Linguistics

Master of Arts

General Admission Requirements for the M.A. in Linguistics and the M.A. in TESL

Students should consult the Graduate Programs section of the University website for the University requirements and should "meet the professional, personal, scholastic and other standards for graduate study, including qualifying examinations or other screening processes as appropriate campus authorities may prescribe."

Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 2.85 in the last 60 units of their BA work and satisfy the University requirements for Graduate Admission. Students who have GPA’s below 3.0 will be required to take the GRE and achieve at least one score at the 50th percentile or higher; a satisfactory GRE score must be submitted within 18 months of admission. International visa students must have a minimum TOEFL score of 563 (paper and pencil version) or 223 (CBT) or 85 (iBT) or a minimum IELTS score of 7.

 

Academic Standards for the M.A. in Linguistics and the M.A. in TESL

Prerequisites: Students must earn a grade of B or higher in all prerequisite courses. Students who earn a grade of B- or lower in a prerequisite course may repeat up to two such courses for grade improvement. Students will be disqualified from the program after receiving a third grade of B- or lower in prerequisite courses.

Required Courses and Electives:

  1. University Regulations: 
    Graduate students will be placed on academic probation whenever their GPA falls below 3.0 in all units attempted. To be removed from probation, students must earn sufficient grade points in the following semester of enrollment to raise their GPA to 3.0 or above. Failure to do so will result in disqualification from the university. University regulations allow graduate students to repeat up to 6 units of credit in which a grade of B- or below has been received. (See Graduate Studies section of the catalog.)
  2. Additional Regulations for the M.A. in Linguistics and the M.A. in TESL: 
    1. Students will be disqualified from the Linguistics/TESL Department if they do not pass the comprehensive exam on their second attempt.
    2. No grade below B- can be counted in the formal program. Any grade of C+ or lower must be repeated. If the student does not receive a grade of B- or better on the second attempt, the student will be disqualified from the Linguistics/TESL Department. University regulations allow graduate students to repeat only up to 6 units. The repeat grade will appear on the transcript.

Students must request approval to repeat a course using the Course Repeat Request Form from the Graduate Advisor in advance of enrolling in the course.

M.A. in Linguistics

Requirements for the Master of Arts in Linguistics

Candidates completing the program leading to an M.A. in Linguistics will have a fundamental understanding of the core areas in linguistics at an advanced level. In consultation with the Graduate Advisor candidates build on the core with their own program in order to pursue more individual goals.

  1.  Admission with Conditionally Classified Status:

    Candidates with undergraduate majors other than Linguistics may be admitted to the Linguistics Graduate Program as Conditionally Classified candidates if they meet the Linguistics Department Admission Requirements stated above. They will be expected to complete prerequisite coursework equivalent to the 18-unit core of the BA Major: ENGL 301/ANTH 310, LING 402, LING 404, LING 408, LING 417, LING 441/427.

  2. Admission with Classified Status:

    Candidates may be admitted to the Linguistics/TESL Graduate Program with Classified Status if they have 18 or more units in BA-level linguistics courses equivalent to the CSUN core major, all units earned with a grade of “B” or higher. Additionally, Classified Status requires successful completion of the UDWPE (Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam) or CSU equivalent, (b) completion of a foreign language requirement (see below), and (c) submission of a satisfactory GRE score where required. All M.A. candidates must apply for Classified Status before they complete more than 12 units above the prerequisite level.

  3. Foreign Language Requirement:

    M.A. candidates in Linguistics are required to demonstrate proficiency in a non-native language. Native speakers of English may satisfy this requirement in one of three ways: (1) they may enroll for two semesters of coursework in a non-Romance language or three semesters of coursework in a Romance language AFTER initial acceptance into the program; (2) they may pass a departmental examination set by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures (MCLL); or (3) they may submit a transcript showing that they hold a BA with a major in a foreign language completed within the previous 5 years. Students who are non-native speakers of English are exempt from this requirement. Students who wish to demonstrate proficiency in ASL to satisfy this requirement should consult the Department Chair. Students who choose to satisfy this requirement using coursework must earn grades of “B” or higher in each foreign language course. This requirement is intended to prepare students to read linguistics texts written in another language.

