The Program in Linguistics is administered by the Interdepartmental Committee on Linguistics, which makes all decisions on admission. The purpose of the program is to provide training in general linguistics. Students are encouraged to specialize in a particular area such as linguistic anthropology, psycholinguistics, or an individual language or language family.
All students take LNGS 7010 (Linguistic Theory and Analysis). They also take one course in historical linguistics, such as ANTH 7480 (Language and Prehistory). They must also take at least one linguistics course that focuses on the structure of a language or group of languages. Courses fulfilling this requirement include ANTH 5401 (Linguistic Field Methods) and ANTH 7450 (Native American Languages). The final requirement is a course in theoretical linguistics (either a survey course comparing various theoretical approaches to language, or a course focusing on one of the subfields of linguistics such as phonology or morphology).
The remaining courses, making up a minimum of 30 credits, are electives in related fields (e.g., psychology, anthropology, philosophy, Romance linguistics, etc.) These are selected in consultation with the advisor. Three out of the total of 30 credits may be devoted to a thesis. Although the thesis is optional, students planning to proceed to the Ph.D. at another institution may wish to discuss this option with an appropriate faculty advisor. Each student must also take a comprehensive examination, the exact form of which is determined by the Committee on General Linguistics.
A student who wishes to write a thesis must first successfully complete the comprehensive examination. After completing the examination, the student must submit a thesis proposal signed by two faculty members who have agreed to supervise the work.
Students completing an M.A. in Linguistics must demonstrate reading competence in a language other than English. Normally, this language is French or German. Other languages may occasionally be substituted by petition to the Linguistics Committee.
B.A. degree or equivalent from an accredited university; and the Graduate Record Examination. All international students are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language. (For more information about the TOEFL test, including minimum scores, please see http://artsandsciences.virginia.edu/gradschool/admissions/faq.html#a23.) A writing sample (in English), preferably on a linguistics or language-related topic. The writing sample should be a sample course paper or other essay that shows your ability to frame a scholarly argument, discuss writings by others, and develop and support your view with appropriate instances.
Students normally enter the program in the fall semester. Spring admission will be considered in exceptional cases only. Applications are due on January 15 for admission the following fall. Please note that this deadline is a change from the deadline of previous years.
For information about tuition, fees, and financial aid, please see http://artsandsciences.virginia.edu/gradschool/financial/index.html. A very limited number of Teaching Assistantships may be available for students enrolled in the Linguistics MA Program. From time to time financial support is also available through the English as a Second Language program or through work-study.
Look here for titles and abstracts of theses recently written by students in the Linguistics M.A. program.