Program at a Glance

  • On Campus
  • Part-Time
  • 16 Credits Required
  • 8–12 Months to Completion
  • Tuition & Fees—Part-Time Study*: $8,920

*Based on 2024–2025 Boston University tuition and fees.

Prepare for Further Study in Modern Linguistics

The Graduate Certificate in Linguistics at Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in linguistics, but who do not have the necessary background. This is likely to be the case for those who developed an interest in linguistics late in their undergraduate studies or after they received their bachelor’s degree. The Linguistics graduate certificate may also be of interest to professionals in fields with some connection to linguistics who would like to get additional training and credentials.

Students are expected to have already taken an introductory undergraduate course in linguistics or to have acquired equivalent knowledge prior to applying to the certificate program. Students who lack this background will be required to take Introduction to Linguistics (MET LX 250) or acquire equivalent knowledge before registering for the graduate certificate program. Students interested in this certificate but who lack that background are encouraged to consult with the director of graduate admissions for linguistics.

Charles River Campus

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Why Earn a Certificate in Linguistics at BU?

Gain a Solid Foundation in Linguistics

BU MET’s Linguistics graduate certificate curriculum is designed to prepare students to apply to an MA or PhD program offered through Boston University’s Department of Linguistics or elsewhere. Completion of the certificate is not a guarantee of admission to the Boston University graduate programs in linguistics. However, should a student enter the BU Linguistics master’s program upon completion of this certificate, the elective course required for the certificate will count retroactively towards the MA degree requirements.

Please contact the Director of Graduate Admissions for the Linguistics Department for additional information. The department is located in BU’s College of Arts & Sciences at 621 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA 02215.

Linguistics Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Linguistics will be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of the fundamental questions that drive modern linguistic research.
  • The ability to identify and describe with precision the empirical patterns found in sets of language data, and to construct well-reasoned linguistic analyses by formulating, testing, and refining hypotheses about these patterns.
  • Foundational knowledge in the core areas of phonetics, syntax, and semantics necessary to apply to graduate programs in linguistics and to take more advanced courses in the field.

Required Courses

(Four courses/16 credits)

A total of four courses (16 credits) is required, distributed as follows:

Fall Term

Spring Term

Plus one LX elective course to be selected from available offerings in consultation with the student’s advisor. Elective offerings vary from year to year, but may include:

Tuition & Financial Assistance

Competitive Tuition

Our part-time rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education.

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Comprehensive Financial Assistance

Our services include scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans.

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Tuition, fees, and total program cost are determined by enrollment status. Course enrollment in this certificate program is 1–2 courses (4–8 credits) in a semester, and tuition is charged the part-time per-credit rate.

Linguistics Graduate Certificate (On Campus)

Enrollment Status Part Time
Courses per Semester 2 courses
(8 credits)
Time to Degree 2 semesters
(8 months)
Tuition* $550-$975
per credit**
Fees per Semester* $60
Total Degree Cost* $8,920

*Based on 2024-2025 Boston University tuition & fee rates.
**Cost per credit is determined by course number (100–599 = $550/credit, 600–999 = $975/credit).

Questions? Please contact us to hear from an Admissions Advisor who can help you determine the best enrollment pathway. For information regarding financial aid, visit BU MET’s Financial Aid page.

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Please visit the BU MET admissions page for details on how to apply, financial assistance, tuition and fees, requirements for international students, and more.

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