MA Language Emphasis

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Specific Requirements

The MA Language emphasis offers a concentration in the study of the English language, with courses in linguistics, the structure and history of the English language, and literature. The range of available courses is designed to give students the latitude to design programs of study suited to their individual professional interests in the field of English language and linguistics. The student who selects the Language emphasis must work closely with his or her advisor and committee in planning this program of study.

1. General Requirements

See the section on general master's degree requirements.

2. Course Requirements

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(Note that English 281 or equivalent course is a prerequisite for all linguistics courses.)

a) Research Methods: English 711 is required and should be taken at the earliest opportunity. It is customarily offered each fall semester.

b) Language Courses: English 611B, 612A, 612D, and 717 are required. Three credits must be chosen from the following: English 713, 714 or 715.

c) Language Electives: Nine additional credits must be chosen from the following: English 612B, 613A, 613B, 614A, 615D, 616B, 692C, 713, 714, 715, 718, 720, 749.

d) Other Electives: Other courses should be selected in consultation with the student's advisory committee to complement the student's interest in language. Courses may include graduate courses in English, including additional courses among those listed under b) and c) above. If approved by the student's advisory committee, a limit of two language-related courses may also be taken in Anthropology, Psychology, Computer Science, Foreign Languages, Basque Studies, Speech Pathology, Philosophy or in the College of Education.

3. Comprehensive Examination (written)

At the completion of course work, the student must pass written examinations administered by his or her advisory committee. In the Thesis Plan, the written examination will last four hours. Two hours of the exam will be based on the student's course work, and two hours will be based on basic linguistic principles, history and structure of the English language, and English dialects. In the Non-Thesis Plan, the exam will last six hours, with three hours based on course work and three hours on the basic materials specified above. The questions will ask that the student demonstrate both specific information and a broader understanding of concepts important to the study of language.

4. Thesis (Thesis Plan)

The student writing a thesis should submit a prospectus to his or her advisory committee before beginning to write the thesis. The thesis will be written with the guidance of the chair and committee. The student must register for 6 credits of English 797, Thesis.

5. Comprehensive Examination (oral) and Thesis Defense

Approximately three weeks after passing the written examination, the Non-Thesis Plan candidate will take an oral examination lasting no longer than one and a half hours, administered by the student's advisory committee. Like the written examination, the oral exam will be based on the student's knowledge of the structure and history of the language and on the student's course work, although its range may be broader. For a student studying under the Thesis Plan, the oral exam will be given when the thesis is completed and approved by the advisory committee. While the exam will focus on the student's own research, it may also explore areas in which the student has had course work. The student must register for English 795, Comprehensive Examination, one credit, the semester he or she will be completing the oral exam.

Click here for a checklist of degree requirements for the MA English, Language emphasis. Fallen Leaf Through Pines