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Undergraduate Thesis, Practicum and Independent Study Courses

There are many experiential learning opportunities for program students to collaborate on faculty members’ research or to undertake original research with a faculty member’s supervision. Level 4 Program students may also apply for the TESL Practicum or SLP Practicum.

In the Research Practicum (Ling 3RP3), students join the lab or research team of a faculty member. Student will learn hands-on research skills such as running experiments, conducting interviews, reviewing literature, or analyzing data, among others, by participating in the research activities of the lab or team. Enrolling in the Research Practicum requires permission of the faculty supervisor and of the department.

Instructions to request permission for Ling 3RP3

Course Requirements for Ling 3RP3 

In the Independent Study (Ling 4II3, German 4II3, Italian 4II3), students conduct a one-semester research project that might involve original empirical research, or might involve advanced reading in a selected topic. Ling 4II3 is open to students in Level 4 of a program in Linguistics or Cognitive Science, with a GPA of at least 9.0. Italian 4II3 and German 4II3 are open to students in any program who have completed ITALIAN/GERMAN 2ZZ3 or equivalent. Enrolling in an Independent Study course requires permission of the faculty supervisor and of the department.

Instructions to request permission for Independent Study

Course Requirements for Independent Study

Suggested Course Outline for Independent Study

In the Honours Thesis (Ling 4Y06), students conduct a year-long original research project under the supervision of a faculty member, and present their research findings in a written paper and a presentation at the Department’s Student Research Day. Ling 4Y06 is  open to students in Level 4 of a program in Linguistics or Cognitive Science of Language, with a GPA of at least 9.0. Enrolling in the Honours Thesis requires permission of the faculty supervisor and of the department.

Instructions to request permission for Honours Thesis

Course Requirements for Honours Thesis

Suggested Course Outline for Honours Thesis

In the SLP Practicum (Ling 4SL3), students complete at least 36 hours observing and working under the supervision of a registered Speech-Language Pathologist and complete a Learning Portfolio documenting their experience. Your supervisor will work with you to define your responsibilities in the placement, but usually you will observe the supervisor’s work for the first few weeks, then complete assigned tasks to help your supervisor in the later weeks. All practicum placements are in the Hamilton area. Some are in clinics or hospitals. Placements with the school board often involve visiting a different school each week. Some placements are accessible by transit and others are hard to get to without a car. You will have the opportunity to rank your preferred sites but it’s not always possible to assign students to their top-ranked choice. Ling 4SL3 is open to students in Level 4 of Honours Cognitive Science of Language with a GPA of at least 9.0. Enrolling in the SLP Practicum requires permission of the department.

Instructions to request permission for SLP Practicum

In the TESL Practicum (Ling 4TE3), students complete at least 36 hours observing and practice teaching under the supervision of an accredited ESL instructor and complete a Learning Portfolio documenting their experience. Your supervisor will work with you to define your responsibilities in the placement, but usually you will observe the supervisor’s work for the first few weeks, then do some practice teaching in the later weeks. Most practicum placements are on campus in classes for the MELD program. Ling 4TE3 is open to students in Level 4 of a program in Linguistics or Cognitive Science of Language with a GPA of at least 9.0. Enrolling in the TESL Practicum requires permission of the department.

Instructions to request permission for TESL Practicum

PLEASE NOTE: Majority of the research conducted in the department involves human participants and as such falls under the jurisdiction of the McMaster Research Ethics Board. If you plan on doing research involving human participants for your project you should be aware that you will have to apply for a clearance of the board. It is advisable that you do so early on (for thesis preferably by the end of October) as the review process takes some time. Application forms, tips etc. can be found at the MREB website and here.