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Degrees and certificates
Academic Credit at SIL-UND
SIL courses are fully integrated in UND’s academic program and fully accredited by UND. Up to ten semester credits may be earned in each summer session and applied to a degree program at UND or transferred to another institution (undergraduate or graduate degree, as appropriate). Transcripts for courses taken from SIL are issued by UND, not by SIL.
Prospective SIL students must apply to the program each summer that they want to attend. Students must meet all regular UND admissions requirements to be admitted (or re-admitted) in an appropriate status by UND (undergraduate or graduate, non-degree or degree, see discussion below). We recommend that you start by filling in SIL's pre-application form so that the SIL registrar can guide you through the application process with UND.
Acceptance by SIL is conditional upon admission by UND. In addition, new SIL students are expected to meet the following requirements:
- Statement of purpose that matches what the SIL program can provide (we want to make sure we can give you what you want)
- Two years of college, university, or other post-secondary education
- Minimum 2.75 grade point average (GPA) or equivalent for all post-secondary work
- Native-speaker of English or demonstrated competence in English adequate for advanced university study. Normally determined by taking the TOEFL or comparable test. Contact the SIL-UND Director for details. (For Deaf people, ASL interpreters are available on request, but adequate written English proficiency is still required.)
Exceptions are sometimes made for students with unusual backgrounds or needs; contact the SIL-UND Director to request an exception.
Students who want to continue for two or more summers are expected to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in SIL courses. In addition, students who choose to enroll in UND degree and certificate programs must meet all requirements for continuing in those programs.
Like all UND students, SIL students are expected to pass a safety and security screening procedure as part of their application to UND.
Graduate vs. undergraduate
SIL students who do not have an accredited 4-year undergraduate degree must register with UND as undergraduate students. Those who do have such a degree may register as either undergraduate or graduate students.
At UND, in order to take a course for graduate credit, the student must be enrolled as a graduate student and the course must be approved for graduate credit. Undergraduate students who successfully complete undergraduate SIL courses are allowed to register in certain graduate courses but receive only undergraduate credit for them.
All 500-level courses are graduate-level; some 400-level courses have also been approved for graduate credit (see course listings). Expectations of graduate students in 400-level courses are significantly greater than those for undergraduate students in the same courses.
Degree vs. non-degree status
Graduate students may take courses in either degree or non-degree status; degree status means that a student is accepted in and actively working toward a UND degree or certificate. Many SIL-UND students choose the non-degree option, which allows them to take courses without entering a degree or certificate program. Even those interested in an M.A. at UND (see below) often attend their first summer as non-degree graduate students.
Undergraduate students, unless they are already pursuing a degree at UND, register for SIL courses in non-degree status. Undergraduate students may take up to 20 credits of SIL courses before being required to apply to UND as regular degree students.
Master of Arts in Linguistics
For students who want a Master of Arts in Linguistics from UND, most SIL courses can be applied toward the degree. Indeed, the M.A. in linguistics may be completed entirely during the summers using courses offered by SIL; a small number of courses are also available to M.A. students in the fall and spring semesters.
Application to the M.A. program may be postponed until after one summer of graduate courses as a non-degree graduate student; up to 9 non-degree credits can later be used as part of the degree. Up to 9 credits may be transferred in from other institutions. A total of 32 credits is required, including 4 credits for thesis. (This is a summary description only; see the program description for details.)
Graduate Certificate in Community-Based Literacy as Applied Linguistics
First offered in summer 2011, the graduate certificate in Community-Based Literacy as Applied Linguistics is built around the Literacy Megacourse, which is offered in odd-numbered summers by SIL-UND. (If students want to earn the certificate, they must be accepted in the certificate program before taking the Literacy Megacourse.) This program prepares students to serve as literacy facilitators and consultants in local language communities, especially those in other countries and in non-formal educational settings. For further information, see the program description.
Other degree and certificate programs
In cooperation with UND’s Department of English, SIL offers an undergraduate minor in linguistics for UND students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. For information, contact the SIL-UND Director or Professor Xiaozhao Huang in the English Department.
SIL courses may be used in other UND degree programs; see your advisor or the appropriate department for applicability.
Finally, some other colleges and universities (particularly in Minnesota) have undergraduate degree programs that accept SIL-UND courses in transfer towards a major, minor or concentration in linguistics. For information about these programs and their availability to you, please contact the SIL-UND Director.
If you are interested in using courses from SIL-UND as part of a degree at another institution, you should check with the other institution about their policies on transfer courses. The institution receiving the credits is the one that decides whether they will transfer at all and how they can be used (as undergraduate vs. graduate credit, as major vs. elective courses, etc.). This means that, even though SIL-UND courses are fully accredited, there is no guarantee that they will be accepted at your college or university.
If you want to transfer credit to another graduate program, keep in mind that graduate programs vary considerably in their specializations and emphases, and as a result credits do not transfer between graduate programs as easily as they do at the undergraduate level.
If you want help in trying to transfer SIL-UND courses elsewhere (e.g., copies of syllabi), contact the SIL-UND Director.