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2016-2017 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) 
    
 
  Dec 01, 2023
 
2016-2017 Graduate Studies Bulletin (Archived Copy) [Archived Catalog]

Linguistics, M.A.



The M.A. in Linguistics at USC is a degree in general linguistics. Our M.A. program is designed to provide students with the broadest possible background in linguistics and encourages them to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities presented by the Program’s faculty and to discover connections between the various subdisciplines of the field. It is possible for all credit hours earned in a graduate certificate program in TESOL at USC to apply to this degree. Please speak to an advisor to see how these hours apply in your situation.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of general linguistics, including phonological and syntactic structure, and proficiency in problem-solving skills.
  • Students will demonstrate effective oral communication of basic linguistic knowledge and knowledge in the core areas of phonology and syntax.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of a subdiscipline in the field of linguistics and its application to general linguistics.

Degree Requirements (30 Hours)

Linguistics, M.A. Thesis Option:


The M.A. in Linguistics at USC is a degree in general linguistics. Our M.A. program is designed to provide students with the broadest possible background in linguistics and encourages them to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities presented by the Program’s faculty and to discover connections between the various subdisciplines of the field. It is possible for all credit hours earned in a graduate certificate program in TESOL at USC to apply to this degree. Please speak to an advisor to see how these hours apply in your situation.

Candidates must take a minimum of 30 hours of graduate work, to include:

1. Course work (9 Hours)


Note:


Other courses may be used to satisfy this requirement pending the approval of the student’s advisor and the graduate director. Students may choose depth (another syntax or phonology course) or breadth (another core area).

2. Two courses in an approved special field (6 Hours)


  • Linguistic anthropology
  • English/French/German/Spanish linguistics
  • Historical linguistics
  • Philosophy of language
  • Phonological theory
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Second/Foreign language acquisition
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Syntactic theory
  • Teaching English as a second/foreign language

3. Two LING courses outside of the special field (6 Hours)


4. Two additional 3-hour courses approved by the student’s advisor (6 Hours)


5. Thesis Preparation (3 Hours)


Additional Requirements


Candidates must also pass a comprehensive examination covering general linguistics, successfully defend their thesis proposal, and complete a thesis.

The study of languages is a necessary tool for linguists and candidates must demonstrate knowledge of at least one foreign language. This can be accomplished in one of the following ways:

  1. successful completion of an intensive reading course in a language—approved by The Graduate School—while a graduate student at USC (e.g., FORL 615),
  2. successful completion of a course at the intermediate level of language proficiency no more than six years prior to award of the degree,
  3. a passing grade on a language reading proficiency examination administered by the USC Department of Languages, Literature, and Cultures,
  4. completing 6 hours of coursework in a non Indo-European language with a grade of at least a B.

Normally, it takes a candidate two years to complete all requirements for either option.

Note:


Students who proceed from the MA to the PhD will need to take one more core course to satisfy the PhD core requirements if LING 600: Introduction to linguistics was counted as an MA core requirement.

Special note on grades:


Graduate students whose GPA falls below 3.00 will be placed on academic probation by The Graduate School and allowed one calendar year in which to raise the cumulative GPA to at least 3.00. Students who do not reach a cumulative 3.00 grade point average during the probationary period will be suspended from graduate study and will not be permitted to enroll for further graduate course work as a degree or a nondegree student.

Linguistics, M.A. Non-thesis Option:


The M.A. in Linguistics at USC is a degree in general linguistics. Our M.A. program is designed to provide students with the broadest possible background in linguistics and encourages them to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities presented by the Program’s faculty and to discover connections between the various subdisciplines of the field. It is possible for all credit hours earned in a graduate certificate program in TESOL at USC to apply to this degree. Please speak to an advisor to see how these hours apply in your situation. 

Candidates must take a minimum of 36 hours of graduate work, to include:

1. Course work (9 Hours)


  • LING 710 - Introduction to Phonology
  • LING 720 - Introduction to Syntax
  • and
  • One (1) more graduate level core linguistics course in one of the following:

    phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics or pragmatics (including LING 600: Survey of linguistics (3)).

    Note: Other courses may be used to satisfy this requirement pending the approval of the student’s advisor and the graduate director. Students may choose depth (another syntax or phonology course) or breadth (another core area)

2. Three courses in an approved special field (9 Hours)


  • Linguistic anthropology
  • English/French/German/Spanish linguistics
  • Historical linguistics
  • Philosophy of language
  • Phonological theory
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Second/Foreign language acquisition
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Syntactic theory
  • Teaching English as a second/foreign language

3. Three LING courses outside of the special field (9 Hours)


4. Three additional 3-hour courses approved by the student’s advisor (9 Hours)


MA students should take 3 additional LING courses approved by the student’s advisor (9 hours). Permission is required for the inclusion of any non-LING course in the program of study. 

(Note on LING 806 Directed Reading and Research: The graduate school’s official policy on independent study is to allow up to 6 hours towards the M.A.).

Additional Information


Candidates must also pass a comprehensive examination covering general linguistics and their special field.

The study of languages is a necessary tool for linguists and candidates must demonstrate knowledge of at least one foreign language. This can be accomplished in one of the following ways:

  1. successful completion of an intensive reading course in a language—approved by The Graduate School—while a graduate student at USC (e.g., FORL 615),
  2. successful completion of a course at the intermediate level of language proficiency no more than six years prior to award of the degree,
  3. a passing grade on a language reading proficiency examination administered by the USC Department of Languages, Literature, and Cultures,
  4. completing 6 hours of coursework in a non Indo-European language with a grade of at least a B.

Students seeking master’s degrees will have three opportunities to pass the language course or satisfy the reading proficiency examination. Non-native speakers of English may select English as a foreign language, upon submission of Graduate School form. 

Further information about the Graduate Reading Proficiency Exams. 

Normally, it takes a candidate two years to complete all requirements for either option.

Note:


LING 806 Directed Reading and Research: The graduate school’s official policy on independent study is to allow up to 6 hours towards the M.A.).

Special note on grades:


Graduate students whose GPA falls below 3.00 will be placed on academic probation by The Graduate School and allowed one calendar year in which to raise the cumulative GPA to at least 3.00. Students who do not reach a cumulative 3.00 grade point average during the probationary period will be suspended from graduate study and will not be permitted to enroll for further graduate course work as a degree or a nondegree student.