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226 South College
Several features combine to give the Department of Linguistics its unique character as well as its international renown as a center of research and learning in linguistic theory. Department faculty and students share a common focus on theoretical linguistics, with strength in all its branches. At the same time, many members of the department explore interdisciplinary connections between linguistic theory and other fields of inquiry, such as speech physiology and perception, philosophy of language, psychology, and cognitive science.
The department offers innovative undergraduate and graduate level courses, including general education and online courses through the Continuing Education Program, a highly-ranked PhD program, several undergraduate majors and a minor, and outreach to teachers, local bilingual populations and native communities.
The department's combination of breadth and formal focus has proved a fertile ground for research and learning. In the most recent National Research Council survey of doctoral programs, UMass Linguistics ranked #1 in quality of education and #4 in quality of faculty.
The Linguistics department offers several options for majoring and minoring in Linguistics, as well as innovative general education courses. A Linguistics major can focus purely on linguistics theory, or combine Linguistics with another field or language. There are six interdisciplinary majors in which the study of Linguistics forms a significant part of the curriculum. These are a combination of Linguistics and Anthropology, Chinese, German, Japanese, Philosophy, and Psychology. It is also possible to major in linguistics alone or to minor in Linguistics. The joint majors are currently under review. Please contact both departments before considering any of these majors to determine current availability of course offerings.
Undergraduate Program Advisor:
224 South College
The Department of Linguistics offers graduate work leading to the Ph.D. degree. Students may concentrate their graduate work in any of the following areas: syntax, semantics, phonology, phonetics, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, morphology, and Optimality Theory. Graduate training in the department is strongly oriented toward preparing students to carry on individual creative research and teaching in theoretical linguistics as early as possible in their graduate careers. The graduate program is set up so as to maximize close student-faculty contact. Most of our students go on to become professors in the field of theoretical linguistics at universities around the world.
As one of the top four graduate programs in theoretical linguistics, the UMass Amherst program receives more than 130 applications each year, but can only accept between 5 and 8 students a year. Because of the structure of the program, applications are accepted only for fall semester admission.
Our students often do additional graduate-level work at the University in departments with course offerings related to the study of natural language, such as Philosophy, Computer Science, Communication Disorders, Psychology, the foreign language programs, and Mathematics. Though the Ph.D. program normally lasts five years, students with a largely interdisciplinary plan of study may extend to a sixth year with departmental consent.
Cognitive Science Certificate Program
Members of the Linguistics, Computer Science, Philosophy, and Psychology departments at the University and the other institutions of the Five College Consortium (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges) work together in a Cognitive Science Graduate Certificate Program, which holds evening interdisciplinary seminars and colloquia during the year.
M.A. Program for Five College Students
The UMass Amherst Linguistics Department is offering a new one-year MA degree. Limited to graduating seniors and recent graduates from the Five-College Consortium (UMass, Amherst, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, and Hampshire), this degree offers students a unique opportunity to do advanced study in a world-renowned graduate program.
Graduate Program Director:
122 South College