Master of Arts in Linguistics

The graduate program offers work leading to a Master of Arts degree in Linguistics. 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 and bilingualism, World Englishes, native and endangered languages, discourse analysis, and identity studies.

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 course work while enrolled in the MA program. The language requirement must be fulfilled before applying for graduation. International students must achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (79 on the Internet-based test or 213 on the computer-based exam); or a minimum 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 course work; 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.

Required Courses
LING-401Fundamentals Of Modern Linguistics3
LING-422Phonetics & Phonology3
or LING-435 Semantics
LING-437Introduction To Generative Grammar3
LING-450First Language Acquisition3
With advisor consent, choose 5 courses; or 3 courses and LING-590-1, -2, and -3. Total 15 hours of electives.
Structure Of Language: Lakhota
Linguistics And Literacy
The Origin Of Language
Discourse Analysis
Anthropological Linguistics
Language Contact And Multilingualism
Language and Identity
Issues In Multiple Language Acquisition
Lexical Acquisition
World Englishes
American English - History And Growth
The English Language - History And Development
Historical & Comparative Linguistics
Language & Tourism
Field Methods In Linguistics
Language Endangerment And Documentation
Linguistics In The Professions
Languages & Cultures Of Iran
Translation And Linguistic Analysis: Aleut
Translation: Mandan
Translation: Biloxi
A total of 6 credits of Thesis Hours required (from the LING 590 series)
Total Hours36

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 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 Capstone

The Linguistics MA capstone has two components. The first is completion of a capstone course (see 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.

Thesis Option

Students will work with a committee of three Linguistics faculty to conduct original research and to write a thesis. Students will have completed the required courses with a B average or higher, and have obtained the approval of their graduate advisor before registering for the thesis hours.