A visual guide to help you plan

The canonical timeline for completing the program is four semesters. This visual guide is based on a four semester (two-year) timeline, but periods of study longer or shorter can be arranged, and part-time enrollment is possible. Information about other timelines follows. Information about required courses can be found here, and information about the thesis, including choosing a committee, is here. You must become familiar with the information about graduate studies in the General Bulletin (available here) as it is your essential guide to policies, procedures, and resources (including career center resources, funding opportunities, the Center for Women, and much more). See the bottom of this page for information about funding for current students.


The year before you plan to defend your thesis

To take: 406 (Theory I, 3 credits).
408 (Workshop I, 3 credits).
Elective (3 credits).
407 (Theory II, 3 credits).
409 (Workshop II, 3 credits).
Elective (3 credits).
No courses, but attend conferences and workshopsLSA Institute, get research experience.
To do: Learn about the research process, get to know faculty. Decide on thesis topic.
Choose committee chair, meet with chair to get her or his agreement to serve.
Learn about forms and deadlines. If you are an IGS student in what would normally be your senior year of undergraduate work, take a moment to check in with your supervisor to make sure that you want to proceed with the MA, rather than graduating with a BA.
Prepare proposal. (See thesis page for details.)
Be ready to submit proposal by start of fall semester.
If your project requires IRB approval, get IRB approval before fall classes start.

The year you plan to defend your thesis

Before classes start, you should select your other two committee members (in consultation with your supervisor, who serves as committee chair), and you should be prepared to submit your proposal and be ready to begin working on the thesis in earnest.

To take: 651 (6 credits)
Recommended: Attend 408
651 (6 credits)
Recommended: Attend 409
To do: First week of classes or earlier: Submit proposal to supervisor.
Research, writing, meetings with supervisor.
Set date for defense (in consultation with committee). As you write, adhere to guidelines for final version.

Strategize with supervisor about post-grad plans. Applications for most PhD programs due in December.

Before midterm: Submit application for graduation.

DEFENSE (first half of March for spring graduation).

After midterm, following successful defense, submit all forms and completed thesis for graduation.

Enjoy your new MA! Note: If you miss the deadlines set by the School of Graduate Studies, or if your thesis is not successfully defended, you must register for 651 again in the fall. This may cost money. Please pay careful attention to the deadlines and formal processes.

The Planned Program of Study

The Planned Program of Study requires you to specify how and when you will complete the degree requirements. Filling out the PPoS helps to answer many questions.


What about IGS students?

Integrated Graduate Studies students who have completed the requirements for their major usually follow the typical two year timeline. As part of the application process, IGS students fill out a Planned Program of Study, which should clarify how and when requirements will be fulfilled.

Note: Admitted IGS students can elect to withdraw from the program and receive a BA if all BA requirements have been completed. If you are struggling with your thesis, your supervisor can help you decide if this may be the best path.

What about students attempting to do the degree in one year?

Students who want to complete the degree in one year must work extremely closely with a supervisor to ensure all requirements and deadlines are met. In such cases, students may take the required courses and the thesis course concurrently.


What about students who need to take extra courses to gain experience with linguistics?

Students who need extra coursework can complete the degree by taking this extra coursework during their first year, and taking Cognitive Linguistics MA electives in their second year along with the thesis course (651).


What about students who want to do the degree part-time?

We are happy to work with students to design a program of study that allows for part-time completion of the degree. Be aware that you must be registered for courses during the semester in which you graduate. Also be aware that all the requirements for the MA must be completed within five consecutive calendar years after matriculation as a graduate student, including any leaves of absence.


What about students who want to graduate in the middle of the year?

Work with your supervisor to make sure all graduation requirements are met, and see the School of Graduate Studies calendar for non-spring graduation (including defense) deadlines.


What if your thesis is not successfully defended?

Your supervisor will work with you to plan for the necessary changes. You will have to register for 651 in the semester during which you plan to defend again. You must be registered for courses during the semester in which you graduate.


Are there any sources of funding for MA students?

The department does not offer fellowships for MA students. MA students sometimes serve as teaching assistants (for which they earn a stipend), but these opportunities are very limited, and students must be qualified. Direct inquiries about serving as a teaching assistant to the Program Director. Info about general funding opportunities for graduate students can be found here, including funding travel for students who are presenting at conferences. The department is typically able to offer small amounts of funding to support participant fees or materials for thesis research. To request funding for thesis research, email the Program Director with a paragraph describing the thesis research, and a detailed budget. Do this well in advance, as funding is limited.