MSc Linguistics

University of Alberta, Canada

Link to programme

About Programme

The Department of Linguistics is unique in the Faculty of Arts in offering the degree of Master of Science.

  • Type: On campus
  • Start: September
  • Language: English


  • Duration: 24 months
  • Fee national: $8,204
  • Fee international: $14,423

Students entering the MSc can choose from one of two options—the course-based or the thesis-based MSc. Both programs require the completion of two mandatory courses, LING 601:Phonology I and 602: Seminar in Syntax, as well as a set number of electives, chosen in conjunction with the student’s Supervisor. These elective courses will depend on the student’s individual background and interests; however, the Department strongly recommends that all entering MSc students take LING 501: Research Project Seminar.

Students should consult with their Supervisor or the Graduate Chair before selecting courses.

Course-based MSc:

  • A course-based MSc requires the completion of 27 credits (9 courses) of coursework, typically completed over the course of four semesters (two years). These credits include the two required courses (LING 601, 602), an MSc project course (LING 903), and 6 elective courses, selected by students in conjunction with the Supervisor.
  • The course-based MSc project is a paper of professional quality reporting the results of a guided research project in the Supervisor’s area of specialization that preferably, but not necessarily, makes an original contribution to knowledge. The MSc project is evaluated by the student’s Supervisor and a second reader (the second reader may be a faculty member from Linguistics or from another department).

Thesis-based MSc:

  • A thesis-based MSc in our Department requires the completion of 21 credits (7 courses) of coursework, typically completed over the course of four semesters (two years). These credits include the two required courses (LING 601, 602), as well as 5 elective courses, selected by student in conjunction with the Supervisor. In addition, the student is required to write and defend a Masters thesis.
  • The Masters thesis usually ranges from 50–150 pages in length and demonstrates the ability to: synthesize and critically evaluate a relevant body of research, design a focused research study that may yield a contribution to knowledge, carry out this research and analyze the research findings, interpret those findings and indicate their relevance to related areas of inquiry.
  • The Masters Thesis is submitted to a three-person Examining Committee and then defended in the formal manner set out by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

Entry requirements

The Department's general admission requirements are outlined in the University Calendar. The Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research sets common standards for GPA and English language competency across all graduate programs. As part of the application, we ordinarily require evidence of separate undergraduate-level courses in at least 5 of the following 6 areas:

  • General linguistics
  • Phonetics
  • Phonology
  • Morphology
  • Syntax
  • Semantics

The Department does not normally consider courses in TESOL or courses taken as part of an English-language degree from an international institution as meeting these requirements.

Please keep in mind, we try to keep the information on as accurate as we can but we can't guarantee that all information is 100% correct. So always contact the universities.

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