Linguistics Program

Coordinator

Lederer, JennyJenny Lederer
Email: lederer@sfsu.edu
Phone: (415) 388-7406
Building: Humanities 430

 

 

 

 

Overview

The M.A. in Linguistics provides students with a solid grounding in the tools of language analysis. The course offerings in contemporary linguistic theory cover a broad spectrum of the components of linguistic structure: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse analysis, cognitive linguistics and sociolinguistics. Students interested in any field involving language analysis — including but not limited to law, education, anthropology, sociology, psychology, computer science, and linguistics — benefit from preparation in examining language data with the rigorous methods of the discipline. Students who plan to teach or translate language gain a valuable background in the structure of English along with a deeper understanding of how grammar works in every language.

Since the program allows considerable choice in coursework beyond a basic set of core requirements, the student — in consultation with an adviser — can plan a program to suit individual interests and career requirements, including pathways that focus on computational and experimental linguistics in addition to cognitive linguistics. Teaching assistant opportunities enable students to apprentice with faculty who teach undergraduate language studies classes in order to gain knowledge, experience and the skills needed to teach linguistics concepts in the classroom.

Requirements

View requirements and guidelines in the SF State Bulletin.

Courses

English (M.A.): Concentraion in Linguistics - Minimum 30 Units

Group I: Required Core Courses (18 Units)
Course # Course Title Units
ENG 719 Seminar: Contemporary Semantic Theory 3
ENG 723 Seminar in the Structure of English 3
ENG 725 Seminar in Discourse Analysis 3
ENG 727 Linguistic Field Methods 3
ENG 728 Topics in Sociolinguistics 3
ENG 889 Integrated Studies in Linguistics 3

 

Group II: Related Core Courses (3 Units) - Theoretical and Applied Linguistics

Course #

Course Title Units
ENG 728 Topics in Sociolinguistics 3
ENG 729 Seminar in Psycholinguistics 3
ENG 737 Introduction to Corpus Linguistics 3
ENG 739 Advanced Field Methods 3

PHIL 630

  or PHIL 830

Philosophy of Language

Seminar in Philosophy of Language

3

 

Related Elective Courses
Course # Course Title Units
Linguistics
ENG 804 Teaching Practicum: Linguistics 3
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
ENG 653 TESOL: Pedagogical Grammar 3
ENG 724 Special Topics in TESOL 3
ENG 726 Practicum in TESOL 3
ENG 731 Seminar: TESOL Listening and Speaking Skills 3
ENG 732 Seminar: TESOL Reading and Writing Skills 3
ENG 738 Pragmatics and Oral Skills 3
Communication Studies
COMM 664 LSI Methods in Communication 3
COMM 871 Communication Research Strategies 3
Reading and Writing
ENG 704 Pedagogical Grammar for Composition 3
ENG 706 Seminar in Sociolinguistics of Composition  3
Literature
ENG 782 Seminar: Chaucer 3

 

Culminating Experience in Linguistics

You are responsible for getting all applications filled out, signed and submitted by the deadlines. Application forms must be submitted the semester before you plan to graduate. Deadlines and forms can be found on line. Plan to start seeing your advisers to get forms signed at the very beginning of the semester, rather than waiting for the deadline and hoping for an empty appointment slot.

ENG 895: Two squibs in different subfields of linguistics

As early as possible in the semester before you plan to graduate, plan two short investigations in two different subfields in linguistic theory. The investigations must contain analyses original to you, though not necessarily original in the field. Consult with two professors who specialize in those areas and who agree to be your advisers (i.e., one per project). Submit a written prospectus for each project to its adviser, including a schedule for completion of work.

During your final semester, consult with each of your advisers and write the two squibs. Submit a pre-final draft of each squib to the adviser for that project at least one month before the culminating experience deadline. (Check course schedule for date; it changes each semester.) Advisers will take one week to read and return a draft to you. Usually, a student will do one revision, producing the final draft, which will be defended in the oral exam. If necessary, one (and only one) additional revised draft may be submitted before the oral exam is taken. The final draft of each squib must be submitted to each of the two advisors at least two weeks before the oral exam date.

You are responsible for scheduling your oral exam with your committee at least one week before the culminating experience deadline. For the oral exam, you will do a 10 - 15 minute presentation on each project, followed by a question/discussion period with the advisers. Questions will pertain to your two investigations.

If any of your squibs are not of passing quality by the day of your oral exam, you have one (and only one) chance to revise and resubmit them. Resubmitted squibs must be turned in to committee members at least one week before the culminating experience deadline. (This may mean that your graduation is postponed one semester.) Each of the two squibs must be approved by its advisor and your committee chair in order to pass 898 and receive the M.A. If you do not pass 895, you do not receive the M.A.

