The linguistics unit provides basic teaching as part of the linguistics study plan (BA and MA). The unit also offers modules in syntactic theory, language acquisition, comparative syntax, phonology, and grammar of a non-Indo-European language.

Study plan

Course schedule

About the program

The objectives of the University Masters in Linguistics are to provide training in linguistics in the fields of syntactic theory (synchronic and diachronic), comparative syntax, theory of language acquisition, pragmatics and theory. speech (prosody). The specificity of training in linguistics within the Department of Linguistics is its emphasis on research (all units of the Department of Linguistics have research projects) and to situate the analysis of language within the current of so-called formal approaches, defending in particular the grammatical hypothesis on the acquisition of language.  In addition to the seminars, an important part of the training is devoted to reading groups and supervised personal work. Students will be immediately immersed in a dynamic research framework, which is articulated around several disciplines, including computational linguistics (which can be an ideal training complement). They will also be welcomed each week as part of the research seminar, which invites international-level researchers from Europe and the United States mainly.

Career prospects

The holder of an MA in linguistics will have the possibility of continuing his training within the framework of the Certificate of Specialization (30 ECTS credits), a necessary springboard for doctoral training, integrated into the CUSO doctoral program, the direction of which is at the Department. In addition to research via doctoral training, the MA in linguistics opens up to multiple professional sectors where language is at the center of activities: press, media, publishing in particular, but also clinical fields (additional specialized training is required, such as speech therapy For example). Since linguistics is not a branch taught in secondary school, the MA in linguistics does not yet allow registration for teacher training (Institut Universitaire de Formation des Enseignants) via a MAS. But the specialization in linguistics is an important additional training for any language teacher.

Study Plan

Study plan:

  • 3 compulsory modules within the Department of Linguistics: 2 syntax modules, 1 semantics/pragmatics/discourse module.
  • 2 modules obtained in other departments in linguistics (French, English, German, Italian, French as a foreign language), in other disciplines or in another faculty (FPSE for a psycholinguistics module).
  • A dissertation in a specialty area of ​​the department. 


90 ECTS credits for the MA (12 credits per module, 30 credits for the dissertation). 

Course content:

  • Comparative syntax
  • Diachronic and synchronic syntactic theory
  • Language acquisition
  • Semantics and pragmatics
  • Discourse analysis 


Possibility of doing 1 semester in a European university with which there is an Erasmus agreement (maximum 36 credits authorized). 

Teaching languages:gues d’enseignement:

French and English

Start and duration of lessons:

The seminars are given over one or two semesters and begin at the beginning of the fall semester (mid-September). 

Conditions of admission:

Have a BA in linguistics from the Faculty of Letters of the University of Geneva or from a Swiss or European university, or a title deemed equivalent. Files outside the University of Geneva are examined and evaluated in comparison with the BA in linguistics


Department Director : Prof. Christopher Laenzlinger
Academic Advisor  : Olivier Frutiger