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Master Program Linguistics

Master of Arts in Linguistics

What is the specialized Master in Linguistics?

The Master in Linguistics stands out as a distinctive mono-master program encompassing 120 ECTS. At its core lies a singular methodological training that equips students with contemporary expertise in gathering, processing, and analyzing digital linguistic data. Going beyond conventional MA programs, this initiative uniquely blends the exploration of individual languages with targeted thematic studies not commonly offered elsewhere.

With a selection of nine focus areas, comprising four language-oriented and five thematic options, the program provides a tailored and enriching academic journey. Alternatively, students have the flexibility to pursue the program without committing to a dedicated focus area, allowing for a more versatile and individualized learning experience.

Please find more information on our section Studies.

Sample structure for full-time studies:


Focus Areas

Romance Linguistics, Slavic Linguistics, English Linguistics, Indo-European Studies, Digital Linguistics, Descriptive Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, Phonetics and Speech Sciences, Language – Interaction – Society, Linguistics (i.e. no specified focus area)

You can find more detailed information on the focus areas here.

Who is this program for?

This program is designed for research-oriented students with a diverse fascination for various linguistic domains. While offering the opportunity to specialize in one of the nine focus areas, it equally allows ample room for exploration in other areas. For utmost flexibility, students can choose not to pursue a specific focus area.

With a minimum requirement of only 21 ECTS in the field of linguistics, the program is accessible to students without a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, providing an inclusive pathway for those with varied academic backgrounds. The Master of Arts in Linguistics is available entirely in English (subject to the chosen focus area), making it explicitly tailored to both Swiss and international students..

What methodological skills will I acquire?

Regardless of their chosen focus area, all students will acquire essential skills in collecting linguistic data, along with the ability to preprocess and statistically analyze this data. This foundational knowledge equips students to address fundamental research inquiries across diverse linguistic domains. Additionally, all students will gain proficiency in processing both textual and speech data for language technological applications, complemented by the acquisition of fundamental programming skills in Python and R.

These foundational skills serve as a springboard for further development within the chosen focus areas, where students can deepen and refine their expertise. For additional details on the methodological basis, click here for more in-depth information.

Please note that those modules are very technical and require solid high school mathematics knowledge. Check the specific requirements for the Quantitative Methods module here

Why study Linguistics?

The program's amalgamation of methodological competences, language-specific modules, and thematic coursework provides an optimal foundation for pursuing a Ph.D. in Linguistics or Computational Linguistics. The acquired skills not only pave the way for advanced academic pursuits but also open doors to diverse career opportunities, particularly in the realms of economy and industry. A prime example is the field of 'Digital Linguistics,' catering to students intrigued by the technical aspects of (computational) linguistics.

Moreover, the program offers the possibility to qualify for ateaching diploma (Lehrdiplom) in at least one school language, broadening the spectrum of potential career pathways and further enhancing the versatility of the skills acquired.

Prerequisites and how to apply

  • A minimum of 21 ECTS from the field of linguistics
  • Very good knowledge of English (C1) on an academic level (listening, reading, speaking), including academic writing skills in English
  • Motivation letter in German or English and an independently written paper
  • At the request of the study program directorate:
    • other evidence of qualifications relevant to the study program (e.g. seminar papers translated into English)
    • an oral admission interview

Applicants without appropriate knowledge may be subject to certain conditions. The decision on admission to the study program is made by the study program directorate.

Please check the page Prerequisites & How to apply for detailed information on the entry requirements and application process.

Online Presentation MasterDays 2023

Prof. Marianne Hundt presents the MA Linguistics at the UZH MasterDays 2023. 

Weiterführende Informationen

First Semester

New at UZH?

Find all the information for your first days at UZH, from tips and tricks to help on booking modules. 

Master Info Event

Master Info Event

Save the date!

On March 7th at 12:15 we will have an online presentation about our Linguistics program on Zoom. Please click on the link below for more information.

Website Master Info Event