(See also our FAQs on academic and practical questions.)
The summer of 2019 was the last time that SIL offered classes on the UND campus.
UND’s priorities have been shifting away from social sciences and languages to STEM fields, while at the same time the costs and challenges of continuing the SIL program have gradually increased. It seemed better to phase out the program in a carefully-planned way now than to wait until a crisis developed. Ending the on-campus presence of the program was an especially a good time, since Dallas International University and the Canada Institute of Linguistics were in a position to absorb new students starting in summer 2020, including offering online classes during the pandemic. Further, in retrospect, it would have been very difficult to hold the SIL-UND program in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, since we were so heavily invested in providing an on-campus experience.
The summer of 2019 was the last summer of regular SIL-UND classes on the UND campus. Since then, the program has focused on enabling UND MA students in Linguistics to complete their degrees. As of December 2021, most have already finished, and the rest should be able to finish in early 2022. Once everyone has finished, the program will be officially closed.
We offered a full program of SIL-UND courses at UND in 2019, including Packages A & B, the Literacy Megacourse, courses in sign languages, and other advanced courses. Here is the full list
. We included an alumni reunion and a formal closing ceremony in which Michel Kenmogne, executive director of SIL International, was able to participate. And, finally, we sold or gave away all of the “stuff” that we needed to run the on-campus program.
We chose not to try to move SIL-UND to a new location. Instead, two other SIL schools offer summer linguistic programs similar to SIL-UND: CanIL
and Dallas International University
. This maintains the current opportunity for students to choose between two summer programs in North America. People who began their linguistic studies with SIL-UND will be able to continue with CanIL, DIU, or other campuses where SIL courses are offered.
MA Program in Linguistics
Yes. SIL and the University of North Dakota take our responsibility to our current MA students very seriously. We will work with each student to ensure that they have the opportunity to complete their UND degree.
No new students are being accepted into the MA program.
Other degree programs that are similar to the SIL-UND MA can be found at Dallas International University
(which includes GIAL), the Canada Institute of Linguistics
(CanIL), and BIOLA University
. CanIL and DIU both offer many courses during the summer and online, offering great flexibility for students. We recommend that you check out these three programs. Contact them and see what they can do for you. If you’re willing to study outside of North America, have a look at SIL International’s full list
of cooperative training programs. If you want to consider M.A. programs outside the SIL system, see the section below about Other Linguistic Training.
The Literacy Megacourse is offered at Dallas International University
in a 12-week session each spring, and in 2021 they are offering it during the summer. The content of the megacourse is also available at the Canada Institute of Linguistics
, although spread out over an entire school year among separate courses.
Sign language courses
SIL-UND offered a unique set of Sign Language linguistics courses, which focused on preparing students to do field research on understudied signed languages. These courses are now being offered at Dallas International University
, which is planning expanded course offerings in this area and specialized degrees in sign language linguistics.
Other linguistic training
For options outside of North America, see the SIL International Training website.
There are many fine linguistics programs in other universities in North America, although the applicability of their training to field linguistic work with minority language communities varies, and most operate during the regular school year. Two possibilities to check into are available in the summer:
- CoLang is a six-week summer institute offered in even-numbered years. It focuses on practical skills for working with minority language communities in language description and revitalization. It has strong participation of language community members.
- The Linguistic Society of America offers its Summer Linguistics Institute in odd-numbered years, providing graduate-level education that is especially suitable for students who have some background in linguistics already.
The LSA also maintains a searchable database of Linguistics Programs and Departments where you can research other possibilities.
Whether and how credits transfer to another institution is primarily a decision of the institution receiving the credits. You will need to apply to the other institution’s degree program and then see about transferring coursework from UND. SIL-UND can help by providing advice to students and providing information about its courses (e.g. syllabi) that can assist the receiving institution in making its decision. We suggest you contact the school that you want to transfer credits to, in order to learn their policies and how they might apply to you. CanIL and Dallas International University have both indicated that they want to help students who started linguistic studies at SIL-UND to complete their training.