Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages
Home > Degree Programs > Linguistics > Graduate Programs

We offer both an M.A. and a Ph.D. program. Applicants to the Ph.D. program need not already have completed an M.A. Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program do not routinely receive an M.A. along the way, but they may arrange to do so if they have fulfilled the requirements for the M.A. In addition to the customary M.A. thesis, we also offer a plan of study that leads to an M.A. by exam. Some of our students also pursue an independent interdepartmental specialization in cognitive science.

The program offers extensive training in the core areas of theoretical linguistics—phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics—and in sociolinguistics, psycho- and neurolinguistics, and child language acquisition. We have a longstanding lively culture of interaction in a robust intellectual community, including research groups in most of the areas mentioned. We are also fortunate to have modern and well- equipped laboratories devoted to experimental and field research in language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and psycho- and neurolinguistics.

Throughout our program, the focus is on the rigorous study of language as a science. We are not primarily focused on the question of how such results can be put to practical use in language teaching, language policy debates, and the like, though of course a thorough grounding in theoretical linguistics is necessary to engage such questions in a fully-informed way.

Many of our M.A. students go on to further study in Ph.D. programs, and have done so at the most prominent and selective programs in the world. Graduates of our Ph.D. program hold positions both in linguistics and in language-teaching departments across the world and continue to do cutting-edge research in their fields. For more information on our graduates, consult the program’s website, including that of our graduate student organization.

For official details about admissions policies and policies governing the structure of the graduate programs, consult our graduate handbook.