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  Jul 23, 2017
 
 
    
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2011-2012 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication


Main Departmental Office
Auditorium Building, Room 317

Mailing address:
1155 Union Circle #305298
Denton, TX 76203-5017
940-565-4458

Web site: www.LingTechComm.unt.edu

Brenda Sims, Chair

Faculty 

 

The Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the study of language—its structure, use, design and application. Students may specialize in linguistics, English as a second language or technical communication. The faculty encourages students to take courses in all the areas represented and seek new synergies between these distinct, yet interrelated fields.

The Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication has outstanding faculty from diverse backgrounds with research interests motivated by a common interest in language structure and use. The department is recognized as a pioneer program for an interdisciplinary study that integrates linguistics and technical communication and that will lead to new avenues of investigation and practical applications with local, national and international relevance.

The Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication is becoming a unique internationally recognized program for the interdisciplinary study of language. The faculty’s research and teaching directly benefit the immediate community by disseminating knowledge that has relevance for diverse cultures, races and ethnicities and for professional, business and industrial communities.

The mission of the Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication is to promote interdisciplinary

  • study of language and language acquisition, rhetoric and technical communication;
  • analysis of techniques that clarify and enrich human communication;
  • examination of structures, design and intent of discourse;
  • application of research to real-world issues through local and international community outreach programs, internships and corporate partnerships; and
  • independent and collaborative research and teaching.

Students graduating with a master’s degree with a major in technical writing have enjoyed a 100 percent job placement rate since 1990. These graduates work in a variety of industries such as computer software and hardware, airlines, construction, consulting, and telecommunications. Students have the opportunity to work with faculty who not only are highly qualified teachers, but are also published scholars and consultants. The faculty have published in major journals, such as the Technical Communication Quarterly, Technical Communication, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, and Journal of Business Communication. Our faculty and students work in partnership with regional and national companies, state and local government agencies, and non-profit organizations across the United States. The technical communication program at UNT offers students the opportunity to gain the theory and practice to work as technical communicators in any industry. Students also have the opportunity to complete internships in major companies across the U.S. Students have interned with major Fortune 500 Companies such as Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Balfour Beatty and AT&T. Those students seeking to enter PhD programs receive the kind of personal attention that results in subsequent placement into PhD programs of the highest caliber.

The graduate program in linguistics offers the MA degree both in linguistics and in English as a second language and a graduate academic certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). All of the faculty in the department are scholars with national and international reputations. They are uniquely qualified not only across the core areas of linguistics (phonetics/phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics), but also in their various specializations: Native American linguistics, Southeast Asian linguistics, linguistic theory, language acquisition, sociolinguistics and applied linguistics. Students have the opportunity to complete international internships in companies and to participate in the joint degree program with the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México in Toluca, Mexico. Students seeking the MA in linguistics receive the kind of personal attention and support that has invariably resulted in subsequent placement into PhD programs of the highest caliber. Those seeking the MA in ESL likewise receive personal attention; the extremely high placement rate of the department’s MA/ESL graduates speaks for itself.

Degree Programs

The Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication offers the following degrees:

The Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication also offers a graduate academic certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages .

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements and Procedures

Applicants for the MA with a major in professional and technical communication, linguistics or ESL complete two parts. The applicant first files an application with the Toulouse Graduate School (available on the UNT Graduate School web site). The applicant then submits the following to the Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication:

  • a 300–500 word personal statement describing the applicant’s interests, career plans and purpose in working toward an MA; and
  • a current vita or resume.

To be eligible for admission to the MA with a major in professional and technical communication, linguistics or ESL, applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate semester credit hours prior to receiving a bachelor’s degree or a 2.8 GPA on all undergraduate work. The applicant must also submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants accepted into the MA with a major in professional and technical communication, linguistics or ESL have presented verbal scores ranging from the 50th to the 99th percentile and analytical writing scores ranging from 4.0 to 6.0. Applicants whose native language is not English must also submit a score on the TOEFL examination. Scores on the computer-based TOEFL examination have ranged from 231 to 255.

Applicants for the MA with a major in professional and technical communication must have completed up to 9 hours of undergraduate course work in technical writing. The advisor will determine the prerequisite course work based on the applicant’s educational background.

Financial Support

Beginning full-time students who meet all qualifications may apply for financial assistance in the form of the academic assistantship; those who have already completed 18 graduate hours in an area offered by the Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication may apply for a teaching fellowship. Applications for both may be requested from the department by telephone at 940-565-4458, or the department web site at www.LingTechComm.unt.edu.

Foreign Language Requirement

All candidates pursuing a master’s degree in the Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication must have a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. As evidence of such foreign language, a student may present the results of a standardized examination or have completed the sophomore year of a foreign language, or the equivalent, provided that the grade point average on all language courses is 2.75 or higher. A student who has permission to write a thesis or to enroll in LING 5920 -LING 5930  and LING 5950  or in TECM 5950  will not be allowed to register for these courses until the foreign language requirement has been met.

Degree Plan Requirement

During the second term/semester of graduate work toward the master’s degree, the student is required to file a degree plan with the department office. Students should obtain an appointment as soon as possible after the registration period during their second term/semester’s work.

Comprehensive Examination

Candidates for the MA who major in professional and technical communication and candidates for the MA with majors in linguistics and ESL who choose Option III must pass the master’s comprehensive examination. Candidates for the MA with a major in linguistics who choose Option I or Option II do not take the master’s comprehensive examination. This examination is administered by the Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication and is given every February and October. Students must register for this examination at the appropriate time in the department office. Students should consult with the graduate advisor early in their programs to learn of the specific nature of the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination may be taken twice. If the candidate fails the examination on both occasions, then permission for any retake of the examination must be granted by the graduate committee.

Candidates for the MA program in linguistics who choose Option I or II must pass an oral defense of the written project prospectus as well as a defense of the completed project (thesis or two scholarly papers).

Application Checklist

Applicants should send the following materials directly to the Toulouse Graduate School:

  1. A completed graduate application form with the intended major indicated in the appropriate blank.
  2. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores sent from the Educational Testing Service. Candidates applying for all MA programs in Linguistics and Technical Communication must take the GRE verbal and analytical writing sections.
  3. Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination for students whose native language is not English.
  4. Official transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate academic work.

Applicants for the MA with majors in professional and technical communication, linguistics, and ESL should send the following materials directly to the Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication:

  1. a 300–500 word personal statement describing the applicant’s interests, career plans and purpose in working toward an MA; and
  2. a current vita or resume.

Candidates also applying for an academic assistantship or teaching fellowship should send the following directly to the Department of Linguistics and Technical Communication:

  1. A teaching fellowship/academic assistantship application.
  2. Three letters of recommendation that assess the candidate’s potential both as scholar and as teacher.
  3. Writing samples comprising two polished pieces (e.g., a research paper, manual, proposal, or other piece of technical communication).