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Language can change the world. In our linguistics graduate programs, you'll research everything from language acquisition and linguistic theory to community language needs. You’ll gain valuable skills and a competitive skill set to bring to a variety of workplaces. We train our graduate students in three areas of specialization: linguistic theory, applied linguistics and Indigenous language revitalization. We offer a PhD program that focuses on your specific research interests in any of the areas of specialization.

Degree programs offered

In our linguistics MA, you’ll research everything from language variation to theoretical linguistics. You’ll also study topics in language revitalization and community-based research.  This degree program combines coursework with a thesis and a public presentation. You’ll receive mentorship from a supervisor with expert knowledge in your research area.

In our applied linguistics MA, you’ll study linguistic theory and research methods. You’ll focus on second language acquisition in all its diversity. This includes the practice and methodologies of teaching second languages. You’ll pursue your research under a supervisor with expert knowledge in your topic. We offer both thesis and non-thesis based project options.

You may also be interested in our one-year Diploma in Applied Linguistics. It's a shorter and more focused alternative to this Master’s program.

Our department works in partnership with Indigenous Education to offer a Graduate Certificate and Master’s degree in Indigenous Language Revitalization. You’ll graduate with either a Master of Arts or Master of Education. This is the first program of its kind in Canada.

You’ll become an expert who can lead language revitalization in Indigenous communities. You’ll train to be a language scholar who can teach these efforts at the post-secondary level. You’ll work to support the revitalization, recovery and maintenance of Indigenous languages.

You’ll study language and explore intertwined perspectives in your studies. You’ll work under our faculty to tackle cutting-edge questions across many fields. We offer research specialization in theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics and Indigenous language revitalization.

Our PhD program will give you concrete skills in research and analysis via coursework in phonology and syntax. You'll also complete to candidacy papers. This degree culminates with a doctoral dissertation.

Program Expected length Project and/or thesis Course-based
MA 2 years Yes No
PhD 4 years Yes No

Quick facts

Program options:
Masters, Doctorate
Program delivery:
Dynamic learning:
Co-op optional

Areas of focus

  • Phonetics, phonology, morphology and syntax
  • Indigenous languages of North American and the Pacific Rim
  • Applied linguistics, second language acquisition
  • Sociolinguistics

Find a supervisor

All graduate students in this program must have a faculty member who serves as their academic supervisor. When you apply:

  • you must list a potential supervisor on your application
  • this faculty member must agree to be your supervisor and recommend your admission

To find a supervisor, review the faculty contacts. When you've found a faculty member whose research complements your own, contact them by email.

Alexandra D'Arcy

Professor, Associate Dean Research, Humanities Variationist sociolinguistics

Hossein Nassaji

Professor Applied linguistics

Hua Lin

Associate Professor Second language phonetics and phonology

John Archibald

Professor, Graduate Advisor Second language phonology

Li-Shih Huang

Associate Professor, Learning & Teaching Scholar-in-Residence, Undergraduate Advisor Applied linguistics

Martha McGinnis

Associate Professor, Chair Syntax, morphology

Sonya Bird

Associate Professor Phonetics, language revitalization

Suzanne Urbanczyk

Associate Professor, Advisor - Certificate in Indigenous Language Revitalization Phonology, morphology, language revitalization

Funding & aid

Graduate students registered in full-time programs are automatically considered for a fellowship. This is based on a qualifying GPA.

Individual award amounts may vary depending on the program.

UVic Fellowship Awards

  • Up to $17,500 per year (master's)
  • Up to $20,000 per year (PhD)

UVic Graduate Awards

  • Up to $10,000 per year (master's and PhD)


  • The minimum requirement for funding consideration is a A- average on the last two years of course work
  • Full-time registration (3.0 units) for UVic Fellowship holders and at least part-time registration (1.5 units) for UVic Graduate Award holders
  • Full-time registration for students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) is 1.5 units

You can also join the co-op program or work as a research or teaching assistant.

Funding opportunities

Tuition & fees

Visit our tuition calculator to determine the tuition and fees for your program.

When you apply you will be charged an application fee. Your application will not be processed until this payment has been received.

  • Application fee for documents from within Canada: $131.50
  • Application fee if any documents originate outside Canada: $169

Application deadlines

  • Canadian and International students: January 15 for September entry.

Admission & program requirements

You must meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements.

Review the graduate admission requirements and this program's admission requirements in the Graduate calendar.

If your first language is not English you must provide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including what exemptions and tests are allowed.

Ready to apply?

You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Need help?

Contact the graduate secretary

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