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 USC is a degree in general 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.
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.