  4. Culminating Requirements:

    M.A. candidates in Linguistics may select to complete their degrees by taking a Comprehensive Exam or writing a Thesis. Students selecting the Comprehensive Exam will enroll in LING 697 in the semester during which they plan to take the examination. Candidates selecting the Thesis Option must meet certain eligibility requirements as detailed in a Thesis brochure obtainable from the Department Chair. Students in the Thesis option enroll in 3 units of LING 698C with the permission of and in consultation with the Department Chair. Thesis units may not be offered every semester.

  5. Required Core Courses (9 Units):
    • LING 501 Seminar in Phonology (3)
    • LING 503 Seminar in Cognitive Linguistics (3)
      or
      LING 505 Seminar in Discourse Analysis (3)
    • LING 610 Seminar in Syntax (3)
  6. Electives (18-21 Units):

    In consultation with the Graduate Advisor, candidates will select either 21 units of elective coursework and LING 697, Directed Comprehensive Studies (the Comprehensive Examination), or 18 units of elective coursework and LING 698C, the Thesis. All coursework must be from the 400-level and above, and at least 12 elective units must be selected from 500 and 600-level courses. Coursework can be chosen from the list of pre-approved electives; students wishing to take other courses as electives should consult with the Graduate Advisor. Candidates pursuing the M.A. in Linguistics will consult with the Graduate Advisor, and complete an Approved Program Form, reflecting the courses selected.

  7. Unit Count for M.A. in Linguistics
     

    Comprehensive Exam

    DescriptionUnits
    Prerequisites 18
    Foreign Language 6 or 9
    Required Courses 9
    Electives 21
    Comprehensive Exam 3
    Total Units: 57

    Thesis

    DescriptionUnits
    Prerequisites 18
    Foreign Language 6 or 9
    Required Courses 9
    Electives 18
    Thesis 3
    Total Units: 54

    Students should be aware that theses require a minimum of two semesters of work even though only three units are earned.

M.A. in TESL

Requirements for the Master of Arts in TESL

This degree is for candidates preparing to teach English to speakers of other languages.

  1. Admission Requirements:

    In addition to meeting the Linguistics Department Admission Requirements stated above, applicants without a background in linguistics will be required to take ENGL 301, Introduction to Language and Linguistics as a prerequisite during their first semester.

  2. Foreign Language Requirement:

    Students are required to take two semesters or equivalent of a language foreign to them. This requirement may be met with coursework completed within two years of acceptance into the Department. This requirement is intended to give students recent experience in learning a language that is foreign to them, so that they experience again firsthand the struggles of the language learner.

  3. Culminating Requirements:

    M.A. candidates in TESL complete their degrees by taking a Comprehensive Exam. Students will enroll in LING 697, Directed Comprehensive Studies in the semester during which they plan to take the examination.

  4. Required Courses (36 units)
    • LING 402 Phonetics and Phonology
    • LING 404 Morphology and Syntax
    • LING 417 Language Development and Acquisition
    • LING 502 Seminar in Second Language Acquisition
    • LING 520 Issues in ESL Reading and Writing
    • LING 521 Issues in ESL Listening and Speaking
    • LING 525 English Structures for ESL/EFL Teaching
    • LING 530 Introduction to TESL
    • LING 555 TESL Practicum
    • LING 566 Research Methods for Linguistics
    • LING 568 TESL Testing and Assessment
    • ESL Methods for specific populations (Choose one: EED 570, EED 577 or SED 529)
  5. Electives (6 units)

    M.A. candidates in TESL must choose six units of elective coursework at the 500-level or above from the list of pre-approved electives. Students wishing to take other courses as electives should consult with the Graduate Advisor.

  6. Culminating Activity (3 units):
    • Ling 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies
  7. Unit Count for M.A. in TESL
    Description Units
    English 301 3
    Foreign Language 6
    Required Courses 36
    Electives 6
    Comprehensive Exam 3
    Total Units: 54

Suitable Electives for the M.A. in Linguistics

Because Linguistics is a small department, students may need to take some of their electives in other departments. Over the years, electives have often been in departments such as AAS, ARMN, CHS, CD, COMS, EED, ENGL, EPC, PHIL, PSY, SED, SOC, and SPAN. Examples of suitable electives for the M.A. in Linguistics are given below. There may be others.

