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MA Program

2.1 MA requirements and timing

2.2 The MA research paper

2.3 Academic advising and supervision

2.1 MA requirements and timeline 

The MA is a non-thesis degree which requires three terms of course work, consisting of 8 approved 3-credit courses at the 500, 600 or 700 level, plus two MA research seminars (6 credits) and a research paper/project (15 credits). (Total = 45 credits; minimum load is 12 credits per term for the first 3 terms.) The official up-to-date requirements of the MA program are posted on McGill’s website under Programs, Courses and University Regulations (http://www.mcgill.ca/study/2012-2013/faculties/arts). In the following, we outline the requirements on a year-by-year basis.

Required courses (normally to be taken in MA1)

(First  year MA and PhD students take required courses together.) 

First term (Fall)

Second term (Winter)

LING 631

Phonology 3

One of the following courses:

LING 660

Semantics 3*

LING 530

Acoustic Phonetics

LING 671

Syntax 3

LING 635

Phonology 4

1 other graduate level course     (3 credits)

LING 665

Semantics 4


LING 675

Syntax 4

Note: LING 660 (Semantics 3) has PHIL 210 (Introduction to Deductive Logic) as a prerequisite. Students who enter the program without sufficient background in logic must take this course simultaneous with LING 660.

Courses to be taken in MA2 (normally in the Fall)

Such other courses as are deemed relevant to the student’s area of research. These courses will be decided upon in consultation with the student’s advisor and the Graduate Program Director.

Students are encouraged to take one at least one of the following courses in MA1 or MA2:

LING 520

Sociolinguistics 2

LING 650

Testing Theories in the Laboratory

LING 521


LING 651

Topics in Acquisition of Phonology

LING 530

Acoustic Phonetics

LING 655

Theory of L2 Acquisition

LING 555

Language Acquisition 2

LING 751

Advanced Seminar: Experimental 1

LING 590

Language Acquisition and Breakdown

LING 752 

Advanced Seminar: Experimental 2

LING 620

Experimental Linguistics: Methods



Courses related to MA Paper/Project research

LING 601

Graduate Research Seminar

MA 2

LING 602

Graduate Research Seminar

MA 2

LING 607

MA Research Paper/Project

MA 2

Timeline and deadlines

Year 1


May 15

Deadline for selection of supervisor and topic for MA project

Year 2 



MA Research Seminar 1

Project research


MA Research Seminar 2

Project Research and Writing

We strongly encourage candidates to complete the MA within 20 months.

2.2 The MA Research Paper/Project

For the MA Research Paper, students conduct independent research supervised by a member of the Department of Linguistics. Students are encouraged to consult with a potential supervisor well before the end of MA1. Once the supervisory arrangements have been established, students must fill out the MA Project Form (available under Forms at http://www.mcgill.ca/linguistics/graduate).

2.3 Academic advising and supervision of MA students

On arrival, each MA student is assigned to a designated academic adviser (first year advisor). Assignments will be determined weighing areas of expertise, workload and other factors such as sabbatical schedules. There is no commitment on the part of the student or the adviser for this relationship to continue into the MA Research Paper stage.

The designated adviser is responsible for:

  • Guiding the student through the fellowship applications process (where applicable). This includes reading students’ proposals with sufficient lead-time to make comments for revision before submission deadlines.
  • Being accessible to the student for a reasonable amount of time to discuss issues related to academic progress (i.e, outside of those purely administrative areas which      fall under the mantle of the Graduate Program Director).