Graduate Certificate Programs in Linguistics

Oct 27, 2019

A number of schools offer graduate certificate programs in linguistics that might be of interest to persons who are seeking more in-depth knowledge of the structure of language to supplement their current academic profile. Find out more details about these programs.

Graduate certificate programs in linguistics are designed to offer an advanced look at areas relevant to the structure, history and components of language. These programs can be comprised of courses that deal with different levels of linguistics and may cover various languages, depending on the program. This article will present an overview of the courses that are generally included in graduate certificate programs for linguistics.

Overview of Courses Generally Included in Graduate Certificate Programs for Linguistics

Students will commonly be required to take between 12 and 16 credit hours to complete graduate certificate programs in linguistics. Some of the course topics that are usually included in the programs are shown below.


In a linguistics program, phonology courses can introduce students to the sound patterns of language. Students will learn about the patterns that occur across languages and how to do a comparison. These courses will likely expose students to the practical applications of their knowledge through the use of transcriptions and digital speech analysis.


Syntax courses are designed to teach students about the basic foundations. They may focus on English as well as other languages. When taking these courses, students can expect to learn about the theories involved in syntax and sentence construction.


These kinds of courses may focus only on pragmatics or may incorporate other areas in linguistics, such as semantics. In these courses, students learn about how meaning can be derived from the way words and sentences are used. Other topics that are usually covered include complex grammar.

English Language History

As part of linguistic graduate certificate programs, students may learn about the history of the English Language. These courses usually deal with literary and historical materials. They will also encourage students to explore the history of the language as it has been spoken.


Sociolinguistics courses explore the link between language and society. They usually deal with social norms and the way society may influence language or vice versa. Students can also expect to learn about the variations in language and how language can change, depending on the context.

General Admission Requirements for Graduate Certificate Programs in Linguistics

In order to be considered for admission to a graduate certificate program in linguistics, applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. The minimum GPA required is usually 2.7, and while it's not required, it may be helpful for the applicant to have prior academic knowledge of linguistics when taking certain courses. Prospective students can expect to submit their school transcripts, a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and a current resume. A passing score on a GRE test may also be required, in general, while non-native English speakers may need to submit passing scores on an English language proficiency test.

Persons who are interested in pursuing a graduate certificate program in linguistics will be able to choose from options that require between 12 and 16 credit hours to complete. They may be admitted into these programs with an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university, with a GPA that meets a school's requirements.

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