The goal of the linguistics doctoral program is to prepare graduates to design and conduct original, empirically based research within a theoretical framework. Doctoral students prepare for careers in academic research and teaching or applied work in industry or other organizations.
We encourage doctoral students to begin engaging in research projects early, as these will contribute to developing the research program that will lead to the thesis project. Early projects not only lead to preliminary exam topics and/or publishable papers, but also enable students to pilot the methods they'll use for the dissertation project. Early projects may be extensions of coursework and may involve a faculty advisor other than the thesis advisor.
Students should select a specialization and begin their own research as early as possible. The department offers specializations in:
- laboratory phonology
- conversation analysis
- historical linguistics
- typological comparison
- Amerindian linguistics
- African linguistics
- linguistic anthropology
- language development
- cognitive linguistics
- computational modeling of language knowledge
Students wishing to pursue graduate work in linguistics should carefully read the Doctoral Degree Requirements section of this catalog and the detailed degree requirements available from the department office.
Applicants should hold a recognized baccalaureate degree. They should have considerable knowledge of a language other than their native language. This knowledge may have been gained by formal study or by use of the language in a country, community or institution where it is the usual means of communication. The department may require formal study of a foreign language by graduate students whose proficiency in this area is less than the equivalent of the college junior level. GRE scores are required from United States residents; scores are also required from native speakers of English who wish to be considered for fellowship aid. TOEFL scores are normally required from foreign applicants.
To be admitted to the PhD program, students must have completed coursework equivalent to:
|LING 5030||Linguistic Phonetics||3|
|LING 5420||Morphology and Syntax||3|
|LING 5430||Semantics and Pragmatics||3|
|LING 5570||Introduction to Diachronic Linguistics||3|
Students who do not have this preparation may be admitted to the MA program. They may apply for admission to the PhD program when these requirements are close to completion. Students may be admitted to the PhD program before finishing the MA.
Thirty credit hours of coursework are normally required for the PhD. Four linguistics courses are required at the 6000 level or above, and the remaining six courses may include up to four courses in other departments appropriate to the specialization.
|Select two of the following linguistics courses:||12|
|Phonetic Theory and Analysis|
|Advanced Diachronic Linguistics (Electives)|
|Select six courses appropriate to the specialization, up to four of which can be from other departments.||18|
|Total Credit Hours||30|
All PhD students must demonstrate the ability to read linguistic literature in a language other than English.
As a PhD preliminary examination, students submit a data-based research paper at the beginning of the second year in the PhD program.
The university comprehensive examination requirement is completed in two steps: the completion of a synthesis paper followed by the defense of a dissertation prospectus.
Doctoral Thesis Credits
To complete the requirements for the PhD degree, a student must register for a minimum of 30 dissertation credit hours. These are distinct from the 30 credit hours of coursework that are required for the PhD. Distribution of those hours is as follows:
- A student may not register for more than 10 dissertation credit hours in any one semester.
- No more than 10 dissertation credit hours taken in semesters prior to the semester in which the proposal defense is passed may be counted in the 30 dissertation hours required for the PhD.
- No more than 10 dissertation hours of credit taken the semester in which the proposal defense is passed may be included in the 30 dissertation credit hours required for the degree.