Why study linguistics?

Because language is a window into the mind. Linguistics provides an understanding of the human capacity to acquire, perceive, and produce language and of language’s role in contemporary society.

M.A. Overview

Our M.A. program in Linguistics requires the student to develop a solid understanding of the core areas of the discipline in addition to an in-depth specialty in one of the many areas available through the research interests of the faculty. Areas of special strength in the graduate program include phonetics, phonology, syntax, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, first language acquisition, second language acquisition, semantics, and the study of indigenous languages.

The student will work with their academic advisor to devise a course of study that best suits the student's research interests.

The M.A. program usually takes two years. Students in the M.A. program will typically take the written comprehensive exam in their fourth semester of study. In cases of exceptional merit, students may pursue an M.A. research project if a faculty member is willing to supervise the project. Students are encouraged to take level II courses (Phonetics II, Phonology, II, Syntax II, FLA II, SLA II, Psycholinguistics II, Neurolinguistics II) to develop their understanding of research in their area of interest.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.


Graduate Admission

Applicants must submit submit a curriculum vitae, a statement of purpose, an official copy of transcript from the baccalaureate granting institution and any transcripts from institutions attended post-baccalaureate, 3 letters of recommendation, and Graduate Record Examination scores. Non-native speakers of English must meet English proficiency requirements as described here

Submit your graduate application online. Send all other requested application materials to the department:

The University of Kansas
Department of Linguistics
Blake Hall
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 427
Lawrence, KS 66045-3129


M.A. Degree Requirements

The M.A. is structured as a 2 year program.

Degree Requirements

The following are minimum requirements.

Course Work

33 credit hours of graduate work including

LING 794Proseminar3
LING 705Phonetics I3
LING 712Phonology I3
LING 725Syntax I3
LING 709First Language Acquisition I3
or LING 715 Second Language Acquisition I
LING 735Psycholinguistics I3
or LING 738 Neurolinguistics I
Research Methods Course (Select 1 course - 3 credit hours)3
Research Methods in Linguistics
Field Methods in Linguistic Description
Research Methods in Child Language
ELECTIVES (2 courses - 6 credit hours) to be determined by the student and the student’s advisor. Electives are NOT to include LING 850, LING 851, LING 852, or LNG 998. 6
Advanced II-Level Course or Linguistics Seminar (1 course - 3 credit hours) Refer to Advanced II-Level Course and Linguistics Seminar Course listing.3
Advanced II- Level Courses:
Phonetics II
Phonology II
Second Language Acquisition II
Syntax II
Psycholinguistics II
First Language Acquisition II
Neurolinguistics II
Linguistics Seminar Courses:
Seminar in Phonetics
Seminar in Phonology
Seminar in First Language Acquisition
Seminar in Syntax
Seminar in Semantics
Seminar in Psycholinguistics
Seminar in Neurolinguistics
Seminar in Second Language Acquisition
Seminar in Amerindian Linguistics
Linguistic Seminar: _____
Research Seminar Course (1 course - 3 credit hours) to be determined by the student and the student's advisor. Student will complete a written research proposal, oral presentation, and Oral Examination. 3
Topics in Research in Experimental Linguistics: _____
Research in Language Acquisition and Processing
Research in Field and Formal Linguistics
The Oral Examination (The Oral Examination is an oral presentation of a written research proposal, with questions from the student’s committee. The written paper and oral defense should include a detailed proposal of a research project and should be taken no later than the semester in which the student completes the 33 hours of course work.)
Total Hours33