Students may seek an M.A. in Linguistics either as their terminal degree or as a step toward the Ph.D. It should be kept in mind that to proceed from the M.A. to the Ph.D. program in linguistics at Gallaudet, students must receive a "high pass" on the M.A. Comprehensive Examination.
The M.A. program is appropriate for students seeking linguistic knowledge as a foundation for work in such allied professional fields as language teaching, interpreter education, language planning, bilingual education, and language assessment. Graduates of this program are sought for positions in interpreter training programs, faculty teaching posts at the college level, or, given the appropriate educational background, as teachers of Deaf children.
Students pursuing the M.A. in Linguistics at Gallaudet get a solid grounding in linguistic theory, method,and research with a special emphasis on sign language linguistics. The program includes core courses in linguistic theory (both generative and cognitive), core courses in the structure of American Sign Language, courses in sociolinguistics, language and culture, research methods, and two semesters of guided research under the supervision of a faculty member. In addition, students select three elective courses according to their interests. The M.A. program requires 47-51 credit hours of coursework. A full-time graduate student should complete the program in four semesters. The program is designed to be completed during the fall and spring semesters, with no weekend or summer course offerings.