Application Deadlines
Fall:January 15
Contact Information: 
4064 JFSB
Program Requirements: 

The purpose of the linguistics MA program is closely related to the department's definition of linguistics, which is the scientific study of language. The program aims to prepare the student to become a language professional, go on to a PhD program, or go into the world as a competent practitioner of the skills expected of a linguist. A more applied, but popular emphasis in the department is a track that combines linguistics with computer skills. The linguistics curriculum develops such skills as analyzing language in its sound, structure, and meaning. Optional tracks also introduce the student to such related fields as anthropological linguistics, information design, sociolinguistics, and language-oriented computing.

  • Total credit hours:  33
    • Required courses: (6 hours)
      • Topics in Linguistics (3 hours): Ling 600
      • Research core (3 hours): Ling 604
    • Electives (21 hours): depending on course availability and consultation with faculty advisors.  Students can choose to focus on one of the following areas of emphasis: 1. Linguistics computing, 2. Language acquisition, 3. Language and society, or 4. General linguistics
    • Thesis (6 hours)
    • Examination:  oral defense of thesis
    • (with Ling 401 as a prerequisite for non-Ling BA {or equivalent} students)
Admission Requirements: 

Required Tests:

  • GRE 
  • TOEFL for international students with an overall score of 580 (paper-based) or 90 (internet based test) with minimum subscores of 23 in speaking and 22 in other sections of the iBT. 

Additional Requirements:



  • Competency in two languages other than English: one language at the third-year university level (typically 300-level courses, for example GERM 301) or the ACTFL Intermediate-Mid level; and another language at the second-year university level (typically 200-level courses,* for example ARAB 201) or the ACTFL Intermediate-Low level. Students who choose to have their proficiency measured in a certified language assessment, such as those offered by the Center for Language Studies, do so at their own expense. Native speakers of languages other than English can count their native languages towards this requirement. This requirement can be completed after starting the program along with regular course work, but it does not count towards the overall 33 credit program requirement. *Note: Despite its number, SPAN 105 at BYU is considered the first semester of second year university-level Spanish.
  • If indicated by an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), nonnative English speakers will need to take ESL 301 Advanced Academic English, ESL 302 Advanced English Pronunciation, or ESL 305 Applied Grammar.  The OPI should be completed before or during the first semester.
  • Non-native English speakers must take Ling 501 during winter semester.  However, you will be instructed on how this requirement may be waived during your first fall semester.

Writing Sample

  • Applicants should submit a writing sample (peer-reviewed if possible) in English, no longer than 20 pages, that reflects their best single authored work preferably focused on some area of linguistics, language or communication.
Program Outcomes: 

Analysis Skills Development

Analyze linguistic data using appropriate (linguistic) methodology. Be able to understand, interpret, analyze, and assess academic linguistic literature.

Professional Preparation

Demonstrate skills useful for employment or for future graduate studies (e.g. doctoral or other programs in computer science, Hispanic linguistics, applied linguistics, law, communication, marketing, etc.). Examples include: corpus analysis, computer programming, quantitative and qualitative data analysis (including statistical procedures), editing, teaching second languages, natural language processing, and translation.

Effective Presentation

Be able to make formal written and oral presentations on a linguistic topic.

Program Stats

Characteristics of Students from Past Academic Year
Total Students 33
International 1
Female 14
LDS 26
Non-White 8
BYU Undergraduate 12
Three Year Average Test Scores of Admitted Student
GRE Composite Score 310.6
GRE Quantitative Score 152.0
GRE Quantitative Percentile 48.1
GRE Verbal Score 158.6
GRE Verbal Percentile 76.2
GRE Analytical Score 4.1
GRE Analytical Percentile 59.3
Five Year Average of Graduated Students
Average Years to Degree 2.9
Graduated Per Year 7.6
Five Year Average of Admitted Students
Applied Per Year 13.6
Admitted Per Year 10.8
Percent Admitted 79.41
Average GPA 3.67