Phonology (3)
LIN 514 Syntax (3)

Applied Linguistics Track (6 credit hours)
LIN 511 Phonetics and Phonology (3) or LIN 514 Syntax (3)
LIN 520 Second-Language Acquisition Theories (3) or APL 601 Introduction to Applied Linguistics (3)

Electives (12-15 credit hours)

Research (3 credit hours)
LIN 501 Approaches to Research (3)

Culminating Experience (3-6 credit hours)
LIN 599 or APL 599 Thesis (6)
LIN 593 or APL 593 Applied Project (3)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students choose one of the two tracks in either general linguistics or applied linguistics.

Electives are restricted based on the student's chosen track. For the general linguistics track, one of the electives must be a 600-level course from the approved course list.

Students who select the thesis option take 12 credit hours of electives. Applied project students select 15 credit hours of electives.

Students must demonstrate evidence of a competent knowledge of a natural language other than modern English, to be selected by the student, subject to the approval of the chair of the thesis committee or the director of the applied project. This requirement may be met by:

  • earning a "B" or better (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) in a 400- or 500-level course in an appropriate (approved) language course
  • demonstrating comparable proficiency by taking a language examination, administered by the School of International Letters and Cultures, in a language approved by the student's supervisory committee
  • demonstrating native-speaker proficiency, as determined by the School of International Letters and Cultures, in a language approved by the student's supervisory committee
  • earning a "B" or better (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) in both ENG 530 Old English and ENG 531 Old English Literature or their equivalent
  • holding a bachelor's degree in an approved foreign language
  • two years (four semesters) of successfully completed college-level coursework (completed no more than six years prior to admission to the degree program) at least at the 100 and 200 levels with a "C" or better (scale is 4.00 = "A") for languages which the School of International Letters and Cultures does not offer or does not offer above the 200 level

Any course in which all class meetings are conducted in the approved language satisfies the requirement for a "B" or better in a 400- or 500-level course in an appropriate language; courses conducted in English do not satisfy the requirement. Also satisfying the requirement are GER 550 German for Reading Knowledge, FRE 550 French for Reading Knowledge, SPA 550 Spanish for Reading Knowledge, and ITA 550 Italian for Reading Knowledge. The Department of English does not require its graduate students to write papers in the approved language.




Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in such related fields as anthropology, applied linguistics, communication, cognitive science, comparative languages and literatures, literature, education, history, law, linguistics, modern languages, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies, rhetoric, composition, sociology, or speech and hearing science from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00= "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00= "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. statement of purpose
  4. resume or curriculum vitae
  5. three letters of recommendation
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. Students should see the Department of English website for specific details about English proficiency requirements.

Successful completion of at least one upper-division course in linguistics, language study or a related topic is required.

The one-page, single-spaced statement of purpose should explain the applicant's background in language study, reasons for wanting to do graduate work in linguistics and plans for the future.



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Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:


Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.



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Program Contact Information

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