Florida Atlantic University

Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters



777 Glades Road

Boca Raton, FL 33431

United States

Program Information

Degrees Offered:


Format: Campus

Program Description:

The MA in Linguistics at FAU prepares students for work in a variety of language related fields and for further study at the doctoral level. It is an interdepartmental program with courses offered by the department in the core areas of linguistics phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics and in the linguistic structure and history and dialectology of several foreign languages; these include French, German, Italian, and Spanish. The structure and history of English are taught in the Department of English. Other related areas are bilingualism, second language acquisition, language teaching methodology, semiotics, and sociolinguistics. Relevant courses are also offered in the departments of Psychology: psycholinguistics, first language acquisition, and Anthropology. In addition, there is a related interdepartmental Certificate in ESL Studies which aims to improve the preparation of instructors in colleges and private schools. Most of the courses for the certificate are also part of the MA in Linguistics.

The FAU graduate Linguistics program prepares students for a broad range of opportunities in language education and research. Our alumni have found employment in public and private schools, colleges, and institutes, here in South Florida and overseas. Our graduates hold positions directing ESL, EAP, and Remedial English programs; they teach English or foreign languages both in the US and abroad; and some have continued their education in doctoral programs in related fields.

How do we prepare graduates for such a broad range of contexts?

Our MA program combines theoretical and applied linguistics, providing students with a well-balanced grounding of theory and practice. Thus, our students graduate with a broad range of expertise that allows them to successfully compete in today’s global job market. They are well-suited to not only apply pedagogical techniques but also interpret the research literature and integrate it into their particular instructional situation. Students have the choice of an MA degree with thesis and a non-thesis option.

Our Department offers financial support for MA students, either as supervised Teaching Assistants teaching one of the foreign languages offered in the Department (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish) or by assisting professors in teaching undergraduate courses in linguistics.

All Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are guided by experienced faculty members. GTAships include a stipend and tuition waiver.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Studies Certificate

The college-wide ESL studies certificate program is a graduate/undergraduate program that expands and complements our Linguistics degrees. This certificate is especially appropriate for those who wish to teach English to adult non-native speakers in intensive English institutes, community colleges, private schools, and in international contexts.
M.A. (thesis option)

There are two options available to students for the MA in Linguistics: with thesis and without thesis. The MA degree with thesis option requires 30 credit hours: 24 of course work and 6 of thesis credit. For all graduate work students must earn a B or better to receive credit toward the degree. Students who earn a B- or less will need to retake the course or substitute another in order to fulfill the requirement.

M.A. (non-thesis option)

The MA degree non-thesis option requires 36 credit hours of course work and a comprehensive exam. For all graduate work students must earn a B or better to receive credit toward the degree. Students who earn a B- or less will need to retake the course or substitute another in order to fulfill the requirement.


There are a limited number of Graduate Teaching Assistantships available for full-time students. These awards provide an annual stipend and tuition remission, in exchange for teaching or assisting in the Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature. If you are interested in applying for this financial support, please be sure to indicate this on your application and in your statement of purpose.

Facts & Figures

# of Credits Required: 30-36

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Intensive

Locale: Small City

Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999

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