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 in the Graduate Student Handbook as it is your essential guide to policies, procedures, and resources (including career center resources, funding opportunities, the Center for Women, and much more).

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 workshops, LSA 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.

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).
If you plan to apply to other graduate (e.g., PhD) programs, strategize with supervisor. Applications for many graduate programs are 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 will 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.

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.