M.A. Concentration in Linguistics

Advisor: Erik Thomas

The graduate concentration in linguistics has gained a national and international reputation as one of the outstanding sociolinguistic programs in the nation. Within four years of its inception, the program was cited in The Real Guide to Graduate School (Lingua Franca, 1997) as one of the top five sociolinguistic programs in North America. NC State is the only master’s level program in the list, which includes well-established, longstanding doctoral programs in sociolinguistics such as the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.

The graduate M.A. program requires 15 semester hours in linguistics out of a 33 semester-hour requirement for a Master of Arts in English and a capstone research project.

How to Apply

Check out comments from alumni:

Story 1

"...best sociolinguistics program in the country"

Supportive, non-competitive atmosphere, unparalleled academic and outreach opportunities in sociolinguistics, best sociolinguistics program in the country, experienced and knowledgeable faculty, great for figuring out specific directions of academic interest in sociolinguistics for future study.

                       -- MA ‘16 graduate, Linguistics Concentration

Story 2

"...really helped me feel welcomed and belong in the community"

Going to conferences really helped me understand that there’s a whole different field to what you’re learning like what's current, what people are doing at the moment, and it allows me to enjoy linguistics more. I enjoyed being there, interacting with other peers, and learning what they’re specializing in. It really helped me feel welcomed and belong in the community.

-- Jose Alvarez-Retamales, MA '20, Linguistics Concentration

Story 3

"students here are close-knit and supportive..."

The sociolinguistics masters program at NCSU is the best program in the country and it's 100% because of the people here who make it so. The other students here are close-knit and supportive, always looking out for each other and collaborating. The professors are brilliant and engaging scholars who really care about the success and education of their students.

        -- Shalina Omar, MA ’19, Linguistics Concentration

Story 4

"encourages career options..."

Very supportive and collaborative, and acknowledges/ encourages career options outside of academia. Sets you up well for a teaching career. And a top notch sociolinguistics program, of course! 

        -- Karen Eisenhauer, MA ’17, Linguistics Concentration

Story 5

"...amazing opportunities outside of the classroom"

The faculty are always there to work with students and help students achieve their goals. The instructors are engaged and enthusiastic in their subjects/classes. There are amazing opportunities outside of the classroom: workshops, brown bag talks, research opportunities, travel opportunities, conferences, networking, etc.

                             -- MA ‘17 graduate, Linguistics Concentration


Distribution Requirements (6 credits)

  • To connect with other core areas of English Studies, all MA English students take two courses in American, British, or World literature, film studies, or literary theory.

Concentration Requirements (24 credits)

  • 5 courses in linguistics
  • 3 elective courses. Electives may be chosen from English or from complementary fields of study.

Research (3 credits)

Click here for more information on linguistics at NC State University.