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Linguistics Program

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The Graduate Program in Linguistics at UofSC is comprehensive in its scope. Its mission is to train students to pursue research and to teach in a wide range of linguistic subdisciplines. The program strives to develop students' analytical skills and to encourage creative and critical approaches to data, models, and theories.


The Ph.D. Program in Linguistics does not focus on the training of theoretical linguists, but instead sees its mission as that of training historical linguists, language acquisition specialists, sociolinguists, and others, who can apply linguistic theory to the pursuit of their research. Thus, it is typical for a student in this program to use, for example, a current syntactic theory in investigations into language contact or language variation, or to apply phonological theory to research on second language acquisition.


The M.A. in Linguistics at South Carolina is a degree in general linguistics that can be completed in two years. The graduate program in Linguistics offers three broadly construed areas of specialization: Psycholinguistics and Cognitive and Formal Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition and TESOL, and Social, Cultural, and Historical Linguistics. Our M.A. program is designed to provide students with the broadest possible background in linguistics. Students are encouraged them to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities presented by the program's faculty and to discover connections between the various subdisciplines in the field.


The TESOL Certificate Program trains future teachers of English as a second language by providing a foundation grounded in both linguistic and pedagogical theory paired with practical experience.

Areas of Specialization

The interdepartmental structure of the program affords students the opportunity to take coursework in various areas of concentration: Psycholinguistics and Cognitive and Formal Linguistics; Second Language Acquisition and TESOL; and Social, Cultural, and Historical Linguistics. The program's dual emphasis on theoretical and applied aspects of linguistics is one of its major strengths, and the great variety of research conducted by faculty and graduate students is a reflection of the intellectual diversity that characterizes the program. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.