Squib Checklist

  • Prior to final semester
    • Find two advisers for the squibs, submit prospectus for each project
  • Beginning of final semester
    • Consult with each advisor, begin work on squibs
  • At least one month prior to culminating experience deadline
    • Turn in pre-final draft to each squib advisor
  • At least three weeks prior to culminating experience deadline
    • Schedule oral defense for at least one week before culminating experience deadline
  • At least two weeks before scheduled oral defense
    • Turn in final draft to each advisor
  • At least one week before culminating experienced deadline
    • Turn in revisions (if necessary)

ENG 898: Thesis

One year before you plan to graduate, discuss a thesis topic with two prospective SF State advisers, primary and secondary (Advisers from other universities may be added to these two, as appropriate). Submit a thesis proposal (1 - 2 pages, summarizing the goal of your investigation and your schedule for completing the work) to this committee. The thesis schedule should include one semester of background reading, data collection and analysis (this work may be done for 899 Independent Study credit), and one semester of writing.

The first draft of the thesis should be written in consultation with your advisers and submitted to your primary adviser chapter by chapter. You are responsible for scheduling an oral exam with your committee at least two weeks before the thesis deadline (Check course schedule for date; it changes each semester). A final draft of the thesis must be submitted to each committee member at least two weeks before the oral exam is scheduled. This means that you are submitting your thesis to your committee at least one month before the culminating experience deadline. You should expect advisers to take one week to read and return a draft to you.

During the oral exam, you will do a 15 - 20 minute formal presentation of your work. You should have handouts for data. There will then be a question/discussion period. If you need to do revisions, these must be submitted to advisors at least one week before the thesis deadline. This may mean that your graduate is postponed one semester. There is one (and only one) chance for thesis revision after the oral exam. If you do not pass ENG 898, you do not receive the M.A.

Thesis Checklist

  • Beginning of year before graduating
    • Find two advisers for the thesis, submit thesis proposal
  • First semester for final year
    • Do background reading, data collection, and analysis
  • Second semester of final year
    • Write thesis
  • One month prior to culminating experience deadline or before
    • Turn in pre-final draft to advisors
  • One month prior to culminating experience deadline or before
    • Schedule oral defense for at least one week before culminating experience deadline
  • Two weeks before scheduled oral exam defense
    • Turn in final draft to each advisor
  • One week before culminating experience deadline
    • Turn in revisions (if necessary)

Admission Procedures & Advising

Graduate Studies: Steps to Apply for Admission

International Applicants: also see Graduate Studies International Admissions

The application process for the MA Linguistics program is as follows. If you have questions about the process, please contact: English@sfsu.edu.

  1. Submit the online application through Cal State Apply. Paper applications are not accepted. If you do not have Internet access, send a message to the Graduate Admissions Office and request a paper application (gradstdy@sfsu.edu),
    415-338-2234, 415-338-2232.

  2. Submit the following online (A-C) by uploading on the Cal State Apply site’s “Program Materials” section:

    A) A 1 - 2 page, typed statement of purpose detailing why you are interested in the Linguistics concentration.
    B) One recent 5 -10 page writing sample.
    C) Please upload all unofficial transcripts from all Universities and Colleges attended.

3.    Request official transcripts from all colleges/universities you have attended, including all community/junior colleges. All documents must be in English or accompanied by certified English translations. Request that each college/university mail the official transcripts to Graduate Studies in sealed envelopes. Please note: if you previously attended SF State, you do not need to submit a SFSU transcript.

Mailing Address:

Graduate Admissions Office, ADM 250
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94132

4.    International applicants who are non-native speakers of English must also have official TOEFL scores sent (institution code: 4683, department code:14). IELTS scores are also accepted.

International applicants who are non-native speakers of English must also submit a certified financial statement.

5.    One to two letters of recommendation from instructors or other persons qualified to comment on your ability to succeed in graduate studies. The letters of recommendation can be emailed to English@sfsu.edu or mailed to:

English Department, HUM 484
MA Linguistics Program
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132

Linguistics Resources

Resources

Commonly Used Forms

Career Options in Linguistics 

The M.A. in Linguistics prepares students for a variety of teaching and research positions in which the emphasis is on the structure of language. The program provides a background for teachers of English at the secondary and community college levels and for other specialists in education. Graduates of the program may teach English language or writing, work in the fields of speech production or speech recognition, or go on to further study in linguistics or related disciplines. 

Faculty

Resources