Linguistics (Master of Arts)

Conditions of admission


Course content and focus areas 

The Master Program in Linguistics is a program in theoretical linguistics with English as the language of instruction. It is a 4-semester consecutive one-subject-study, which builds on and deepens the knowledge that the participant gained during their Bachelor’s qualification, by specializing in research-oriented study in three working and research fields of linguistics. The research fields of syntax, semantics, phonology, psycho- and neurolinguistics, language variation and change as well as constraint-based grammar are available. In addition to the Institute of Linguistics,  this MA program is designed and supported by the following institutes: Institut für England & Amerikastudien (IEAS)Institut für Psycholinguistik und Didaktik der deutschen SpracheInstitut für Romanische Sprachen und Literaturen.

The master’s program Linguistics qualifies students to make theoretically founded and empirically based statements about different aspects of “language” and to investigate them further in independent research-oriented work. To this end, the study expands and deepens the theoretical foundations and techniques of linguistic language description. In addition, the focus is on dealing with the current state of research and current research initiatives. The goal is to guide the students to independent conception and execution of research work.

What is meant by Theoretical Linguistics?

Theoretical linguistics as taught at Goethe University involves using logical and mathematical tools in the analysis of language, as is standard in theories like the Minimalist Program, Montague Grammar, Optimality Theory, or Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar.

Please note that the MA in linguistics from Goethe University is not a program in English linguistics. Therefore, a BA in theoretical linguistics as described below or an equivalent qualification is required to participate in the program. A BA in applied linguistics, in English language and/or literature, in teaching of English, or in English translation is not enough to ensure a successful application.

You can find further information like General prerequisites for the Master’s Program Linguistics and an applicant checklist etc. here.

Detailed Information

Information from the department
Study regulations


Master of Arts in Linguistics 


The standard length of study for the Master of Arts is 4 semesters.  

Language of instruction


Start of the programme

The study programme starts at the beginning of either the winter or summer semester. 

Student advisory service

Dr. Matthias Schulze-Bünte

Institut für Linguistik
Raum 4.318
Nobert-Wollheim-Platz 1
60323 Frankfurt

Tel. 069/798-32390

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Conditions of admission

Admission requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics or a study programme from another higher education institution with similar content. The examination board decides whether the content corresponds or not. In cases of doubt, admission to the Master’s programme will depend on an entry examination that students have to pass.
  • Proof of English language skills (Niveau B2)  proven by a bachelor’s degree with English as the instruction language or by standardised tests:
    - TOEFL (Internet based score of at least 85); or
    - IELTS (at least 6 in each section); or
    - Cambridge First, Advanced oder Proficiency (at least'Good' in each section).
Provisional admission

If the university entrance qualification for the consecutive Master’s programme (namely the Bachelor’s degree) has not yet been completed, you can apply for the programme with a transcript of records on the basis of at least 80% of the required CP for the bachelor's degree. This provisional certificate must be issued by an office authorised to award grades or issue certificates. If a student is admitted, this will be on a provisional basis. Provisional admission is valid until the end of the first semester of the master’s program. The bachelor’s degree must thus be handed in by March 31 (winter intake) or September 30 (summer intake) the latest.

Mode of admission Admission is not restricted. Students will be directly admitted if the admission requirements are met in full.

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Documents to be submitted
  • if you are not already enrolled at Goethe-University Frankfurt:
    university entrance qualification (e.g. A-Levels)
  • Bachelor’s degree certificate
  • if the Bachelor's degree has not yet been completed:
    - a transcript of records or equivalent document listing the content of the study programme and average grade
  • proof of English language skills (Niveau B2) (see above)
  • APS certificate for applicants from India, Vietnam and PR of China (original)
Application period

01.06. - 31.08. for the winter semester 
01.12. - 28.02. for the summer semester

Address for applications Online application portal for Master's study programmes

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