Dr. Debbie Chen Pichler, Graduate Program Coordinator
Sorenson Language and Communication Center, Room 3218

Students may seek an M.A. in Linguistics either as their terminal degree or as a prerequisite for the Ph.D. program in Linguistics. However, students should note that successful completion of the M.A. program does not guarantee entry into the Ph.D. program; students must also submit a Ph.D. application portfolio which must be reviewed and unanimously approved by the Linguistics faculty.

The M.A. program is appropriate for students seeking linguistic knowledge as a foundation for work in such allied professional fields as language teaching, interpreter education, language planning, bilingual education, and language assessment. Graduates of this program are sought for positions in interpreter training programs, faculty teaching posts at the college level, or, given the appropriate educational background, for positions as teachers of Deaf children.  

Students pursuing the M.A. in Linguistics at Gallaudet receive solid grounding in linguistic theory, methods, and research with a special emphasis on sign language linguistics. The program begins with foundational courses in linguistic theory, centered on phonology, cognitive linguistics, and generative linguistics, focusing on both spoken and signed languages. Additionally, students receive training in working with new sign languages (Field Methods) and in various professional skills related to being a linguist (e.g. linguistic technical writing, use of video and software resources for analyzing sign data, applying for doctoral programs and jobs, etc.). In their second year, students select elective courses according to their interests; topics vary from year to year. The M.A. program requires 41 credit hours of coursework. Full-time graduate students normally complete the program in four semesters. The program is designed to be completed during the fall and spring semesters, without weekend or summer classes.

*NOTE: Students with prior coursework in linguistics from another institution may request course transfers and/or waivers for one or more courses, but these requests are approved on a case by case basis by the linguistics faculty.


Admissions Procedures

Applicants for the M.A. in Linguistics must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information and a checklist of application requirements. Detailed program information and course descriptions are also available under the 'Courses' and 'Requirements' tab. 

We accept applications on a rolling basis; for best consideration submit the application by January 15. Final deadline is April 15 or until all positions are filled.

First Date for Completed Application to be considered for funding opportunities (when funding is available): January 15
Last Date for Completed Application: April 15 or until all slots are filled. Students are accepted on a rolling basis.

Program Specific Requirements

a. Three letters of reference (at least two of these letters should be academic references)

b. Written English sample - Submit a PDF version of a final course paper that is at least 10 pages long. A paper from a linguistics course or related field is preferred.

c. ASL sample. - Students will be given a short (3 1⁄2 minute) video of an academic presentation given in ASL and asked to record themselves summarizing the presentation. The summary will be 90 seconds or less. Here is the link to the ASL Signing Sample Prompt.