Master of Arts in Linguistics (MA)

Overview

Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguists are interested in questions such as the following:

  • What are the structural properties of languages, at the level of sounds, words, sentences, and meaning?
  • To what extent are the languages of the world similar or different?
  • How is language acquired, by children and in adulthood?
  • How is it processed in the mind/brain?
  • How do people produce and perceive speech?
  • How do languages change over time?

Linguistics is a highly interdisciplinary field which combines research methods from the humanities and the social, natural, and mathematical sciences.

Research in the Department covers a broad range of topics, with substantial coverage of syntax, semantics, morphology, phonetics, phonology, and pragmatics. We approach these topics from several different research traditions and backgrounds, with particular strengths in formal-theoretical linguistics, experimental and field linguistics, acquisition, and computational approaches to the study of communicative behaviour. These research areas intersect and overlap considerably, and faculty and students are often simultaneously involved in more than one area. This is part of the attention paid to interfaces between traditional subfields of linguistics and methodological traditions (e.g., laboratory phonology, gesture and speech and learning), one of the great strengths of the Department.

The Department also has a strong commitment to the study of Languages of the Americas, with particular focus on First Nations Languages of Canada, in the areas of documentation and theoretical research, something for which it is well known. Research is not restricted to Languages of the Americas, however; the department also has a long history of work on African languages and there is ongoing research on languages within the Indo-European, Japonic, Sino-Tibetan, and Uralic families as well as Korean.

What makes the program unique?

Our linguists focus on data in all its forms – not just fieldwork, but also high-quality research in labs with cutting-edge resources and tools, such as those found and developed in the Communication Dynamics Lab, the Interdisciplinary Speech Research Lab, the Language and Learning Lab, the Speech In Context Lab, and the Phonological CorpusTools working group.

Students in the Department of Linguistics are given the opportunity to head out into the field and get their hands dirty. Many of the members of our department, from undergrads and grad students to post-docs and faculty members, work directly with language consultants to describe, analyze and revitalize the languages of the world.

Linguists in the department have active working relationships with scholars from many different disciplines and from across the UBC campus, across the country, and across the world.

Our students are actively engaged in research from the moment they enter the department, and they have an excellent track record of publishing and presenting their work at national and international conferences.

Quick Facts

Degree
Master of Arts
Subject
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Specialization
Linguistics
Program Components
Coursework + Options
Faculty
Faculty of Arts

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Graduate Students with Families

webinar
Date: Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Time: 10:00 to 11:00
If you have a partner and/or a family and are considering graduate school at UBC, join us for this online info session. Topics include resources for families, including partners, general information on child care, registering for school, looking for a place to live, and fun and affordable activities for kids of all ages. Current graduate students with family will be on hand to help answer questions.

Great Grad School Applications

webinar
Date: Friday, 23 November 2018
Time: 14:00 to 15:00
Learn about the application process, and general academic and admissions requirements. Develop a timeline for meeting deadlines, scheduling language tests, getting your documents ready, and reaching out to letter writers and supervisors. As well, join us on a virtual tour of the UBC Grad Studies website to point out important resources.

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

90
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

GRE required?

Optional

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
12 September 2018
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 20 January 2019
Transcript Deadline: 20 January 2019
Referee Deadline: 23 January 2019
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 20 January 2019
Transcript Deadline: 20 January 2019
Referee Deadline: 23 January 2019

Career Options

UBC’s Department of Linguistics alumni have a longstanding history of individual achievements and collective success. Since the first Department of Linguistics courses were offered at the University in 1967, our alumni have made a mark for themselves internationally and in a vast diversity of careers. You may view a full list of alumni on our website.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20172016201520142013
Applications4639374063
Offers33487
New registrations23343
Total enrolment578913

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 76.92% based on 13 students admitted between 2008 - 2011. Based on 11 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 1.99 years and the maximum time is 5.66 years with an average of 3.57 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 9 March 2018]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 23 September 2018].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Babel, Molly (Phonetics, Recognition of Speech, Perception and Representation, Acoustics, Dialects, speech perception, acoustics of speech production, spoken word recognition, phonetic variation)
  • Davis, Henry Thomas (First Nations languages)
  • Dechaine, Rose-Marie (Native American languages; Algonquian language family, Cree, Blackfoot, Ojibwe; French / English bilingualism policy; formal linguistics; generative grammar (Chomsky); West African languages (Niger-Congo, Yoruba, Igbo, Edo); Nigerian languages; literacy vs. oralcy; language planning re: French, Indigenous languages, Speech/gesture coordination, syntactic interface relations)
  • Gick, Bryan (phonetics, speech science, speech motor control, speech perception, multimodal perception, tactile perception, ultrasound imaging of speech, sounds of the world’s languages, Physical mechanisms of speech production, speech research)
  • Hall, Kathleen (Phonology, Phonetics, Laboratory Phonology)
  • Hansson, Gunnar (Phonology, Morphology, theoretical phonology, morphology-phonology interface, phonological typology, historical linguistics (language change), locality relations, Icelandic)
  • Hudson Kam, Carla (Language development, second language acquisition, critical periods for learning, input and language learning, language learning and language change, Psychology, First and second language acquisition, gesture and language learning, language contact and language change)
  • Matthewson, Lisa (Semantics, Salish languages, Tsimshianic languages, Austronesian languages, Cross-linguistic variation and universals, Semantic fieldwork)
  • Pulleyblank, Douglas (Phonology, Morphology, African languages, Yoruba)
  • Rullmann, Hotze (Semantics, Meaning, Pragmatic)
  • Wiltschko, Martina (Syntax, Linguistic Variation and Society, Cognition and Language, Language, Knowledge, Significance and Thought Building, syntax and its interfaces, , speech acts, interactive language, categories)

Further Program Information

 

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September 2019 Intake

Application Open Date
12 September 2018
Canadian Applicant Deadline
20 January 2019
International Applicant Deadline
20 January 2019

Program Information

Application Enquiries

Supervisor Search

 

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