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Linguistics (certificate)

At a Glance: program details

If you're fascinated by language and its many forms and functions, this certificate will help you broaden your theoretical knowledge and practical expertise. Work with world-renowned language experts to gain a deeper understanding of linguistics. This program can be taken in conjunction with a master's degree or as a stand-alone certificate for career development.

Program Description

Certificate Awarded: Linguistics (certificate)

This interdisciplinary graduate certificate program in linguistics trains students to understand the ways that languages are structured; how they are acquired; and how they vary over time, space, modality and context.

The skills students acquire through the completion of the core courses for this certificate include analytical abilities, critical thinking, effective communication and problem-solving. In addition, the expertise students develop through the study of discourse analysis and pragmatics prepares them to be critical consumers and better communicators of both spoken and written language.

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 18 credit hours

Required Core Areas (9 credit hours)
discourse analysis and pragmatics (3)
phonology (3)
syntax (3)

Electives (9 credit hours)

Additional Curriculum Information
The electives may be chosen from fields such as applied linguistics, educational linguistics, natural language processing, second language acquisition and sociolinguistics. The electives are determined by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Students must have completed an introductory course in linguistics taken at the upper-division or graduate level. They should consult the certificate program director for advice.

All certificate coursework must be completed with an average grade of "B" or higher (3.00 on a 4.00 scale).

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. statement of purpose
  4. resume or curriculum vitae
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency. Students should visit the Department of English website for specific details about English proficiency requirements.

International students who need an F1 or J1 visa first need to apply to and be accepted into a graduate degree program prior to being considered for the certificate program. International students residing in the USA on other types of visas must adhere to all Graduate College policies and procedures regarding admission to be considered for admission to this certificate program.

The one- to two-page, well-considered statement of purpose should detail the applicant's background and reasons for pursuing the linguistics certificate.

To be considered for admission, an applicant must have taken an introductory course in linguistics at the upper-division or graduate level. Applicants must also show proof of a formal knowledge of a foreign language equivalent to two years of study at the university level, or plans to fulfill the language requirement concurrently with certificate courses. The language requirement may be met by completion of courses through the second-year level (four semesters) at ASU or elsewhere, or by completion of an upper-division language course with an average of "B" or better (scale is 4.00 = "A") for all such coursework (200- or 300-level), or through an examination that indicates placement above the 200 level. Language placement tests are available on the School of International Letters and Cultures website. If this requirement is not already fulfilled at the time of application, candidates must demonstrate completion of this requirement at the end of their certificate coursework in order for their certificate to be granted.

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Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates of the graduate certificate program in linguistics will be able to explain major subfields of linguistics.
  • Graduates of the graduate certificate program in linguistics will be able to solve language-related problems.
  • Graduates of this program will be able to apply logical argumentation to critique key concepts in linguistics, thereby demonstrating their knowledge of theories.

Career Opportunities

A graduate certificate in linguistics can serve as an important stepping stone for individuals interested in gaining a better understanding of linguistics, perhaps as a way to get an edge in their careers or to explore the field before applying to a master's or doctoral degree program.

The linguistics certificate offers an important dimension to various careers including:

  • computer programmer
  • data analyst
  • foreign service worker
  • language consultant or language documentation expert
  • language program director or coordinator
  • language teacher
  • lexicographer
  • materials designer and developer
  • program and curriculum developer
  • teacher trainer
  • writer or editor

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.