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.
Admit Terms and Deadlines
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; students may start the program in the Fall. See Application Deadlines.
Minimum Graduate School Requirements
For full admission, applicants must have 1) Earned a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution, 2) 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. Conditional admission may be available to applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements.
Applicants must also meet the following program requirements. Requirements may be more stringent than the minimum graduate school 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)
Your application will be submitted using GradCAS, a Centralized Application Service (CAS) hosted by Liaison. After reviewing the admission requirements, please review the application instructions and select the appropriate application.
Domestic Applicants Within the application, follow the instructions to submit an official transcript from all previously attended institutions.
International Applicants Before applying, applicants must review the international application/process deadlines at emich.edu/international as they may differ from general program requirements.
For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.
Degree Requirements: 30 hours
The M.A. in English Linguistics requires a total of 30 hours of coursework to be distributed among linguistics courses and restricted elective courses as specified below. Students must complete those parts of the LING 503 Introduction to Linguistic Science/LING 525 Syntactic Analysis/LING 534 Phonological Analysis sequence that were not a part of their undergraduate work (see linguistics graduate advisor). In addition, each candidate must complete a thesis (LING 692) or a comprehensive examination in three specialized areas (s) chosen by the candidate.
Linguistics Courses: 18 hours
Select six courses from the following.
Restricted Elective Courses: 12 hours
Select appropriate courses in linguistics or literature, writing, children’s literature, creative writing, communication, mathematics, computer science, anthropology, psychology, sociology, speech and hearing science, philosophy, education, world languages, and TESOL. Course selections require graduate coordinator approval.
Critical Graduation Information
Each graduate student is responsible for fulfilling the requirements or equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.
Master’s degree requirements must be completed within six (6) years of first enrollment in the master’s degree program.
In the event a student does not complete the master’s degree requirements within six years of the date of their original registration, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their degree in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.
The following are minimum requirements for all master’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some programs require more than the minimum in one or more areas below.
- A master’s degree must require a minimum of 30 credit hours.
- No more than six credits of independent study courses and no more than 12 credit hours of special topics and independent study courses combined may be applied to a graduate degree.
- Residency Requirement:
- For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 36 or fewer required hours, at least 24 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
- For students admitted to master’s degree programs of 37 or more required hours, at least 30 new graduate hours beginning the semester of acceptance and enrollment into the degree program must be earned at EMU. Minimum degree hours must still be met for graduation. The remaining program requirement hours may be met through transfer or prior degree credit (EMU or elsewhere).
- Residency and enrollment in multiple programs: Students enrolled in multiple master’s/specialist degree programs must have 24 unique credit hours in each degree program.
- Only credits from one completed graduate certificate may be applied to a master’s or specialist degree in a relevant field of study, as determined by the Graduate School and with the approval of the degree-granting academic department, and be included in the residency hours above.
- Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all graduate-level courses taken at EMU and in their program of study to remain in good academic standing and be eligible for graduation. Students do not need to be registered for classes during the semester of graduation.
- The Graduate School does not permit the use of undergraduate courses (499 and below) to meet degree requirements on graduate programs of study.
- Some master’s programs require a thesis; others require a special project or internship; others require students to pass a final exam. See the Graduate School website for Thesis and Dissertation Manuals, all forms, and information about research and human subject approval. Every completed thesis or dissertation must be submitted to Digital Commons. Any form of graduate student work submitted to Digital Commons must first be approved by a faculty advisor and the Graduate School.