Graduate Programs

We offer two main areas of focus in English language and linguistics:

Master's in English: Applied English Linguistics

Our area is designed to train students to think critically and knowledgeably about the English language. While the MA is not itself an intensive research degree, it provides a substantial foundation for a variety of teaching and applied research activities in fields - for instance, education, child language development, and communication studies and language disorders - in which knowledge of the structure of the English language is of central concern.

The normal program includes 9-12 credits each semester during the academic year and 6 credits in the summer session. In order to qualify for the degree, students must satisfy the Graduate School’s residence requirement: a minimum of one year (or four summers) of residence and at least 18 credits of course work beyond the BA degree, with at least one semester (or two summer sessions) spent in residence at Madison.

Ph.D. in English: English Language & Linguistics

The PhD in English with a focus on English Language and Linguistics is an advanced research degree. The program assumes that an entering student has a Master's degree in Applied English Linguistics (or a related field) and has a wide knowledge of linguistics. In particular, entrance into the program presumes courses in the history of English and English dialects, syntax, and phonology.

The degree focus has two major phases: during the first phase, the candidate undertakes course work culminating in the doctoral preliminary examination; during the second phase, the candidate writes the dissertation. The focus is designed to give candidates the skills and the command of materials to do original scholarly work of a high order.