PhD in Linguistics

Catalog Year: 2023-2024

Banner Code: LA-PHD-LING

The PhD in Linguistics trains students in the science of language. Students become specialists in the core areas of linguistics-- phonology, syntax, and semantics --and learn to integrate this core with the study of second language acquisition. The program prepares students for positions in academia, industry, government, and a host of organizations concerned with language and second language acquisition. Graduates may become research and teaching professors, administrators of language-learning programs, and consultants in computational linguistic research.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 72

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses

LING 690 Phonology I 3
LING 692 Phonology II 3
LING 890 Advanced Phonology Seminar 3
LING 786 Syntax I 3
LING 787 Syntax II 3
LING 886 Advanced Syntax Seminar 3
LING 785 Semantics and Pragmatics 3
LING 788 Semantics and Pragmatics II 3
Language Acquisition  
Select two courses from the following: 6
Second Language Acquisition  
Second Language Acquisition II  
Seminar in Language Acquisition  
Research Methodology  
LING 770 Research Methods 3
Qualifying Papers 6
Advanced Qualifying Seminar (Students register for this course twice)  
Total Credits 39

Two Seminars

Select 6 credits from the following: 1 6
Seminar in Language Acquisition  
Advanced Syntax Seminar  
Advanced Phonology Seminar  
Total Credits 6

Students take two seminar courses in two chosen fields. Seminar topics change every time they are offered. They may be repeated for credit.


Select five electives from the following: 15
Field Work in Applied Linguistics  
Applied Linguistics: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)  
English Grammar and Pedagogy  
English Pronunciation and Pedagogy  
Practicum in ESL  
Historical Studies of the English Language  
First Language Acquisition  
Introduction to Sociolinguistics  
Directed Reading and Research  
Grammatical Analysis  
Theory of Translation  
Statistical Reasoning  
History of the Spanish Language  
Applied Spanish Grammar  
Hispanic Sociolinguistics  
Language Development  
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence  
Quantitative Foundations for Computational Sciences  
Introduction to Computational Social Science  
Ethics in Scientific Research  
Bilingualism and Language Acquisition Research  
Total Credits 15

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, students must complete all coursework required on their approved program of study. Students must also successfully pass a written qualifying exam and an oral qualifying exam. In addition, students must have a dissertation committee appointed by the Dean’s Office as well as an approved proposal. Evidence of the approved proposal must be on file in the Dean’s Office before a student can advance to candidacy.


Once enrolled in LING 999 Doctoral Dissertation, students must follow the university's continuous registration policy as specified in AP.6.10.6 Dissertation Research. Students who defend in the summer must be registered for at least 1 credit of LING 999 Doctoral Dissertation.

Students apply to this degree a minimum of 12 dissertation credits (LING 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and LING 999 Doctoral Dissertation combined) with at least 3 credits of LING 999 Doctoral Dissertation. Because of the continuous registration policy, students may be required to register for additional credits of these courses.

Dissertation Research 12
Doctoral Dissertation Proposal  
Doctoral Dissertation  
Total Credits 12