Computational Linguistics

Computational Linguistics (also called Natural Language Processing, abbreviated as NLP) is a field of vital importance in the information age. With growing amounts of speech and text data, the demand keeps increasing for automated tools to understand human language and NLP specialists to develop and operate these tools.

In industry, Computational Linguistics techniques are being widely used in search engines, digital libraries, speech recognition systems, and data mining toolkits. The leading data analysis companies like SAS and SPSS all have added text analysis components to their products. Many open-source NLP toolkits have also been available. Companies with large amount of text data need NLP specialists to develop in-house tools or use off-the-shelf tools to analyze their corpora.

Computational Linguistics also plays a critical role in the latest data-driven scholarship in computational social sciences and digital humanities. Humanist scholars and social scientists are increasingly using large corpora to make robust inferences in their research. Scientific literature, government documents, and user-generated content in social media are just a few examples of commonly used corpora. NLP tools are used by students and scholars in sociology, journalism, and communication fields to slice and dice large document collections, identify the main themes and opinions of different parties.  The tools and techniques described above are also widely used in national defense and security agencies, as well as law enforcement agencies at the local, national, and international levels.

The knowledge of such tools and their development and use is becoming more critical to employees in these fields, which is another reason SU is a strong candidate for a computational linguistics program.


In order to receive the Masters of Science in Computational Linguistics, students must complete at least 36-credit hours of coursework, which includes 3 or 6 credits in an internship, and earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0

A total of nine courses are required: five LIN courses (601 Introductory Linguistic Analysis, 611 Semantics of Human Language, 641 Syntactic Analysis, 651 Morphological Analysis, and 741 Advanced Syntax), two 3 CPS courses in (681 Explorations in Computing and Programming, and 688 Algorithms for Computational Journalism and Linguistics), two IST courses (657 Basics of Information Retrieval Systems, and 664 Natural Language Processing)  plus a 3 or 6 credit IST internship.

To learn more about the Master’s degree and its course offerings, please click here

Past Courses(+)

Required Courses Spring 2014

Course Number
Course Name   Instructor Day Time
IST 657 Information Retrieval Systems   Howard Turtle M 9:30am-12:15pm
CPS 688(taken as CPS 600 this semester)     Algorithms for Computational Journalism        Karthik Kuber Th 9:30am-12:15pm
LIN 641 Syntactic Analysis   Jaklin Kornfilt T 12:30pm-3:15pm

Elective Courses

Course Number
Course Name   Instructor Day Time
IST 736 Text Mining   Bei Yu W 9:30am-12:15pm
CIS 623  Structured Programming and Formal Methods   A. Lee TTh 2:00pm–3:20pm
LIN 631  Phonological Analysis   Emma Ticio MW 2:15pm–3:35pm

Required Courses Spring 2013
Course Number
Course Name   Instructor Day Time
LIN 641 Introduction to Syntactic Analysis   Jonathan Nissenbaum M
LIN 651 Introduction to Morphological Analysis   Jaklin Kornfilt MW 12:45pm-2:05pm
IST 664/CIS668 Natural Language Processing   Nancy McCracken MW 2:15pm-3:35pm
IST 971 Internship   Susan Bonzi,
Barbara Stripling,
Kenneth Lavender
CPS 688(taken as CPS 600 this semester)     Beginning Explorations in Computing and Programming     Karthik Kuber TH 2:00pm-5:00pm
Elective Courses
Course Number
Course Name   Instructor Day Time
CIS 623  Structured Programming and Formal Methods   Andrew Lee TTh 2:00pm–3:20pm
IST 649 Human Interaction with Computers   Nora Misiolek W 9:30am–2:15pm

Computational Linguistics

Offerings: MS

Program Director
Jaklin Kornfilt
305 HB Crouse Hall
Phone: 315-443-5375

Computational Linguistics

441 Hall of Languages
Phone: 315-443-1414
Fax: 315-443-8093

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Bachelor of Arts BA
Bachelor of Science BS
Master of Arts MA
Master of Science MS
Education/Teacher Prep MS
Doctor of Philosophy PhD
Minor m
Certificate C