When you find a course that is language- or linguistics-related and that interests you, email the Graduate Advisor to request approval of your choice.

Preapproved Electives for the M.A. in Linguistics

400 level:

  • AAS 450 Asian American Child and the Schools
  • ARMN 440 Armenian American Child
  • ARMN 496S Seminar in Armenian Culture
  • CD 442 Speech Science
  • CHS 482 Language of the Barrio
  • COMS 430 Rhetorical Criticism
  • COMS 431 Persuasion
  • COMS 444 Political Rhetoric
  • COMS 450 Communication Research Methodology
  • COMS 454 Communication and Technology
  • ENGL 405 Language Differences and Language Change
  • LING 403 Morphology
  • LING 407 Language Varieties
  • LING 411 Introduction to Historical Linguistics
  • LING 427 Languages in Contact (if not used as a prerequisite)
  • LING 430 A Linguistic Introduction to Cognitive Science
  • LING 441 Sociolinguistics (if not used as a prerequisite)
  • LING 447 Bilingualism in the U.S.
  • PHIL 445 Philosophy of Language
  • PSY 462 Development of Language and Thought in the Young Child
  • SOC 411 Sociology of Education
  • SPAN 400 Structure of the Spanish Language
  • SPAN 401 Language and Culture
  • SPAN 497 Comparative Structure of Spanish and English

500-600 level:

  • EED 570 ESL Instructions in Bilingual and Multilingual Classrooms
  • EED 577 Language Arts and ESL Instruction
  • EED 610 Research Methods in Elementary Education
  • EED 626 Literacy Instruction for English Learners
  • EED 675 Bilingual/Multilingual Teaching Strategies
  • ENGL 595G Genre Theories
  • ENGL 595 TLL Gender and Language
  • ENGL 612 Stylistics
  • EPC 600 Educational Statistics for Research and Measurement
  • LING 500 Seminar in Phonetics
  • LING 502 Seminar in Second Language Acquisition
  • LING 503 Seminar in Cognitive Linguistics (if LING 505 counts as required)
  • LING 505 Seminar in Discourse Analysis (if LING 503 counts as required)
  • LING 515 Survey of Applied Linguistics
  • LING 520 Issues in ESL Reading and Writing
  • LING 521 Issues in ESL Listening and Speaking
  • LING 525 English Structures for ESL/EFL Teaching
  • LING 530 Introduction to TESL
  • LING 566 Research Methods for Linguistics
  • LING 568 TESL Testing and Assessment
  • LING 578 English for Specific Purposes
  • LING 589 Introduction to Celtic Languages
  • LING 604 Acoustic and Instrumental Phonetics
  • SED 514 Computers in the Instructional Program
  • SED 529 Teaching English Learners
  • SED 587 Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language to Adults
  • SPAN 600 History of the Spanish Language

Suitable Electives for the M.A. in TESL

Because Linguistics is a small department, students may need to take some of their electives in other departments. Over the years, electives have often been in departments such as AAS, ARMN, CHS, CD, COMS, EED, ENGL, EPC, PHIL, PSY, SED, and SOC. Examples of suitable electives for the M.A. in TESL are given below. There may be others.

When you find a course that is language- or linguistics-related and that interests you, email the Graduate Advisor to request approval of your choice.

Preapproved Electives for the M.A. in TESL

  • EED 570 ESL Instructions in Bilingual and Multilingual Classrooms
  • EED 577 Language Arts and ESL Instruction
  • EED 610 Research Methods in Elementary Education
  • EED 626 Literacy Instruction for English Learners
  • EED 675 Bilingual/Multilingual Teaching Strategies
  • ENGL 595G Genre Theories
  • ENGL 595 TLL Gender and Language
  • ENGL 612 Stylistics
  • EPC 600 Educational Statistics for Research and Measurement
  • LING 501 Seminar in Phonology
  • LING 503 Seminar in Cognitive Linguistics
  • LING 505 Seminar in Discourse Analysis
  • LING 515 Survey of Applied Linguistics
  • LING 578 English for Specific Purposes
  • LING 589 Introduction to Celtic Languages
  • LING 610 Seminar in Syntax
  • SED 514 Computers in the Instructional Program
  • SED 587 Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language to Adults
  • SPAN 600 History of the Spanish Language