Degrees and Requirements
The MA program provides a basic introduction to the subject matter and skills of the discipline.
The department offers MA Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C programs. In addition to the University-wide residence requirements of a minimum of two semesters of full-time work, all three programs require that students demonstrate competence in one language other that their native language.
Plan A requires a thesis (9 credit hours) and a minimum of 21 credit hours of course work. A final oral examination covering the thesis and related areas is also required.
Plan B students must complete 30 credit hours of course work for a grade (not CR/NCR or Audit), of which 18 hours must be at the 600-level or above, including 3 hours of a 700-level seminar. Students may choose between three "streams": Linguistic Analysis, Experimental Linguistics, and Language Documentation and Conservation. For a list of courses required for each stream, see the MA manual and MA checklist. A final seminar presentation near the end of course work is required for students in the Linguistic Analysis and Experimental Linguistics streams. The topic and format of the presentation must be approved in advance by the graduate chair. Students in the Language Documentation and Conservation stream must submit a 'Research Portfolio' for approval.
Plan C requires two semesters of full-time course work in addition to a final examination with both written and oral portions. Plan C is open to select students who have had some previous work in linguistics and who show both high potential for scholarly development and the motivation and discipline necessary for an independent course study. A committee of faculty is appointed for each prospective student for Plan C. The committee administers a general examination during the student's first semester of study to determine the appropriateness of Plan C, advises the student in developing a program of study, and administers the oral portion of the final examination.
The PhD program provides full professional training for careers in research and teaching.
All students in the PhD program are required to complete a minimum of 33 credit hours of course and seminar work at the University of Hawai`i (exclusive of LING 800) beyond those counted toward their MA degrees (or, for students not holding an MA, beyond the core courses specifically LING 410, 420, 421, 422, and 645). Courses in phonology (LING 621), grammar (LING 622), and methods are required of all PhD students. Methods courses include: LING 630 Field Methods, LING 632 Laboratory Research, LING 750F Phonetic Fieldwork on Endangered Languages, LING 750Q Methods in Language Acquisition and LING 750Y Psycholinguistics. Students interested in experimental research are strongly advised to take one or more courses in statistical analysis as well (e.g., EDEP 429, SLS 490 or 671).
PhD students are required to demonstrate competence in one language other that their native language. They are also required to prepare two clearly and professionally written 'publication-quality' papers and pass a comprehensive examination, dissertation proposal defense, and final oral examination in defense of their dissertation.
There are four 400-level courses that are typically part of the MA core that students with some prior study of these areas may wish to be exempted from. These are:
Ling 410: Articulatory Phonetics
Ling 420: Morphology
Ling 421: Introduction to Phonological Analysis
Ling 422: Introduction to Grammatical Analysis
If you wish to seek exemption from any of the courses listed above, you must successfully pass a Linguistics Department exam for the relevant course, with a minimum grade of B (not B-). You must make every effort to take the exemption exam (or take the relevant course) within the first year of your program.
Each exam will be given and corrected by a member of the appropriate Area Committee, usually the faculty member who most recently taught the course. If you are attempting to place out of LING 410, LING 420, LING 421 or LING 422 you should attend the course until an exemption has been granted.
Exemptions exams are held during the first week of instruction and are scheduled in two hour blocks. If you wish to take one or more of these exams, you must notify the Department secretary no later than July 15 (for Fall) and December 1 (for Spring), stating which exams you are planning to take. The secretary will then notify you of the exact exam schedule. All exemption exams must be completed no later than Wednesday of the first week of classes. You must arrange to take your exemption exams during this period.
Instructors must provide exam grades to the Graduate Chair and relevant students no later than the day before the last day to add classes. You may take any given exemption exam only once. Should you not pass an exam, you must take the relevant course at the first availability, i.e., the same semester if the course is offered (if not, the following semester).