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Linguistics - Graduate Studies

The Department is research intensive and its faculty is highly successful on the international scene. The training received by our graduate students is of an excellent quality and this is reflected in the number of prizes they have received at national and international conferences. Our graduate programs provide a balance of expertise in various empirical and formal areas of linguistics, combining different types of empirical evidence and research methodologies (experimental, corpus-based, formal). Students will become highly specialized linguists capable of pursuing academic careers or careers requiring strong analytical skills in the private sector, especially with regard to domains related to language.

Master's

The University of Ottawa Master’s in Linguistics program has been in existence since 1970.   This program provides students not only with a solid foundation in theoretical linguistics and an overview of the sub-disciplines of empirical linguistics but it also allows them to develop research skills.  It is an intensive 12-month program consisting of six courses and a major research paper.

The M.A. in Linguistics prepares students for doctoral studies in Linguistics or related fields (e.g. audiology, speech language pathology, forensic linguistics), or for careers requiring excellent knowledge of language and linguistics (speech-recognition and speech synthesis, database and search engine development, professional writing, language teaching, development of language policies, etc.).

Overview of program requirements

Admission requirements

Students are required to take three mandatory classes in syntax, semantics and phonology, and three optional classes from at least two sub-areas such as psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, sociolinguistics, language documentation, phonetics. Generally speaking, students complete their coursework requirements in the two first semesters. 

Upon completion of their coursework, students must write a major research paper.  This original contribution of approximately 50 pages in length consists of an informed and critical review of existing literature on a given topic as well as a formal or empirical analysis of linguistic data. 

Note that in accordance with the University of Ottawa’s bilingualism policy, students are free to submit their coursework, and Major research paper in either French or English and they may interact with faculty members in the language of their choice.

Students are strongly encouraged to benefit in the departments’ research activities by joining their reading groups, participating in research lab activities and attending presentations by invited speakers.

A B.A. with honours in Linguistics (or the equivalent) is required for admission into the M.A. program.  Applicants to the M.A. program whose B.A. with honours is in an area other than linguistics may be admitted to a qualifying program, which is personalized for each student to take account of previous preparation.

Ph.D.

The University of Doctoral program in Linguistics program has been in existence since 1980.  This program provides students with an overview of the field while allowing students to specialize in a sub-area of their choosing, whether theoretical or applied.  Ph.D. students also develop the advanced research and professional skills required for academic careers.  This program consists of six courses, two comprehensive examination papers and a doctoral dissertation.

The goal of the Ph.D. in Linguistics is to train highly qualify linguists equipped to pursue academic careers or other careers in the private sector that require strong analytical skills, particularly in areas related to language.

Overview of program requirements

Admission requirements

Students are required to take two mandatory classes in either syntax, semantics or phonology, four additional classes chosen in consultation with their supervisor, and a doctoral seminar, a class in which they learn professional skills (writing abstracts, presenting papers and posters and conferences, submitting and reviewing articles to academic journals, etc.). 

All students must satisfy a comprehensive examination requirement consisting of two substantial research papers. All students must write one qualifying paper in one of the following core areas: Formal Linguistics (i.e. four core areas: phonology, morphology, syntax or semantics). The areas topics of the two qualifying papers must be different.These article-length papers must present original research of publishable quality.  

Students must also present a thesis incorporating the results of original research in the sub-field of their choice.  The thesis must demonstrate the student’s research skills, their ability to review extensive literature on a selected topic, their critical analysis skills, application of appropriate research methodology, and their ability to synthesize, analyze and integrate information from their own research and their principal discipline.

Note that in accordance with the University of Ottawa’s bilingualism policy, students are free to submit their coursework, comprehensive examination papers and dissertation in either French or English and they may interact with faculty members in the language of their choice.

Students are also strongly encouraged to benefit in the departments’ research activities by joining one or more of their reading groups, participating in research lab activities and attending presentations invited speakers’.

The MA in Linguistics (or the equivalent) is required for admission to the doctoral program.

Since 2011, there is also a fast-track procedure to go directly from the MA to the PhD. 

Contact us

Department of Linguistics

Hamelin Hall, room 401
70 Laurier Ave. East
Ottawa ON Canada K1N 6N5
Map

Tel.: 613-562-5286
Fax: 613-562-5141
[email protected]

Office hours

Monday to Friday
8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(June to August: closed at 3:30 p.m.)