MA studies in Linguistics

Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Lior Laks (

General university guidelines for MA studies are available in this file and on the graduate school website.

Admission Requirements

The M.A. programs are designed to be completed in three years. Part-time study programs are possible for the MA without thesis (Track B). The following table summarizes the options for an M.A. in Linguistics in the Department of English Literature and Linguistics:

Program Prerequisites for Admission

Track A: Thesis Track

B.A. in Linguistics or equivalent with an 88 grade point average at least

Track B: Non-Thesis Track

B.A. in Linguistics or equivalent with an 80 grade point average at least

Direct M.A.

Admission to Direct B.A./M.A. in Linguistics- Please contact the Graduate Coordinator for more information

Clinical Research, Track A: Thesis Track BA in Communication Disorders, Psychology, Brain Science Studies, Special Education, Speech and Language Pathology or similar fields with an 88 grade point average at least
Clinical Research, Track B: Non-Thesis Track BA in Communication Disorders, Psychology, Brain Science Studies, Special Education, Speech and Language Pathology or similar fields with an 85 grade point average at least


Prerequisite/ Hashlamot Courses:

Candidates who do not hold a BA in Linguistics should expect to be assigned pre-requisite (hashlamot) courses- up to 10 credits- prior to beginning their first official year in the program, and must complete each course with a grade of an 80 or higher in order to continue in the non-thesis track.

To move to the thesis track, students must complete each prerequisite course with a grade of an 88 or higher and at least a 90 in the seminar to be able to transition to a thesis track. Students in the non-thesis track may request to move to the thesis track in their second year, but must first find an advisor within the department's faculty who will supervise their thesis.

The cost of these courses is not included in the standard tuition fees and the credits will not count toward the MA requirements.


Prerequisite Courses in Clinical Research:

The passing grade for students in prerequisite courses in Clinical Research is an 85 in order to continue in the non-thesis track. To move to the thesis track, students must complete each course with a grade of 88 or higher, and at least a 90 in the seminar course.

The policies, rules, and procedures established by the Bar Ilan Graduate School serve as the framework and set the minimum standards for the Department's Graduate Committee. See the current brochure of the Ph.D. and M.A. Committees for the general requirements for the degrees.


Degree Specializations

The Linguistics Division provides the students with a solid foundation in both theoretical and applied linguistics. Each student's program is constructed by the individual student and his/her supervisors. The program may include specialization in a combination of two or more of areas in linguistics, as well as in other fields such as brain sciences, psychology, or philosophy. Specializations can also involve research in the structure or use of a specific language or languages.

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Programs and Fields of Study

M.A. Track A (with thesis)

For research-oriented students who may want to continue to their Ph.D.

All students are initially enrolled to a non-thesis track. Students can request to transfer to a thesis-track subject to high grades and the acceptance of a faculty member to supervise them. All students interested in applying for any of the thesis tracks must first have spoken to their supervisor before they can be considered for the track. Please read through our faculty lists and reach out to any possible mentors before applying.

The full requirements for Thesis/ Track A students are listed below. You can see more details in this document. 


Total- 22 Credits/ נק"ז

Track A- Thesis

4 Credits

2 Graduate-level Seminars

8 Credits

4 Graduate-level Pro-Seminars

2 Credits

Mandatory Guided Reading (Course number 37868)

8 Credits


Students who began their studies before the 2020-1 academic year can request a requirement form for their track and year from the office.

Research Proposal and Thesis

The research proposal is due by the end of first semester of the second year. Students can find the deadlines for the proposal and thesis in the Inbar (on the Right Menu, click Learning Conditions). The process for submitting the proposal is as follows: Once your proposal is approved by your thesis supervisor, your advisor will send it to be reviewed by another faculty member from the Department, who will fill out a reviewer form. One copy of the proposal will then be sent to Smadar at the department's library, and the proposal and accompanying forms will be submitted by the office to the Graduate School's M.A. Committee. Once the proposal is approved by the Graduate School, you will receive an email confirming that your proposal has been approved, and the email will include the deadline for your thesis paper.

For a summary of the university guidelines for the thesis proposal, see p. 22 of this guide.

Once you complete your thesis and it is approved by your thesis supervisor, you will have your final oral examination (called a defense or panel) on the thesis. You will then be given a grade, and the forms from your defense (filled out by the committee- your advisor, a reviewer, and a committee chair) will be submitted to the Graduate School. Once the thesis grade is approved, the office will submit the grade to be updated in your file. You will then receive an email from the office explaining the following steps, which will include submitting a digital copy of the thesis to the department's library, and then a digital and hard copy to the university's Main Library together with a few other forms that you will be sent from the office. 

For further information, see p. 24 of this guide (the MA thesis guidelines are also available as a separate file).


M.A. Track B (without thesis)

For students who want deepen their understanding of language and language processing. 

The full requirements for track B students are listed below. You can see more details in this document.


Total- 22 Credits/ נק"ז

Track B- Non Thesis

6 Credits

3 Courses, Seminars or Pro-Seminars in Linguistics

6 Credits

3 Graduate-level Seminars

8 Credits

4 Graduate-level Pro-Seminars

2 Credits

Mandatory Guided Reading (Course number 37868)

0 Credits

Mandatory Final Oral Exam


Students who began their studies before the 2020-1 academic year can request a requirement form for their track and year from the office.

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Seminar Papers

Graduate students are expected to provide evidence of independent scholarship. The seminar paper is the primary medium towards this end. Each program (see above) requires a number of longer seminar papers, which students will be registered for as a regular seminar. The student's thesis supervisor or the Linguistics Graduate Coordinator advises on which seminars to write these papers in. Please note that students writing short papers (who enrolled in the 2021-2 academic year onwards) should register for the courses as pro-seminars (37xxx-02).

