Certificate Programs

Two certificate programs!

    Linguistics seeks the descriptive and theoretical characterization of particular languages and of human language as a property of the species, and an understanding of language use, acquisition, variation, and change. Language is central to what we are, in part because it unites us: we are the only species capable of acquiring language. However, it is also central to what we are because of how it divides us: humanity is split into social, ethnic, and national groups speaking thousands of different languages (and uncountable dialects). Language thus serves as the vehicle for diverse cultural traditions, and as an expression of our personal identities. Language is crucial to all we do, because it underwrites communication, and makes possible the creation of knowledge, technology, and art. Since language is so fundamental to human life, aspects of language— including its psychological, cognitive, biological, and neurological underpinnings, and its use as an essential element of literature and culture—are important to many other intellectual disciplines. For example, it is a central topic in philosophy and the foundations of logic. Linguistics thus lends itself naturally to interdisciplinary connections.

    We are delighted to be able to offer two new graduate certificate programs in Linguistics.

1. For current BU graduate students looking to complement their graduate study in another field

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2. For others looking to get some background in Linguistics (e.g., for students contemplating further graduate study of linguistics at BU or elsewhere, or for professionals in related fields working in the Boston area)

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DETAILS

1. GRS Certificate Program

The GRS Graduate Certificate in Linguistics offers the opportunity for students to gain knowledge about Linguistics to complement their primary area of graduate study, and to explore possible interconnections between Linguistics and their primary field. This will enhance their graduate education, as well as providing a credential that may be useful for their future professional pursuits.

Students interested in earning the certificate must be in good standing in their doctoral program at Boston University. The certificate is awarded under the auspices of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS).

Students entering this Certificate program are expected to have the background equivalent to 1 introductory course in Linguistics. Students who do not have this background can register for, or audit, CAS LX 250, or acquire equivalent knowledge. Students who lack this background should consult with Prof. Neidle.

Students who complete the GRS Certificate in Linguistics will be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the fundamental questions that drive modern linguistic theory, along with foundational knowledge in the core areas of linguistics.
  • The ability to identify and describe with precision the empirical patterns found in sets of language data, and to construct well-reasoned linguistic analyses by formulating, testing, and refining hypotheses about these patterns.
  • An understanding of some of the interdisciplinary connections between linguistics and the student’s field of graduate specialization.

Course requirements

    Core courses
    • GRS LX 601 Phonetics & Phonology: Introduction to Sound Systems
    • GRS LX 621 Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure
    • GRS LX 631 Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning

    One additional elective
    • Additional GRS LX elective selected in consultation with the student’s advisor, or a related course offered by another department with the permission of the Director of the Certificate Program.

    Students who have already taken courses equivalent to any of the required core courses can substitute other appropriate GRS LX electives, with the approval of their advisor and the Director of the Certificate Program.

    Please contact the Director of the Certificate Program for additional information.

Cost

Normal GRS tuition rates apply: https://www.bu.edu/cas/current-students/ma-and-ms-students/cost-of-attendance/. Note, however, that there is no additional cost to fully funded PhD students for taking these courses.


2. MET Certificate Program

    The MET Graduate Certificate in Linguistics is designed for students with a BA degree who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in linguistics, but who do not have the necessary background in Linguistics. This is likely to be the case for students who developed an interest in linguistics late in their undergraduate studies or after they received the BA degree. This certificate prepares students to submit applications to MA or PhD programs at BU or elsewhere.

    Note that completion of the certificate is not a guarantee of admission to BU graduate programs in Linguistics. However, should a student enter the BU Linguistics MA program upon completion of this certificate, the elective course required for the certificate will count retroactively towards the MA degree requirements.

    This program may also be of interest to professionals in the Boston area in fields with some connection to Linguistics who would like to get additional training and credentials. The 4-course Certificate can be completed by taking 1 or 2 courses per semester.

There is also a listing in the MET Bulletin: https://www.bu.edu/met/programs/graduate/linguistics-certificate/

Students who complete the MET Certificate in Linguistics will be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the fundamental questions that drive modern linguistic theory, along with foundational knowledge in the core areas of linguistics.
  • The ability to identify and describe with precision the empirical patterns found in sets of language data, and to construct well-reasoned linguistic analyses by formulating, testing, and refining hypotheses about these patterns.
  • Foundational knowledge in the core areas of phonetics, syntax, and semantics, to enable students to apply to graduate programs in Linguistics and to take more advanced courses in the field.

Four courses are required for the Certificate in Linguistics. Students normally take two courses in the fall semester and two in the spring, as follows:

    Fall
    • MET LX 501 Phonetics & Phonology: Introduction to Sound Systems
    • MET LX 521 Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure

    Spring
    • MET LX 531 Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning
    • One LX course to be selected from available offerings in consultation with the student’s advisor

      • Elective offerings vary from year to year, but may include:
        • MET LX 511/CAS LX 311/GRS LX 611 Morphology
        • MET LX 517/CAS LX 317/GRS LX 617 "Having" and "Being" across Languages
        • MET LX 542 /CAS LX 342/GRS LX 642 Language, Race, and Gender
        • MET LX 549/CAS LX 349/GRS LX 649 Bilingualism
        • MET LX 565/CAS LX 365/GRS LX 665 Variation in Dialects of English
          [to be offered in Spring 2020]
        • MET LX 591/CAS LX 391/GRS LX 691 Linguistic Field Methods
          [to be offered in Spring 2020]
        • MET LX 594/CAS LX 394/GRS LX 694 Natural Language Processing and Computational Linguistics
          [to be offered in Spring 2020]

    Please contact the Chair of the Linguistics Department for additional information.

Cost

The (discounted) part-time tuition rate applies since students will take at most 2 courses at a time: https://www.bu.edu/met/admissions/tuition-and-fees/.

Important Note for Prospective International Applicants

By taking (1 or) 2 courses per semester over the course of 1 (or 2) academic years, students benefit from a discounted tuition rate. Note that this arrangement is, however, problematic for international students, who would need to be enrolled full-time; so this program is not well suited to them.

Application Procedure

To be eligible to apply to either program, students should already have taken at least an introductory linguistics course (or have equivalent knowledge). For those who lack this preparation, feel free to contact Prof. Neidle (carol@bu.edu) to discuss options for acquiring this basic knowledge.

1. For the GRS Certificate Program

This graduate certificate program is available to any current BU student who is pursuing a graduate-level degree. In order to enroll in the program, you should meet with a faculty advisor or the Director of the Certificate Program and complete an Application for Enrollment in a Graduate Certificate Program.

In order for a student to be awarded the certificate, a "Verification of Eligibility form" will need to be submitted to the Director of the Certificate Program two weeks prior to the end of the semester before the cycle in which the certificate will be awarded (to allow time for processing the certificate).


2. For the MET Certificate Program

Further details and access to the online application are available on this page: https://www.bu.edu/met/admissions/apply-now/certificate-programs/

We are now open for applications ! To apply, see instructions here: http://www.bu.edu/linguistics/UG/docs/met-apply.pdf. Those interested in entering the program in September 2019 are strongly encouraged to apply by August 1, 2019.

Participating Faculty

Prof. Carol Neidle, carol@bu.edu is the Director of the Certificate Program. The program faculty members are listed on this page: http://ling.bu.edu/people.