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The Graduate Program

Master of Arts in Hispanic Linguistics, MA, Ph.D.

[LING-internal version of MA/PhD page, archived]

Why study Hispanic Linguistics at UNC?

Hispanic linguistics is the study of the linguistics of Spanish and of languages related to or in contact with Spanish. This includes the syntax, semantics, morphology, phonetics, phonology, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, and psycholinguistics of Spanish, Portuguese, Basque, Guarani, Maya, Latin, and others.

Expertise in Hispanic linguistics is an asset for careers in language teaching, directing language programs, speech pathology, accent, including accent reduction, training, interpretation and translation, marketing, computational linguistics, and government work.

This interdepartmental program between Linguistics and the Romance Studies departments, is designed to provide students with a broad general knowledge in linguistics as well as specialized training in Hispanic linguistics. As part of their training, students will also have the opportunity to focus on other Romance or indigenous languages, especially Maya or Guaraní.


Applicants are considered by a committee of faculty from both the Linguistics and the Romance Studies departments. Application forms can be found on the UNC Graduate School’s website.

Students who want to pursue the dual degree MA/PhD program in Hispanic linguistics must apply to both Linguistics and the Romance Studies departments.


MA students will be housed in the Linguistics Department and Ph.D. students’ administrative home will be the Department of Romance Studies. For the MA degree students will complete 30 hours of coursework including ROML 700, Pedagogy, LING 520, Phonetics, LING 523, Phonology, LING 530, Syntax, and either LING 537, Semantics, or SPAN 679, Spanish Pragmatics. The remaining 15 hours will come from appropriate elective courses in Linguistics or Romance Studies and 3 hours of thesis credit.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements
Five Core Courses
ROML 700Pedagogy3
LING 520Phonetics3
LING 523Phonology3
LING 530Syntax3
Plus One Course from: 
LING 537Semantics 3
SPAN 679Spanish Pragmatics 3
Four Elective Courses
Choose from any LING or ROML/SPAN course numbered 400 or higher
Thesis/Thesis Substitute Course
Total Hours 30

Additional information about this program, can be found here, and for detailed program requirements, please follow this link.


Admitted students will receive support in the form of RA-ships and TA-ships in either or both departments.