Certificate in Linguistics


The Certificate in Linguistics provides graduate students with a basic foundation in linguistic analysis as well as in practical methods for understanding and learning a new language and culture. Those who satisfactorily complete the program should be able to function in a variety of cross-linguistic contexts.

Program Requirements

The Certificate in Linguistics requires 18 semester credits beyond the foundational credits. Students with acceptable prior coursework may transfer up to six credits for credit. No final project or comprehensive examination is required.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Certificate in Linguistics program must meet the qualifications specified in the Admission to the School of Intercultural Studies section, including a profession of Christian faith. In addition to these, foreign applicants who are non-native English speakers must demonstrate both spoken and written proficiency in English through an oral interview and by submitting their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) results. The TOEFL must have been taken within the past five years. A score of 600 paper / 250 computer with a TWE score of 5 is normally required for admission to the graduate programs in the department. Non-native speakers are also expected to demonstrate oral English proficiency by means of an interview with a faculty member.

Because teachers and applied linguists are expected to have a high degree of competence in written English, all new graduate students, both native and non-native English speakers, are required to take the department’s Writing Proficiency Exam. If the results of the exam indicate that additional work in written grammar and composition is needed to enable a student to perform at the level expected for this field, he or she will be expected to do independent supplementary work on writing or to take and pass one or more writing courses available on campus, including special studies courses, SS 500 or SS 501, described below.

All graduate programs in the department require as a prerequisite a minimum of three semester credits of acceptable Bible or theology coursework at the upper division or graduate level in addition to the specified foundational credits. Foundational credits may be taken concurrently with regular program courses but should normally be completed by the end of the first year.

Students normally begin their program in the fall.

Graduation Requirements

Students in the Certificate in Linguistics program must successfully complete all required coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to qualify for graduation. No ALT course with a grade less than a B (3.0) will be counted for the Certificate or M.A.

The Certificate in TESOL and the Certificate in Linguistics are usually completed within one year by full-time students, but part-time students may have up to four years to complete it.


Below are some of the courses you’ll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising. For official program requirements see catalog for details.

Foundational Credits

(May be taken concurrently with program courses)

Bible / Theology 3
Introduction to Linguistics 3
Total 6

Regular Program

ISAL 521 General Articulatory Phonetics 3
ISAL 523 Introduction to Phonology 3
ISAL 525 Introduction to Syntax 3
ISAL 652 Field Methods in Second Language & Culture Learning  
OR ISAL 654 Field Methods in Linguistics 3
  ISAL Electives 6
  Total 18*

* Presumes foundational courses have not been fulfilled; otherwise, up to 24 credits will be will be required to complete the program.

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639