Linguistics Department

MA Program

Applicants for the MA degree are usually students who are interested in professional development for which the MA is their final degree objective in linguistics, or who for various reasons do not wish to apply to the PhD program. Those who want to complete the PhD program in linguistics at UT Austin should indicate PhD as their degree objective on their applications, even if they do not yet have an MA. The department admits very few students who are seeking the MA only, and those who are enrolled in the MA program are not usually funded by the department. All students take a specific set of core courses, whether enrolled in the MA or the PhD programs.


The program of work for the MA in linguistics requires 36 hours. In general terms, the MA program requires 2 years of approved coursework, including an MA thesis or report. All graduate students in linguistics must take the following 5 courses (15 credit hours).

LIN 381M - Phonetics 
LIN 380K - Phonology I 
LIN 380L - Syntax I
LIN 380M - Semantics I
LIN 385 – Field Methods

21 hours of approved coursework beyond the 15 credit hours of core courses is required.  This coursework includes:

  • 6 hours in a minor area
  • thesis/report hours
  • 6 hours of research equivalencies (LIN 381K, LIN 381L, any LIN 389, LIN 395, any advanced course or non-core area course) in the primary area of interest.
  • 3-6 hours (depending on whether the thesis or report option is chosen) of research equivalencies, which are usually taken in the primary area but may include additional coursework in the minor area or supporting work as recommended by the student’s advisor and approved by the Graduate Advisor.