Jun 17, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Linguistics, Master of Arts

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Department of Linguistics
113 Fitzgerald House  (map)
(248) 370-2175 • Fax (248) 370-3144

Graduate Adviser:
Michael Smith
114 Fitzgerald House
(248) 364-8811

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Graduate Catalog Addendum  

Program description

The Master of Arts degree in linguistics provides post-baccalaureate instruction in current linguistic theory and in applied linguistics. The degree is intended to accommodate students who have done previous work in linguistics, as well as those who have had little exposure to the subject.

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Oakland University Graduate School by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

  • February 15 (early), April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
  • October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular) for winter semester
  • March 1 (regular) for summer semester
  • International applicants  

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • Although an undergraduate major in linguistics is not a requirement for admission, applicants must have a demonstrated knowledge of the basic principles of linguistics, as would be encountered in an introductory linguistics course.
  • Applicants should have earned a baccalaureate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Requirements for recommendations:
    The two Recommendation for Graduate Admission forms, listed above under University graduate application requirements, must be from academics familiar with the applicant’s abilities being able to complete the program efficiently.
  • Applicants must explain in a statement of purpose their reasons for wishing to pursue graduate studies in linguistics.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department. 

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Degree requirements

The Master of Arts in linguistics degree will be awarded to the student who earns 36 credits in nine courses as specified below. A minimum grade of C in each course and an overall minimum GPA of 3.00 are required for the M.A. degree.

All students must complete LIN 5503  (Introduction to Phonology) and LIN 5504  (Introduction to Syntax). Upon completion of LIN 5503  and LIN 5504 , students will be evaluated for admission to candidacy and will choose an area of specialization in consultation with the graduate coordinator.

Upon admission to candidacy, the student will choose an area of specialization from among the following three: linguistic theory, teaching English as a Second Language or language arts. Non-native speakers of English who wish to specialize in teaching English as a Second Language must satisfactorily complete an oral and written examination in English. Other specializations may be developed in consultation with the graduate coordinator. At least 16 credits (four courses) of work must be in the area of specialization.

All students must also complete LIN 6998  (Seminar in Linguistics) or LIN 6999  (The Master’s Thesis).

General requirements

  • Nine courses (36 credits)
  • No more than 8 credits in courses from other departments
  • No more than 8 credits in 4000-level LIN or ALS courses
  • Either a) two years of foreign language study, or b) one year of foreign language study and LIN 5609  ; in either case, demonstrated first year proficiency in at least one foreign language is required. First year proficiency can be demonstrated by satisfactory completion of a foreign language course at the 1150-level.

Course requirements

a. Foundation requirement (4 credits)

The graduate coordinator will review undergraduate transcripts and determine if the foundation course is needed. The course is not required of all students entering the program and is not included in the 36-credit program total.

  • LIN 2201 - Linguistic Structures (4 credits)

b. Core requirements (8 credits)

c. Specializations (choose one)

d. Exit (4 credits)

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned graduate coordinator, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the graduate coordinator and submitted by the student to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility  section of this catalog.)

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.

3000-5000-level courses

When graduate courses (5000-level) are cross listed with undergraduate course (3000-level), graduate students will be required to complete additional work at the graduate level, usually an essay or a project decided in conjunction with the professor.

Practicum eligibility  

Eligibility for the Practicum (ALS 5960  ) requires completion of ALS 5518  and ALS 5538    with a grade of B (3.0) or higher. 

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