Linguistics
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Other Concentrations

Linguistics Concentration

The MA in English concentration in linguistics is theoretically oriented and provides a solid foundation in the major subfields of linguistics: phonology, syntax, and semantics. The concentration combines courses in linguistics with courses in some related areas of language study, such as teaching English as a second language, bilingual education, or foreign language teaching. This course of study is designed to prepare students for teaching in one of these fields or for doctoral work.

Most graduates teach language—they are ESL instructors at colleges, adult education programs, and in public school systems. Linguists are also employed in hospitals as speech and language therapists. They might hold positions in industry as computational linguists, dealing with language understanding by machines. Other career opportunities include automatic translation, speech recognition, and brand-name creation.

The graduate certificate in teaching English as a second language can be earned concurrently.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements (Catalog Year 2016-2017)

Students in this concentration must complete the foreign language proficiency required of all students pursuing the MA in English and the requirements below.

Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 30 to 33 credits in one of the following concentrations and demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. 

Foreign Language Proficiency

Students in all concentrations must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language by completing a Mason foreign language course numbered 210 or higher, or by passing a translation test administered by the department.

◊ Concentration in Linguistics (LING)

The linguistics concentration of the MA in English combines courses in linguistics with courses in some related area of language study, such as teaching English as a second language, bilingual education, or foreign language teaching. This course of study is designed to prepare students for teaching in one of these fields or for doctoral work. The certificate in teaching English as a second language (TESL) can be earned concurrently.

Six core courses (18 credits)

LING 580 - First Language Acquisition Credits: 3

LING 690 - Generative Phonology Credits: 3

LING 692 - Phonology II Credits: 3

LING 785 - Semantics and Pragmatics Credits: 3

LING 786 - Syntax I Credits: 3

LING 787 - Syntax II Credits: 3

Four elective courses (12 credits)

In consultation with an advisor, chosen from courses that reflect one or more areas of language study.  Electives can be in such areas as linguistics, the teaching of reading or writing, literary criticism, bilingual education, or a foreign language, and may include 6 credits of thesis.

Total: 30 credits

Total: 30-33 credits

Most students complete 30 credits. Students in the concentration in the teaching of writing and literature who chose to do a thesis complete 33 credits.

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