Sep 22, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year]

English Linguistics [M.A.]

Linguistics is the scientific study of how languages are learned, processed, used, and structured; it investigates why and how languages change and their status in social life. Linguistics is important to social and cognitive psychology, native and foreign language teaching at all levels, artificial intelligence and computer science, communications, sociology and anthropology, and historical accounts of human civilization. Linguists work in colleges and universities, in language instruction and educational planning, in the communications industries (including publishing), translation services, and cross-cultural business and government agencies.

Students interested in practical applications of English linguistics are also advised to consult the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages / TESOL [M.A.]  program offered by the World Languages Department.

Program Admission

Graduate School Application

After reviewing the admission requirements below, please select the appropriate application. The University is transitioning application platforms; pay close attention when selecting the application below.

The program you are applying to may not accept applicants every semester.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

A four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution. In addition, a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program, is required for full admission. Applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements may be considered for conditional admission. See International Admissions for international applicant requirements.

Applicants must also meet the following program requirements:

  • A personal statement (we recommend that these statements be 1 to 2 pages in length)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A writing sample (a short, 5-20 page piece of academic writing in any area is encouraged but not required)

Department Information

English Language & Literature | Joseph Csicsila, Ph.D., Department Head | 612 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.4220,

Matt Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., Graduate Coordinator | 613J Pray-Harrold, 734.487.0399,

Advisor Information

T. Daniel Seely, Ph.D., 612 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.0145,

Degree Requirements: 30 hours

The M.A. in English Linguistics requires 30 hours of course work to be distributed among restricted elective courses and elective courses as follows. Students must complete those parts of the LING 401 /LING 420 /LING 425  sequence that were not a part of their undergraduate work. Graduate credit may be given for these courses. In addition, each candidate must complete a thesis (LING 692 ) or a comprehensive examination, including questions from general linguistics and specialized area(s) chosen by the candidate.

Elective Courses: 12 hours

Thesis plan students will take three of these hours in LING 692 - Thesis . Suggested areas include anthropology, composition and rhetoric, linguistics courses not taken above, literature (particularly the early periods), mathematics, computer science, psychology, reading, sociology, speech and hearing science, and TESOL. With advisor’s approval.