Negotiating Transfer Credit

The Linguistic Institute is hosted by the Linguistics Department at the University of Michigan, but the courses are not offered through UM.  The University supplies the space and infrastructure, but does not actually offer the courses. In this way, it it similar to when a conference is being hosted at a university.

Institute courses are sponsored by the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), and at the completion of the Institute, participants will be able to request an official Institute transcript from the LSA. Individual universities will have to decide for themselves whether they will accept the LSA transcript as sufficient to grant degree credit. There is no typical way in which universities deal with this; each university has its own policies about things like this. Some will accept Institute classes for credit and others won’t.

Here are a few details that participants can keep in mind and mention to their advisors:

  • Institute courses are designed to be equivalent to graduate level courses in linguistics.
  • Since Institute courses have fewer contact hours than a usual semester-long course, we consider each course to be the equivalent of only one graduate-level credit hour.
  • At the completion of the Institute, participants can request an official transcript from the LSA. However, the LSA is not an accredited institution of higher education, and the transcript from the LSA should be interpreted accordingly.
  • At previous Institutes, there have been some universities that accepted Institute courses for degree credit, although this is not necessarily true for all universities.

Since courses at the Institute are not being offered as UM classes, there is unfortunately no option available for registering with UM in order to receive credit.

We hope that participants will decide to attend the Linguistic Institute even if they cannot convince their home institutions to award credit for the Institute classes. The value of attending an Institute goes beyond earning degree credit, and very few attendees typically use Linguistic Institute courses for this purpose. The Institute is an opportunity to be exposed to many different ideas and approaches from across the complete spectrum of what counts as linguistics. It is an opportunity to meet the leaders in the field and learn from them, to interact with people from many different stages in their linguistics careers, to make new friends, and to establish life-long collaborations. There is a great deal to be gained from attending the Institute, even if participants’ home institutions decide not to accept Institute courses for degree credit.