Linguistics word cloud

M.A. in Linguistics

The Department of Linguistics and Asian/Middle Eastern Languages offers graduate study leading to the Master of Arts degree in linguistics. The 30-unit, interdisciplinary program provides broad educational opportunities through two specializations. In both programs, specialized courses build on a foundation of core courses in theoretical linguistics.  

The department offers a Master of Arts degree in linguistics with a specialization in General Linguistics. This specialization is for those students planning to pursue a doctorate in theoretical areas (e.g., syntax or phonology) or for those who plan to work in a language-related field in industry or education. 

Download the degree requirements for General Linguistics.

The department offers a Master of Arts degree in linguistics with a specialization in TESOL/Applied Linguistics.  This specialization is for those intending to teach or design curriculum for ESL/EFL/ELD classrooms (including community college and K-12 levels) or planning to pursue a doctorate in applied linguistics. 

Download the degree requirements for TESOL/Applied Linguistics.

Degree Learning Outcomes (DLOs) for M.A. in Linguistics with two specializations (General and Applied)

1. Analyze similarities and differences in language structure within and across languages and cultures at various levels such as phonology, syntax, and discourse. 

2. Recognize and analyze the relationships between language and the social and cognitive patterns that shape its use.

3. Produce a high quality working paper or thesis that demonstrates the ability to conduct original and independent research in a particular area of linguistics chosen by the student.

4. Apply knowledge of language structure, language development, and the social function of language to positively contribute to and to solve problems within industry, academia, language pedagogy, and society at large.

5A. [General] Appraise the fit of theories and data in typologically distinct languages, and assess and formulate arguments for and against theoretical approaches to language.

5B. [Applied] Design contextualized pedagogical materials appropriate for specific populations of language learners employing current theories and approaches to language pedagogy.

All students who complete the required program will receive a Master of Arts degree in linguistics. If requested, the department will provide a letter designating a student’s specialization for purposes of employment or application for further study.

In both programs, specialized courses build on a foundation of core courses in theoretical linguistics.  View future course offerings (updated 8/21).

In addition to completing coursework for one of the specializations, students are required to submit a thesis (Plan A) or pass a comprehensive examination (Plan B). 

Plan A students must select a committee of three faculty, two of whom are from the department, to supervise the thesis. In consultation with the graduate advisor, students select one of two options at the time of filing an official program of study.

For more information on the thesis (Plan A), please visit the forms page on Graduate Studies' website.

Past M.A. Thesis Topics

Hays, Maira. “The Defendant Speaks: Allocution in Federal Court”

Search all SDSU theses for Linguistics.

For more information on the written comprehensive examination (Plan B), please see:

MA students can pursue our basic certificates while pursuing the MA program, such as the Basic TESL/TEFL, Computational Linguistics, and Text Analytics Certificates.   

The department offers assistance with financial support for its graduate students through teaching opportunities and other jobs

Contact Us

Eniko Csomay, Graduate Advisor
Email: [email protected] | Phone: (619) 594-3377 | Office: SHW 246

Yasmine Panahi, Program Coordinator
Email: [email protected] | Phone: (619) 594-1915 | Office: SHW 215

 

Important Links

SDSU Catalog | Class Schedule | Program Flyer | Graduate Admissions | Graduate Studies