Master's program in Computational Linguistics
The two-year Master of Arts program in Computational Linguistics is designed for outstanding students with an undergraduate degree in linguistics, computer science, the study of language, or a related field. This interdisciplinary M.A. provides a solid foundation for professional work in the field or pursuit of a Ph.D. in computational or theoretical linguistics. This foundation enables our graduates to excel in burgeoning fields such as:
- speech recognition
- automated text analysis
- information retrieval
- machine translation
- web search
- "Big Data"
For-credit internships are available in the second year of study, along with the opportunity to conduct research within the department.
Brandeis is a world-class research university with a collaborative, liberal arts atmosphere, just minutes from the Cambridge and Boston area's 'technology corridor' and a plethora of job and internship opportunities, research labs, and connections to key industry players. Our vibrant computational linguistics program draws on the expertise of faculty members and innovative interdisciplinary research from:
- computer science (artificial intelligence, theory of computation, and programming methods)
- language and linguistics (phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics)
- cognitive science
We encourage you to explore one of the department’s greatest assets through our faculty pages.
For the most updated course listing, course descriptions, and degree requirements, please visit the Registrar's website.
Master’s: For the fall semester (starts in late August): February 15th. Applicants may be considered after that date on a space-available basis, but no later than April 1.
B.A./M.A.: Current Brandeis undergraduates should apply for the B.A./M.A. program during their sixth semester at Brandeis using our online application.
Although previous experience in computer programming or linguistics may be helpful, it is not necessary for the two-year M.A. program in Computational Linguistics. Applicants must submit:
- An online application;
- An application fee (please click here for more information)
- Transcripts from all universities and colleges attended must be uploaded to your application; do not mail official transcripts to our office. For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions;
- Two letters of recommendation, submitted electronically. The B.A./M.A. program requires only one letter of recommendation.
- A curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé
- A statement of purpose:
- For the Master's: Please upload a statement of purpose in essay form indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. What has attracted you to the specific field of computational linguistics/natural language processing? How much knowledge do you have about the sort of work done within this field, and where did you pick up this knowledge? Please be as detailed and complete as possible.
- For the BA/MA: In addition to the same as above, you should also discuss how you plan to complete your bachelor's degree requirements along with beginning master's coursework.
- Applicants should be prepared to (1) List any previous courses taken, or a major or minor completed, in any of the following subject areas: Computer Science, Linguistics, Mathematics, and/or sciences other than Computer Science. (2) List any/all computer programming languages known and your level of knowledge (i.e. basic, moderate, advanced).
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) required for applicants to the M.A. program (please note, scores are waived for Brandeis students and alumni). Our GRE institution code is 3092 (please note: this institution code only applies to GRE scores). Applicants to the B.A./M.A. program are not required to submit GRE scores.
- International applicants: For additional requirements for international applicants (non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents), minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores, and important information regarding visas, please click here. If you are submitting TOEFL scores, please note that our TOEFL institution code is 3261.
For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Generous scholarships and financial aid are available; for more information please visit our section on Financial Aid.
Careers and Alumni
We have an extremely high placement rate in CL industry jobs and CL or linguistics PhD programs, and work with students from their start in the program toward a desirable placement upon graduation. Alumni currently work in Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing at companies ranging from Amazon, Google, IBM Watson Core Technology, Raytheon BBN, and General Electric to UFA Inc., the MITRE Corporation, Narrative Science, SAP Labs, Charles River Analytics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, QPID Health, and range of start-ups in Boston, New York, Chicago, and California.
A smaller but significant portion of our alumni go on to PhD work in Computer Science, specializing in CL, or in Linguistics. This includes alumni who are current PhD students or recent PhD graduates from schools including Brandeis University, The University of Pennsylvania, and The University of Michigan. A number of alumni who initially work in industry leave open the possibility of returning to PhD studies in CL at a later date.
In the age of Google, Facebook, and Twitter, our graduates will find their skills applicable to various work environments. Areas where alumni may find employment opportunities include translation agencies, technology manufacturers, telecommunications companies, and the federal government. Students can work closely with our Career Services office for an array of resources, including CV/resume help, job search, and networking. Read the Computational Linguistics Career Guide (PDF).