Master of Arts in Linguistics (MA)

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
 

In light of recent events, many programs are willing to extend their application deadlines. Please inquire with individual programs if late applications will be accepted.

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.

 

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

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$102.00$165.00
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,600.60$2,811.98
Tuition per year$4,801.80$8,435.94
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$899.00 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,453.00 (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

 20152014201320122011
Applications3740636447
Offers487713
New registrations34356
Total enrolment89131613

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 83% based on 6 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 9 graduations between 2012 - 2015 the minimum time to completion is 1.99 years and the maximum time is 5.33 years with an average of 3.29 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: 8 April 2016]. 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: 8 April 2016].

Affiliated Faculty Members

  • Babel, Molly (speech, language change, accommodation, voice, language stereotypes, sound change, sociolinguistics, phonetics, speech styles, dialects of English, language variation, speech intelligibility )
  • 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)
  • Hansson, Gunnar (phonetics (speech sounds), phonology (sound patterns, sound systems), language change, linguistic relationships (language families), reconstruction of proto-languages, language contact, Scandinavian languages (esp. Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish), Athabaskan (Dene) languages, Saami (Lapp) languages, Russian, Phonology)
  • 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 (First Nations languages, Salish languages, linguistics, semantics, syntax, Cross-linguistic variation in the semantics and pragmatics, and what variation (or the lack of it) tells us about Universal Grammar, community language preservation initiatives)
  • Pulleyblank, Douglas (Phonological theroy, phonetics, morphology, syntax, learnability, featural properties, African languages (Nigeria), Yoruba)
  • Rochemont, Michael (Syntax and information structure)
  • Rullmann, Hotze (Dutch and other west germanic languages Semantics and pragmatics )
  • Stemberger, Joseph (linguistics, phonology, morphology, psycholinguistics, slips of the tongue, first language acquisition, child language )
  • Vatikiotis-Bateson, Eric (Cognitive Systems, Linguistics, Auditory-Visual Speech Processing, Physical and computational modeling of speech motor control, Talking heads animation, Language and Gesture, Communicating systems, Phonology)
  • Wiltschko, Martina (Sources and limits of language variation in the realm of grammatical categories)

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