The PhD in linguistics trains students in the science of language. Students become specialists in the core areas of linguistics-- phonology, syntax, and semantics --and learn to integrate this core with the study of second language acquisition. This 72-credit degree program prepares students for positions in academia, industry, and government working in a host of organizations that are concerned with language and second language acquisition.
At the center of graduate English studies at Mason is the study of imaginative literature across time and geography. Whether the object is British, American, Anglo-phone, or even world literature in translation, the Department of English offers a broad array of graduate courses in literary history and interpretation.
The master's degree program in English with a concentration in linguistics is theoretically oriented and provides a solid foundation in the major subfields of linguistics: phonology, syntax, and semantics. It requires 30 credits and can be earned on a part-time basis in two years.
An accelerated master's degree program is available to highly qualified undergraduates in any major at George Mason. Students accepted to this program complete some graduate coursework as part of their undergraduate degree program. They can earn both a bachelor’s degree in their chosen major and a master’s degree in English with a concentration in linguistics by completing 144 credits, often within five years.
The graduate certificate in teaching English as a second language (TESL) is an 18-credit program that focuses on the applied aspects of English linguistics. This program offers courses in English phonetics, English grammar, second language acquisition, teaching ESL, and a practicum.
Mason’s English degree is not a conventional one. As an English major, you can study the poetry of Milton and learn to write digital poetry. You can specialize in Renaissance literature or modern world literature. You can take courses on the folklore of Mexico or the films of Bollywood. You can learn about traditional rhetorical strategies and how they have been adopted to the internet age.
The BA in English with a concentration in linguistics gives students a thorough grounding in contemporary linguistic description and theory. As part of their English degree, students who choose this concentration take an introductory course in linguistics and three additional courses chosen from a wide range of electives.
Starting in Fall 2013, the English Department will be offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, one of only 30 BFAs in Creative Writing nationwide. With three concentrations to choose from (fiction, poetry, nonfiction), the BFA is structured to give students ample opportunity to learn to write and think creatively while also developing vocational writing skills, skills that are desperately needed in the workplace. Students, while undertaking an intensive course of study in their genre, would also take courses such as Digital Writing and Professional And Technical Writing. All students pursuing a BFA are strongly advised to complete on-site workplace internships in writing-intensive environments, and would finish the degree with a submission of a portfolio of work as part of a final-semester capstone course, with final approval from the faculty.
The minor in linguistics is a 15-credit program that can be combined with a major in any field of study. Students take two linguistics courses, which introduce them to the fundamental concepts of modern linguistic theory. They choose three electives from a wide range of options, which allow them explore how these concepts relate to various other disciplines.
The undergraduate minor in teaching English as a second language (TESL) introduces students to the issues involved in the learning and teaching of English to speakers of other languages. The minor in TESL is an 18-credit hour program that combines linguistic theory, second language acquisition theory, and ESL teaching methods. This minor is a good preparation for students who are interested in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in a foreign country or at an adult ESL center in the United States.