Graduate Study in Linguistics

Graduate study of Linguistics at NC State is interdisciplinary and interdepartmental. Students become world-class researchers with various specializations. We offer master’s level programs in both  English and Spanish, as well as a Sociolinguistics Concentration in the Sociology Ph.D. program. See below for more information.

Master's in English

The linguistics program is one of the concentrations of the MA in English offered through the NC State English Department. The MA concentration in linguistics at NC State has gained a national and international reputation as one of the outstanding sociolinguistic programs in the nation. Within four years of its inception, the program was cited in The Real Guide to Graduate School (Lingua Franca, 1997) as one of the top five sociolinguistic programs in North America. NC State is the only MA-level program in the list, which includes well-established, longstanding Ph.D. programs in sociolinguistics such as the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.


The graduate M.A. program requires 15 semester hours in linguistics (see Courses belowout of a 33 semester-hour requirement for a Master of Arts in English and a research capstone project.

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Master's in Spanish

Students wishing to follow the M.A. concentration in Hispanic Linguistics take courses in Sociolinguistics and Applied Linguistics in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, as well as courses in Sociolinguistics in the Department of English M.A. program in Sociolinguistics (see Courses below)Our graduates have been admitted to top Ph.D. programs around the country, or have obtained college or secondary teaching positions following graduation.

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Sociolinguistics Speciality in the Sociology Ph.D. Program

Students in the Sociolinguistics Specialty Area in the Sociology Ph.D. are expected to complete core requirements in Sociological Theory and Methods. Students will select another specialty area from those currently offered in the Sociology graduate program (Crime, Deviance, and Social Control; Family and Life Course; Food and Environment; Inequality: Class, Race, and Gender; or Work and the Global Economy) to complement their Sociolinguistics Specialty Area (see Courses below). At least nine hours will be taken in the designated specialty area and at least nine hours will be taken in Sociolinguistics, though it is expected that additional hours will be taken in order to assure comprehensive knowledge of the field.

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English Department

ENG 523 Language Variation Research Seminar
ENG 524 Introduction to Linguistics
ENG 525 Variety in Language
ENG 527 Discourse Analysis
ENG 528 Language Change Research Seminar (Sociophonetics)
ENG 532 Narrative Analysis
ENG 533 Bilingualism and Language Contact
ENG 534 Quantitative Analysis of Sociolinguistics
​ENG 584 Special Topics Studies in Linguistics
ENG 722 Linguistics and Literacy
ENG 729 Language Variation and Social Theory
ENG 730 Ethnolinguistic Variation
ENG 731 Applied Sociolinguistics

English Department Course Catelog

Foreign Languages and Literatures Department

FLS 502 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics
FLS 503 Spanish Applied Linguistics
FLS 504 Language Variation and Change in Spanish
FL 508 Second Language Acquisition
FLS 509 Spanish Phonetics and Phonology
FLS 515 History of the Spanish Language

Foreign Languages and Literatures Course Catalog