Why Linguistics @ Memorial?

The Department of Linguistics maintains strong links between teaching and research, with emphasis on data-driven, theoretically informed inquiry into aboriginal languages, language variation and change, and language acquisition. Our graduate programs provide a strong foundation in core theoretical areas (phonology, syntax, morphology, etc.) and build from there. Research expertise and supervision are offered in first and second language acquisition, speech disorders as well as acoustic and articulatory phonetics, from both theoretical and experimental perspectives.

Languages of specialization include aboriginal languages of eastern Canada (Algonquian, Inuktitut, Iroquoian), as well as local varieties of English and French and their British/European origins. The department is home to several unique research projects, which students are encouraged to consider joining. The Chisasibi Child Language Acquisition Study (CCLAS), focuses on how Cree is acquired as a first language. Allophony in Newfoundland English, a project focusing on speech perception and production across varieties of Newfoundland English, studies the local effects of urbanization and rapid social change. MUSL (Memorial University Sociolinguistics Laboratory) provides information about current research projects on language variation and the relationships between language and society. Three dedicated laboratories (MUSL, the Aboriginal Languages Research Laboratory and the Speech Sciences and Language Acquisition Laboratory provides space and resources needed to conduct cutting-edge research in the areas in which we offer expertise.

Languages taught within the Linguistics Department, and on which the department particularly encourages graduate research, include Algonquian (Montagnais/Naskapi, Cree), Inuktitut and Iroquoian (Cayuga). Memorial also offers a full range of courses in English, French, German, Russian and Spanish. Courses in Irish and Japanese are offered within the Linguistics Department.

Description of programs

  • Graduate diploma - Disciplinary graduate diplomas provide an opportunity to acquire additional academic credentials at the graduate level without committing to a full master’s program. These programs allow students to expand on their knowledge of a particular discipline and may also be used for professional development within their careers.

  • MA – The MA program has two available routes. The thesis route requires coursework and a thesis. The course route requires coursework and a research project. Either can be completed in two years.

  • PhD – The PhD program involves courses, a comprehensive exam, and a thesis. It can normally be completed in four years of full-time study.

Minimum admission requirements

  • Graduate diploma, MA – Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics (or equivalent). Conditional admission to the MA program may be offered to applicants who do not have a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics. Admission is conditional on successful completion of a designated number of undergraduate courses.

  • PhD – Master’s degree in Linguistics. An MA in Applied Linguistics does not qualify for entry to the PhD program.

Potential career options and outcomes

Researcher (private or public entities), professor/teacher, project manager, editor, publisher, translator, linguistic consultant (software/technology development firms; branding and marketing), diplomat, social/civic servant, entrepreneur


 Note: All figures are in Canadian dollars and subject to change. Fees are approved by the University’s Board of Regents. In the event of a discrepancy between the fees approved by the Board and those published on this website, the fees approved by the Board will prevail. Financial policies are enforced through the Department of Financial and Administrative Services. For the complete and official list of all fees and charges, visit

Program Information
Degrees Offered:

Graduate diploma, MA, PhD


course, thesis

Duration (Full-time students):

Graduate diploma: 1 year
MA: 2 years
PhD: 4 years


St. John's

Application Deadline:

January 31 for Fall admission


MA: $8,000
PhD: $12,000

More funding information

Tuition (NL students):

Graduate diploma: $420/semester
MA: $635-$953/semester
PhD: $888/semester

Tuition (Other Canadian students):

Graduate diploma: $546/semester
MA: $826-$1,239/semester
PhD: $1,154/semester

Tuition (International students):

Graduate diploma: $710/semester
MA: $1,074-$1,611/semester
PhD: $1,499/semester

More tuition information

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