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MA Linguistics – Native American Linguistics and Languages

The Linguistics – Native American Linguistics and Languages degree program at University of Arizona is oriented towards community language activists who wish to train in the kinds of skills and experience needed to work on maintaining, revitalizing, and documenting their native languages.

Quick Facts

Full-time Duration: 1 year
Starting in: August
Tuition Fee: $10,063 per semester
Location: Tucson, United States

Students interested in Linguistics – Native American Linguistics and Languages degree program at University of Arizona can either be speakers or second language learners of their language, or ones who have studied a particular Native American language and have close contact with that language community.


The specialized nature of this degree focuses on indigenous languages and meeting the needs of Native American communities: due to the rapid decline in the use of heritage languages tribal communities have pressed for practical linguistic training to:

  • revitalize, maintain, and document indigenous languages;
  • provide skills and expertise for Native American linguists to develop teaching grammars and other educational materials;
  • promote understanding of indigenous peoples’ educational issues at every level of policy making;
  • enhance and promote understanding of complex factors leading to language choice, language shift and language loss, and;
  • work with archival media (such as audio legacy audio recordings and historical documents) to enrich the language record and to produce viable teaching materials

We are also open to other community-oriented objectives and projects. Additionally, NAMA students are encouraged to participate in the life of the Linguistics Department and other university departments (Anthropology, American Indian Studies).

There are many opportunities to enrich their experiences and professional network through interacting with other students, professors and researchers who have similar goals and interests – there is a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon.

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“Choosing the Master’s program for Physiological Sciences at the University of Arizona was one of the best decisions I could have made in my education. Our department is warm and collaborative, offering an array of research topics and techniques underneath a vast and integrative umbrella of physiology. Beyond my research experience, I was presented with teaching opportunities, which I feel honed my skill of scientific communication. Having the dynamic research/teaching/class schedule not only kept me active but helped me reinforce material in multiple contexts. Overall, this program was exactly what I wanted in my segway into the medical sciences… and with my teaching assistantship paying for my tuition, how could I say no?”​

Andrew Wojtanowski // MS 2016

Potential topics for the thesis include:

  • brief grammar sketches/descriptions,
  • language planning projects for their community,
  • short surveys on different topics on the language,
  • language teaching methods and materials
  • studies of legacy or historical materials (documents, recordings, etc.)

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