The new Master Linguistics in short

  • Start: fall semester 2008/2009, application deadline for SS09 is January 15th 2009!
  • Duration: 4 semesters
  • Focus on research → ideal preparation for a doctoral program in linguistics
  • Combines a strong emphasis on naturalistic data with sophisticated methodological and theoretical reflection
  • Empirical → collection, analysis and storage of linguistic data (linguistic field work, descriptive linguistics, language documentation); this includes use of state-of-the-art technology
  • Theoretical → grammatical theory, linguistic typology, language universals research; a special focus is placed on the interfaces between social cognition, language structure and language use (discourse and conversation analysis, anthropological linguistics)
  • Cross-linguistic approach: next to standard European languages, their non-standard varieties and especially non-European language play an important role in the program
  • Unlike in many other departments in Germany, all courses on offer are exclusively for students pursuing a Master’s degree (no B.A. in Linguistics on offer in Münster)
  • Small group size (at the most 15 students per year)
  • Individual supervision and support by a faculty advisor throughout your entire course of studies

Admissions Information

Formal Requirements

  1. Proof of final secondary-school examinations, permitting a general or subject-restricted entrance to university
  2. B.A. or equivalent degree (Diploma, Staatsexamen, etc.) in linguistics or neighboring field (see below), having completed a course of studies covering at least 6 semesters

Entrance Requirements

Normally, the acceptance to a graduate program in linguistics requires a Bachelor’s degree with a focus on linguistics. Should linguistics not have been (one of) your B.A. subject(s), then a linguistic focus as part of your studies in a neighboring subject (e.g. German, French) must be obvious, especially in the choice of a linguistic topic for your Bachelor thesis. For a successful application, you must have completed each your Bachelor thesis and the entire course of studies with a minimum grade equivalent to a German 2,3 (gut-).

Language Skills

Satisfactory proficiency in English as a language of science and discourse has to be demonstrated before taking up your studies. The required skills correspond to the general level B1 for spoken language and C2 for reading comprehension.

Documents to Be Submitted

(Transcripts, reports, etc. must all be notarized copies)

  1. Proof of final secondary-school examinations, permitting a general or subject-restricted entrance to university
  2. Proof of having acquired a B.A. or equivalent degree. Should you not yet have your final results at the time of registration, a preliminary transcript listing your currently completed courses and exams will suffice
  3. Proof of required English skills (via report cards or the like)
  4. CV
  5. Proof of completed requirements during your current/previous courses of study (e.g. transcript of records)
  6. A short explanation (750 words at most), detailing your reasons for choosing this course of study and which topics you are interested in
  7. Optionally, anything else showing your suitability for this program (e.g. references, proof of internships or other relevant additional qualifications

Details on Application Procedure

Online Application 

Overview of the modules (preliminary version)

Module Details  CP 
Obligatory Module Data Structures 3 courses 15 12,5%
Obligatory Module Linguistic Typology and Language Universals 3 courses 15  12,5% 
Elective Module 1 3 courses 15  12,5% 
Elective Module 2
3 courses 15  12,5% 
Guided Studies Individual course selection 15  0% 
Teaching Assistance/Internship Teaching of a 2-hour Tutorial or Internship
Research Project
Reading Assignments/ Independent Research 10  0% 
M.A. Thesis
M.A. Thesis
30  50% 

Illustrative schedule (preliminary)

Sem. Module CP  Sem. hours
1.  Linguistic Typology and Language Universals: Seminar 1 + Term Paper
  Data Structures: Tutorial Data Analysis
  Data Structures: Field Methods + Term Paper
  Guided Studies 2-3 
  Elective Module 1: Lecture + Tutorial 4-6 
  Semestertotal   30 13-16 
 2. Data Structures: Seminar  3  2
  Linguistic Typology and Universals: Lecture + Tutorial  4  4
  Linguistic Typology and Universals: Seminar 2  3  2
  Elective Module 1: Seminar + Term Paper  8  2
  Elective Modulel 2: Lecture/Seminar   3  2
  Guided Studies  3  2-3
  Research Project  6  2
  Semestertotal   30 16-18 
 3. Elective Module 2: Seminar + Term Paper  8  2
  Elective Module 2: Tutorial  2-4
  Teaching Assistance/Practical Studies  5  2
  Guided Studies (including final exams)  9  5-6
  Research Project (Workshop)  4  2
  Semestertotal   30  13-16
 4. M.A. thesis  30  
  TOTAL  120  

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Institut für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
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Tel.: +49 (251)83-24491 · Fax: +49 (251)83-29878