In Graduate-level seminars, the lecturer will determine the requirements and the grading criteria. According to University regulations, papers must be handed in before the beginning of the following academic year, unless an earlier time has been set by the lecturer/professor. Permission to submit late papers is granted in special circumstances by the University MA Committee. Students who wish to submit a late paper must fill out a request form to receive an extension (tofes pnia letoar sheni).

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Graduate Students in Undergraduate Courses

Graduate students in the M.A. Track B (without thesis) may take up to three advanced undergraduate courses or seminars (375xx) in their program of studies. They have the same requirements as undergraduate students in these courses. M.A. Track A (with thesis) students need permission from the graduate coordinator and the head of the department in order to take an undergraduate seminar. In such cases, the course requirements will be equivalent to work at the graduate level.

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Final Examination for Track B Students (Non- Thesis Track)

A the end of the last year of studies, all non-thesis track students must undergo an oral examination based on a set of reading material agreed upon with a faculty member, or on original research performed by the student. Both the reading list and the date of the examination are to be approved in advance. Please contact the Linguistics Graduate Coordinator ahead of time in order to schedule the examination.

Instructions for preparing for the final examination in Linguistics:

  1. The student will choose a topic and get it approved in advance by a faculty member. This may be a new topic not discussed at length in any course taken by the student; on a topic they studied for a seminar paper but with some new research or new related papers not included in the seminar paper; a comparison between two papers that the student wrote; etc. In no case should the student simply present a seminar paper.
  2. The student will prepare a short (up to 15 minutes) presentation on the chosen topic, using handouts or slides; simply reading from the handout is not appropriate.
  3. The objective is to raise questions that go beyond personal experience, showing that the articles chosen have given the student original insights or that the student can integrate the material in the articles, with an emphasis on originality and creativity.
  4. The final grade on the exam will depend on:
    • the extent that the student shows learning from the readings and studies in Linguistics beyond simple repetition
    • the extent that the student can engage the examiners in discussion of Linguistic-related issues

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Linguistics Colloquium

Advanced students in Linguistics are strongly encouraged to join the community of linguists by participating in scholarly meetings open to the public (colloquia and conferences).The departmental linguistics colloquium takes place about every two weeks on Tuesday afternoons and features speakers from the department and from other universities presenting research on a wide range of topics. You are encouraged to attend these meetings to broaden your understanding of Linguistics and find out about all sorts of interesting topics and methods of research. Linguistics graduate students are required to attend the departmental linguistics colloquium for one full year during their graduate education in the department. All graduate students are encouraged to attend national and international conferences organized at the University. Some funding is available for graduate students giving papers at international conferences abroad.

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Pace of Work

The M.A. degree should be completed within 3 years. We make an effort to schedule graduate courses on one or two days of the week. (usually Tuesdays and Thursdays), while most prerequisite courses take place on Wednesdays. Teachers entitled to sabbatical leave should usually take their sabbatical during the third year of the M.A. program.

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Succeeding as a Graduate Student

According to University regulations, the minimum grade which can be counted towards a degree is 60%. Graduate students in the English Literature and Linguistics Department are expected to maintain an 80% average. The Department adheres to the University rules on plagiarism very strictly. Course requirements and seminar papers should be completed when they are due. If you are unsure of course deadlines or may need to request an extension, please reach out to your lecturer. If you are unsure of your proposal/thesis/final exam timeline, please reach out to Dr. Laks, the Graduate Coordinator. Any extension requests will first need your lecturer or advisor's recommendation and signature and, once filled out and signed, should be sent to Chelsea to be submitted to the Graduate School. You can find all MA Forms here. Contact the office if you are unsure which form you need to fill out. 

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Foreign Language Requirement

Graduate students studying in the department are exempt from the foreign language requirement.

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Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are a limited number of scholarships and grants administered by the University M.A. Scholarships Committee. Funding is allocated on the basis of merit as well as financial need. Sometimes, lecturers in the Department hire research assistants for their funded research.

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Important Notice: Before your application can go to the Bar-Ilan University MA committee, it must first be approved by the Department of English Literature and Linguistics. Those who register through the university first who are later rejected by the department will not be refunded the initial registration fee. As such, please be sure to contact us first before applying through the university's general online system.


Applications for all Linguistics MA Programs should include the following:

  1. Up to date CV
  2. Scanned formal transcripts of prior studies (all of them), including all the course names, instructors and grades
  3. Scanned diploma(s)

Please follow the following steps to apply to the program:

1. Step One: Applications for Linguistics Thesis and Non-thesis tracks should be sent via e-mail to the Linguistics Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Lior Laks, with a copy to the Graduate Registrar, Chelsea Mosery-Birnbaum. Be sure to include in your email which track you are applying for, as well as the documents listed above.

For those applying to the Clinical Research tracks, please send your application to Dr. Natalia Meir, with a copy to the Graduate Registrar, Chelsea Mosery-Birnbaum. Be sure to include in your email which track you are applying for, as well as the documents listed above.

2. Step Two: Should you receive a notice from the Department of English Literature and Linguistics recommending your acceptance (via email from Dr. Laks or Dr. Meir), you must then apply though the university's general online system at this link: You will also be asked to pay the application fee-

NOTE : Under the section called "Maslul Limudim", be sure to fill in the appropriate track- this is the track that you were accepted to via email by Dr. Lior Laks or Dr. Natalia Meir.


Important Dates

Registration for the 2022-3 Academic year begins: January 23, 2022

Last day to apply through the department: October 15, 2022

Last day to apply through the university's online registration: October 23, 2022