The program is structured by the guiding idea that linguistics is a unified discipline, with crossfertilization between subdisciplines a major source of growth and innovation. Students study each of the three core areas intensively over the first year and a half, and then specialize according to their interests.
From the start, the curriculum is designed to facilitate original research: in addition to course-related work, students present two qualifying papers, written in close consultation with faculty, one at the end of the second year, the other at the end of the third year. Dissertation research and writing take up the fourth and fifth years. Students are encouraged to gain expertise in other areas related to linguistics. Many students work closely with faculty in Cognitive Psychology, Philosophy, or Computer Science. The Cognitive Science Center (RuCCS) supports a Certificate Program to be pursued alongside the Ph.D., which offers special opportunities for research in psycholinguistics and computational linguistics. Our department also offers a Certificate Program in Language Learnng and Teaching. Further details on the LLT certificate can be found here. We also offer specialized tracks for research in particular areas of linguistics, such as psycholinguistics.
- Graduate courses are listed here.
- The learning goals and assessment are listed here.
- The formal requirements are detailed below.
The requirements stated below are binding on all graduate students in the Linguistics Ph. D. Program as of January 2004, and they supersede all previous statements of the program requirements. Some adjustments of these policies may be forthcoming, but students may count on the enforcement of requirements here stated.
A. Course Work
Students are required to take two courses in each of the core areas in their first year: Syntax 1 and 2, Semantics 1 and 2, and Phonology 1 and 2.
Students must also take a third course in each of these three core areas by the end of year 2. If there is a course conflict, one may be taken during the third year. The Graduate Program Director will advise such matters.
Students are required to register for three semesters of the Qualifying Paper Workshop (QPW) in the Fall of Year 2, Spring of Year 2, and Fall of Year 3. A fourth semester of QPW may be taken in the Spring of Year 3.
In addition, students must take four "contentful" courses (not research or independent study credits) by the end of year four.
Years 4 and 5 are devoted to work on the dissertation.
A typical timeline for coursework is presented in the following table
A full course load 12 credits per semester, but students can register for up to 16 credits
The Graduate School requires a minimum of 72 credits for a Ph.D degree, including at least 24 research credits.
TA's get 6 credits towards their minimum workload for the semester and may register for research credits during the summer.
Students may register for two semesters of Linguistics colloquium. The option for registering for the Colloquium is typically open to students in their first graduate year, but the Graduate Director may allow registration in a later year if it is deemed appropriate.
B. Qualifying Papers
Students are required to write two Qualifying Papers (QPs): one in the second year, and a second in the third year.
The QPs must be in distinct areas and use different methodological approaches.
Each QP must be defended before a Qualifying Paper committee, which assigns the QP one of two grades: Pass or Fail.
The commitee comprises three members of the Graduate Faculty for Linguistics (Full Members of the Linguistics Department and Associate Members from other departments). Prior approval of the Graduate Program Director is needed to include members from outside the Graduate Faculty for linguistics. Of these, the chair and at least one other member, must be full members of the Lingusitics Department.
The timeline for the first two QPs, including key deadlines, is presented in the following table:
On obtaining a Pass on BOTH QPs and completing the contentful course requirement discussed in (A), students must file the appropriate paper work with the Graduate School for Advancement to Candidacy. The Graduate School requires Advancement to be completed at least two semesters prior to Dissertation defense.
|Ph.D students are required to write a dissertation.
The dissertation must be defended before a Dissertation committee, which will assign one of two grades: Pass or Fail. The committee compromises three internal members and one external member.
The three internal members must belong to the Graduate Faculty for Linguistics (Full Members of the Linguistics Department and Associate Members from other Departments). Of these, the chair and at least one other member must be full members of the Linguistics Department.
The fourth member must be from outside the Graduate Faculty for Linguistics
Beginning in Year 4, the following steps are involved in the Dissertation process:
The Graduate School requires that the dissertation be completed within 7 years of entry into a program, with the proviso that the candidate must apply for 1-year extensions thereafter. The Linguistics Department will grant no more than three such extensions, except in the most extraordinary circumstances. Students must make a formal request for extension to the Graduate Program Director at least two months in advance.
- By September 30 of year 4: Form a committee of at least three faculty members, including one designated as Chair
- By the end of the Fall semester of year 4: Defend a dissertation proposal before the committee, and obtain a Pass on it
- By the end of Spring semester of year 4: Add an external committee member. The appointment has to go through the Graduate Program Director and needs the approval of the chair of the Dissertation committee.
- By the end of Spring semester of year 5: Defend the dissertation before the committee (the external member may be absent), and obtain a Pass from all the four members.
D. Language Requirement
|There is no formal language requirement. Students without sufficient exposure to languages other than English are vigorously encouraged to take appropriate measures to correct this.
E. Standing in the Ph. D. Program
- The faculty will meet each semester to discuss student progress. For each student the faculty will decide whether the student's current standing is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory (otherwise). This decision will represent the overall assessment by the faculty and will be based on all aspects of the student's work, including the completed course work, any incompletes (how many and why), progress on the qualifying papers, dissertation research, and any other relevant factors.
- For any student in unsatisfactory standing the faculty will further decide on the appropriate course of action. Normally, this will be either (a) or (b):
(a) the student may be allowed to continue in the program, subject to meeting specified conditions for regaining satisfactory standing by a specified deadline;
(b) alternatively, the faculty may decide that option (a) is not feasible. Normally, this will imply that the student cannot continue in the Ph. D. program. However, the student may still be awarded a terminal M.A. degree at the discretion of the department.
- Reporting on these decisions, the Graduate Director will write a letter of standing to each student every semester. The letter will inform the student about his or her current standing as well as any recommendations made by the faculty at the meeting. Furthermore, if the student is in unsatisfactory standing, the letter will also convey the faculty decisions in regards to the aforementioned points discussed above, as appropriate.