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Graduate Certificate in Computational Linguistics

The Departments of Linguistics and Computer Science and the School of Information and Library Science at UNC are now accepting applications to the Graduate Certificate program in Computational Linguistics. Apply by October 1 for Fall admission or April 1 for Spring admission! Find the application form here.


Computational linguistics is an increasingly important skill area as companies such as IBM, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Lionbridge, Microsoft, Oracle and many others seek employees who can develop products that employ machine algorithms to interface with human language. Crucially, computational linguistics is at the nexus of computer science, information science and linguistics: the skills and expertise most sought by companies that hire people with training in computational linguistics or natural language processing is generally not attainable within a purely computer/information science or purely linguistics program.


This program provides students who wish to work in the areas of machine translation, machine learning, speech-to-text software, natural language processing, natural language generation, and artificial intelligence with an understanding of human language structure and the skills of linguistic analysis as well as the computational tools to develop software applications to parse and generate human language.


The Certificate in Computational Linguistics is available to currently enrolled graduate students in Linguistics, Computer Science, or Information Science, and in related areas (e.g., Speech and Hearing Sciences, Communication, Statistics, Digital Curation and Management, among others). In addition, this program is available to non-degree-seeking students who have appropriate background.


Students complete 9 credit hours (3 courses) and attend a monthly brown bag seminar for the duration of their time in the program.


Students enrolled in, or who have background in Linguistics must take at least two courses from:

  • COMP 455 Models of Language and Computation
  • COMP 486/INLS 512 Applications of Natural Language Processing
  • COMP 562 Introduction to Machine Learning
  • COMP 586 Introduction to Natural Language Processing
  • INLS 509 Information Retrieval
  • INLS 613 Text Mining
  • INLS 690-270 Data Mining: Methods and Applications
  • STOR 565 Machine Learning

Students enrolled in, or who have background in Computer Science or Information Science must take at least two courses from:

  • LING 401 Language and Computers
  • LING 460 Introduction to Textual Data Analysis
  • LING 520 Linguistic Phonetics
  • LING 523 Phonology
  • LING 527 Morphology
  • LING 528 Language Acquisition I
  • LING 530 Syntactic Theory I
  • LING 537 Semantic Theory I
  • LING 540 Mathematical Linguistics

Non-degree-seeking students will take one or two Linguistics and one or two Computer Science/Information Science courses to complement their prior expertise. For degree students, one course for the Certificate can also count towards their degree program. In addition, students participate in a monthly brown bag seminar that features talks by computational linguists from academia and industry.

How & When

Applicants must submit the completed application form to Prof. Katya Pertsova, Director of the Computational Linguistics Certificate ( by the application deadline (October 1 or April 1). Application may, but need not, coincide with application to one of the graduate programs listed above.

Note: non-degree-seeking students must additionally apply for registration through the Friday Center using the forms for Continuing Education.