Focus in Germanic Linguistics

Neuschwanstein Castle, Southwest Bavaria, Germany.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Southwest Bavaria, Germany

Application Deadlines

March 1: All international MA/MS applicants

April 1: All domestic MA/MS applicants

Application reviews begin January 15 of each year, and continue throughout the spring semester. 

Online Application

Application Fee Waiver

The graduate application fee is $75 U.S. (payable online or by check or money order made payable to the University at Buffalo). Students may be eligible for an application fee waiver courtesy of the CAS Dean's Office. To learn more, please visit the College of Arts and Sciences. If they qualify for a waiver, students may then submit their MS application for formal review without the application fee, provided the fee waiver application has also been submitted and accepted.

Degree Requirements

Credit Hours: 30  

Core Courses

  • History of the German Language (GER515) or History of the English Language (GER558)
  • Structure of Modern German (GER608) or one 3-credit independent study on a Germanic topic
  • Phonetics (LIN531)
  • Syntax I (LIN515)
  • Semantics I (LIN538)
  • Historical Linguistics (LIN539)

Core Electives 

(Four out of the following courses, 
or any class substituted 
with approval of the Director of Graduate Studies)


  • Discourse Pragmatics (LIN504)
  • Morphology (LIN510)
  • Typology and Universals (LIN525)
  • Phonology II (LIN533)*
  • Role and Reference Grammar
  • Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar Semantics II (LIN543)
  • Psycholinguistics (LIN517)
  • Sociolinguistics (LIN595)

Other Requirements

  • One 3-credit independent study on a Germanic topic

*Students with little or no background in linguistics may also be required to take Phonology I (LIN532)

MA Exam

Students who enter the Linguistics program as a Master’s student additionally take the MA Exam. (In special circumstances, faculty may ask a student to write an MA project instead). The exam is given once each semester; the exact date will be fixed each year, but students can expect to take the exam during the last few weeks of the semester (November in the Fall, and April in the Spring).

The exam consists of questions in the areas of linguistics represented by our basic 500-level courses: Syntax, Semantics, Phonetics, Phonology, Historical Linguistics, Linguistic Anthropology, Morphology, Psycholinguistics, Typology, Discourse-Pragmatics, and Sociolinguistics. (If a student wishes to answer a question in Neurolinguistics, or in Language Acquisition, or in some other area, s/he should contact the Director of Graduate Studies to inquire about the possibility of arranging such a question.) Students must answer three questions. The exam lasts approximately three hours.

The faculty who teach the 500-level courses will write the questions, and the faculty member responsible for a specific question will also be the one to assess the students answer. The student must receive a passing grade on two of the three questions. If a student receives a “pass” on only one of the three question, s/he will be given the opportunity to choose a fourth area and answer the question in that area.

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