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Graduate Linguistics at Purdue

Purdue's Department of Linguistics offers a wide range of courses leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.  M.A. and Ph.D. curricula encourage students to tailor their linguistics studies to their interdisciplinary interests.  We offer a thorough grounding in the foundations of linguistics and opportunities to develop research and teaching skills, while also allowing students to specialize in an area of interest.

One of the main strengths of the department is the analysis of bilingual language systems.  The department provides advanced training in the analysis and characterization of the linguistic and psycholinguistic development of bilingualism, broadly construed, in young children and adults.  How does the bilingual mind process, develop, and maintain multiple linguistic systems?  What characteristics do these systems have and why; how do they affect each other and relate to each other in the lifespan of bilingual speakers?  What tools can be used to assess the degree of language acquistion and to facilitate language learning?  These are vital questions in current linguistics research and the Purdue Department of Linguistics is uniquely situated to address them. 

Areas of Specialization

  • Theoretical and experimental approaches to syntax, phonetics and phonology
  • Bilingualism in children and adults
  • Second language acquistion
  • L2 classroom instruction and pedagogy
  • Heritage language development
  • Socilinguistics and pragmatics
  • Sign Language
  • Language contact and change
  • Historical Linguistics
  • Fieldwork and language documentation
  • Language testing and assessment

We welcome applications from students interested in all areas of linguistics, as well as in language specific areas including Hispanic linguistics, French linguistics, German linguistics, and Japanese linguistics.

Students can be admitted at the M.A. level, Ph.D. level or in the dual M.A./Ph.D. track.  Students should specify in their application which program or track they seek admission into.  Students will be housed in the Department of Linguistics (School of Interdisciplinary Studies), but they will have the opportunity to complete course work and conduct research with a vibrant group of faculty members housed in various departments and schools including the English Department, the School of Languages and Cultures, the School of Communication, the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Speech Language and Hearing Sciences.

To get a feel for the department, we suggest you browse our professors' pages, take a look at the linguistics labs on campus, or visit our Facebook and Youtube pages.

The Purdue Linguistics Association is open to all students interested in linguistics; it provides community and peer support for graduate students, as well as organizing many events. The group hosts the Ling Lunches at 1:30 every Monday, where students and faculty present their work. They host a weekly coffee hour at 1:30 on Wednesdays at the Staaks Lounge in Stanley Coulter, and put on other social and professional events. 

The Purdue Linguistics Association collaborates with the School of Languages and Cultures and the Second Language Studies Program to host the annual Purdue Languages & Cultures Conference (PLCC). Graduate students and scholars gather to share their work; Purdue students are encouraged to submit abstracts.

A Message from the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Mary Niepokuj: