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    May 29, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Computational Linguistics, MS

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Interdisciplinary Studies master’s degrees

The interdisciplinary studies program offers students a high degree of flexibility in designing a program of study that cuts across disciplinary boundaries. Applicants to the master’s program can pursue one of two approaches — either a self-styled plan or a recognized concentration. Under a self-styled plan, students design a program to address a particular intellectual interest or study a multidisciplinary issue that combines existing courses from any graduate area of the university. Applicants should contact the Graduate School to discuss their intention to seek a self-styled plan. A recognized concentration provides more structure in the courses taken and is built around a defined interdisciplinary theme. For either approach, the degree awarded upon completion of the program is a Master of Arts or Master of Science with a major in interdisciplinary studies.

General requirements

In the self-styled approach, either the Master of Science or the Master of Arts degree program must include no fewer than three separate fields of study with at least 6 hours in each field. No more than 18 hours (including thesis and special problems) may be taken under any one course prefix or subject field. A faculty advisory committee, representative of each of the disciplines of the student’s program, will be formed to help the student develop the degree plan and supervise progress.

Knowledge of at least one foreign language or tool subject acceptable to the Toulouse Graduate School is required for the Master of Arts degree, but not for the Master of Science.

Students may choose the non-thesis option and complete at least 30 semester hours for a Master of Arts or Master of Science. The thesis option requires 24 semester hours plus 6 hours of thesis, for a total of 30 hours.

For any non-thesis degree, the student will either successfully complete a capstone seminar, submit a portfolio of work designed in concert with the advisory committee, or develop a project in concert with the committee.

Admission requirements

Applicants for admission to the degree in interdisciplinary studies must submit the following:

  1. A completed Graduate School application form.
  2. Complete transcripts from all colleges attended.
  3. A non-refundable application fee.
  4. Scores on the verbal, quantitative and writing sections of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or results from another standardized test such as the GMAT.
  5. A current resume or curriculum vitae.
  6. Two letters of recommendation.

After students are accepted into the program, but before they can begin taking classes, they will work with an academic advisor in the Toulouse Graduate School, the director of a concentration (if applicable) and the faculty advisory committee to develop a plan of study for the interdisciplinary program that includes the following:

  1. goals for the program of study;
  2. anticipated learning outcomes (i.e., what the student expects to have learned by the end of the program);
  3. defined assessment methods for the learning outcomes designed in consultation with the program advisor and director or the faculty advisory committee; and
  4. a degree plan worksheet approved by the Toulouse Graduate School and the faculty representatives from each of the disciplines from which the student will take classes.

Applicants seeking admission to the recognized concentrations should consult with the concentration’s director for concentration specific admission requirements.

University Courses (UCRS)

University courses are interdisciplinary in nature and are available to students working toward the master’s degree with the interdisciplinary major.


Students pursuing the master’s in interdisciplinary studies additionally may request admission to one of the available concentration programs.

Computational Linguistics concentration

Computational linguistics (CL) is the scientific study of language from a computational perspective. CL lives at the intersection of language and technology; it is inherently interdisciplinary. The CL concentration in the interdisciplinary studies master’s program brings together course work in linguistics and computer science to develop two different skill sets in students. First, our graduates develop keen skills in linguistics and linguistic analysis, learning how languages work in the abstract. This knowledge can then be applied to the design of computational systems for automating linguistic analysis. The second major goal of the concentration is for students to develop a thorough knowledge of the methods used in automated natural language processing (NLP), as well as the programming skills to undertake research in computational linguistics. These two skill sets will be augmented by a pair of courses selected to strengthen background relevant for the student’s intended career path. These course sequences are to be selected in consultation with the concentration advisors; possible topics include learning technologies, digital data curation, business analytics or information science.


Concentration structure

The concentration in computational linguistics is a 30-credit-hour program. The degree plan in the concentration is a mix of required courses and electives, with the Department of Linguistics as the primary academic area. A total of 18 credit hours from linguistics will be earned from courses in theoretical linguistics, research methods, experimental design and computational linguistics. The CL courses are designed to coordinate with courses in computer science (total of 6 credit hours). The third area of study (total of 6 credit hours) is to be selected by the student in coordination with the concentration advisors, and at the end of the program, students will complete a capstone course in linguistics which will include both a substantial research component and professional development, to support students in career placement following completion of the degree plan.

Additional application items

Applicants for admission to the computational linguistics concentration must submit the following items in addition to the interdisciplinary studies master’s application:

  • A one-page, single-spaced statement of purpose in-lieu of the required theme statement.
  • Scores on the verbal, quantitative and writing sections of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). Successful applicants 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. Successful applicants have presented scores on the IBT ranging from 88-100, and on the CBT ranging from 231-255. 

For further information about computational linguistics at UNT, please contact Alexis Palmer (, UNT Discovery Park, Suite B201A, 3940 North Elm, Denton, Texas 76203; or by phone at (940) 369-8079.

Linguistics core, 18 hours

The linguistics core consists of 5 courses (15 credit hours) leading to a capstone experience (3 credit hours) taken in the student’s last semester. 

All students must have completed LING 5040 - Principles of Linguistics , or an equivalent, before enrolling in core linguistics courses. This course may be taken as a deficiency, but cannot be applied to the computational linguistics degree plan.

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