Linguistics is the systematic, scientific study of language. “Forensic linguistics” refers to linguistics applied to any use of language with legal relevance. This master's level graduate program in Linguistics: Forensic Linguistics is designed to meet a growing demand for advanced training in scientific language analysis. The program instructs students in the science of linguistics, and trains them in practical applications of linguistic theory to analytical problems, specifically in the legal arena. In addition to teaching the core linguistic tools of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, dialectology and discourse analysis, the program includes specific training in the practical application of these tools to legal investigations, trials, analysis of contracts, statutes, etc. Thus, the program teaches linguistics, and whenever possible, the language data used for instruction are forensic.
The program prepares students to continue on for a Ph.D. in theoretical or applied linguistics or a related field; or for public and private sector employment in the United States and internationally in careers relating to or associated with law, law enforcement, and the forensic sciences.
Graduates of the program will be able to seek employment in organizations needing professionals with research and linguistic skills, and in any field in which people work with language, including government and academic institutions, business, industry, and communications.
The program combines a broad-based academic experience with applied workshops and internship opportunities so that, upon graduation, students are prepared to bring to their workplace an array of skills and experience in the analysis of language in legal and other real-world settings.