Graduate Programs

We offer two main areas of focus in English language and linguistics:

Master's in English: Applied English Linguistics

Our area is designed to train students to think critically and knowledgeably about the English language. While the MA is not itself an intensive research degree, it provides a substantial foundation for a variety of teaching and applied research activities in fields - for instance, education, child language development, and communication studies and language disorders - in which knowledge of the structure of the English language is of central concern.

The normal program includes 9-12 credits each semester during the academic year and 6 credits in the summer session. In order to qualify for the degree, students must satisfy the Graduate School’s residence requirement: a minimum of one year (or four summers) of residence and at least 18 credits of course work beyond the BA degree, with at least one semester (or two summer sessions) spent in residence at Madison.

We also offer a Graduate Certificate in TESOL. Many students who complete the MA in AEL degree complete this certificate concurrently. Details of the certificate can be found on the Teacher Development page.

Ph.D. in English: English Language & Linguistics

The PhD in English with a focus on English Language and Linguistics is an advanced research degree. The program assumes that an entering student has a Master's degree in Applied English Linguistics (or a related field) and has a wide knowledge of linguistics. In particular, entrance into the program presumes courses in the history of English and English dialects, syntax, and phonology.

The degree focus has two major phases: during the first phase, the candidate undertakes course work culminating in the doctoral preliminary examination; during the second phase, the candidate writes the dissertation. The focus is designed to give candidates the skills and the command of materials to do original scholarly work of a high order.

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ELL Faculty

Meet the ELL faculty who teach in our undergraduate and graduate programs

Read more about their research interests here

  • Jacee Cho

    Generative linguistic theory and language acquisition, syntax-semantics interface, language processing, experimental linguistics

  • Thomas C. Purnell

    6109 Helen C. White Hall
    (608) 770-9441 (Cell)
    Phonetics, Phonology, Sociolinguistics, Dialectology

  • Eric Raimy

    7123 Helen C. White Hall
    cognitive science, generative grammar, phonology, morphology, phonetics, syntax

  • Anja Wanner

    7187E / 6111 Helen C. White Hall
    English syntax and morphology (with an emphasis on verbs), theory of grammar, text analysis, language change, genres of academic discourse, computer-mediated communication.

  • Richard F. Young

    7163 Helen C. White Hall
    (608) 263-2679
    Applied linguistics, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, oral language assessment, discursive practice, classroom discourse

Cecilia E. Ford is currently on research leave (you can read more about her grant and work here) and will not accept new PhD students at this point.