Program Overview

compling program overview

The UW Master of Science in Computational Linguistics, offered by the UW Department of Linguistics, is designed to prepare students for dynamic careers in industry. The program also serves as excellent preparation for doctoral programs in the field.

The program curriculum includes a sequence of four core courses on natural language processing, two linguistics courses and three electives. All courses emphasize hands-on, collaborative work and focus on state-of-the-art topics in the field of computational linguistics.

Courses are taught by faculty from the Department of Linguistics and other UW departments, as well as guest instructors, who are typically industry professionals holding doctorates. The program also requires a master's project, which can take the form of a thesis or an internship.

Program Format

The program consists of 43 quarter credits, with 33 credits earned for nine courses and 10 credits for the thesis or internship. Full-time students take three courses per quarter for three quarters and then complete the master's project over the summer, finishing the program in 12 months. Students also have the option of part-time enrollment, taking one or two courses per quarter and finishing in two to three years.

Core courses and electives are offered in a hybrid classroom and online format, in which some students attend in the classroom while others watch a live webcast. These daytime sessions are also recorded and made available for later viewing. Online students are encouraged to watch the webcasts live whenever possible and have the same assignments and deadlines as students who attend courses in person.

Students can also switch between online and in-person status on a class-by-class basis if need be. See the Online Learning page for more details.

Who Should Apply

Our students come from backgrounds in computer science, linguistics and other fields, although some technical and programming knowledge is required to complete the degree. See the Admissions page for details on minimum requirements.

Some students come to the program straight from their undergraduate studies and some are returning to school mid-career. To learn more about the kind of academic background we look for, please see the Preparing for the Program page. The UW Department of Linguistics values the contribution that students with diverse backgrounds and life histories make to the intellectual and social environment of the program.

Related Programs

Students who are interested in studying computational linguistics but not yet ready to take on a full master's degree program may want to consider taking individual program courses. See the Single Course Enrollment page for more details.

The UW also offers an embedded certificate program, the Certificate in Natural Language Technology, which consists of a summer fundamentals refresher course and the first two courses in the core sequence. Up to 12 of these individual course credits (not including the summer refresher course) can be counted towards the master's degree program if students have secured graduate non-matriculated status before taking them.

At a Glance

Credits: 43
Learning Format: Classroom
and/or Online
Length: 1–3 years
Cost: $810 per credit


We are happy to answer any questions you have about the Master of Science in Computational Linguistics.