May 23, 2024  
2011-2012 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2011-2012 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Linguistics: Forensic Linguistics, M.A.

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Professor Leonard, Graduate Program Director, (516) 463-5440

Linguistics is the systematic, scientific study of language. “Forensic linguistics” refers to linguistics applied to any use of language with legal relevance. This master’s level graduate program in linguistics: forensic linguistics is designed to meet a growing demand for advanced training in scientific language analysis. The program instructs students in the science of linguistics, and trains them in practical applications of linguistic theory to analytical problems, specifically in the legal arena. In addition to teaching the core linguistic tools of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, dialectology and discourse analysis, the program includes specific training in the practical application of these tools to legal investigations, trials, analysis of contracts, statutes, etc. Thus, the program teaches linguistics, and whenever possible the language data used for instruction are forensic.

The program prepares students to continue for a Ph.D. in theoretical or applied linguistics or a related field; or for public and private sector employment in the United States and internationally in careers relating to or associated with law, law enforcement, and the forensic sciences.

Graduates of the program will be able to seek employment in organizations requiring professionals with research and linguistic skills, and in any field in which people work with language, including government and academic institutions, business, industry and communications.

The program combines a broad-based academic experience with applied workshops and internship opportunities so that, upon graduation, students are prepared to bring to their workplace an array of skills and experience in the analysis of language in legal and other real-world settings.

Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
  2. Two letters of recommendation.
  3. Interview with program director (in person, by phone or videoconference).
  4. Written statement of professional interests and goals.
  5. Permission of the program director.

Program Requirements - Total Semester Hours: 30

The program requires 30 s.h. of graduate-level courses. Full-time students can complete the program in two years. Part-time students can complete the program in three years. The program is comprised of three components: the core curriculum; electives; internship and/or thesis.

Core Curriculum Courses - Semester Hours: 18

Elective Courses - Semester Hours: 6

Two courses from the following in linguistics or, with the graduate program director’s permission, one from the following and one course in another relevant discipline:

Internship/Thesis - Semester Hours: 6

Chosen from the following courses.

Students may select 6 s.h. of LING 290; or 3 s.h. of LING 290 and 3 s.h. of LING 301. It is highly recommended that students going on for the Ph.D. register for LING 301.

Qualifying Examination

A qualifying examination must be taken and passed upon completion of 18 s.h. in the program. Students have two opportunities to pass the qualifying examination. Additionally, students must maintain a B average with no more than one grade of C per semester, or more than two grades of C toward the M.A.

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