Ph.D Program

course work for students admitted prior to Fall 2021

Students are required to take two courses in each of the core areas in their first year: Syntax I and II, Semantics I and II, and Phonology I and II.

Students must also take a third course in each of these three core areas (Syntax III, Semantics III, Phonology III) 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 the Qualifying Paper Workshop (QPW) in the Fall of Year 2 and the Spring of Year 2. A third semester of QPW may be taken in the Spring of Year 3.

In addition, students must take five "contentful" three credit courses (not research or independent study credits) by the end of year four.

Years 4 and 5 are devoted to work on the dissertation.


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.

A typical timeline for coursework is presented in the following table

SemesterYear 1Year 2Year 3Years 4-5
FALL Syntax I Two Courses from Area III One Course from Area III Dissertation requirements
  Semantics I QPW One Contentful Course or QPW  
  Phonology I      
SPRING Syntax II Two Contentful Courses Two Contentful Courses Dissertation requirements
  Semantics II QPW    
  Phonology II      

An Area III course is one of Syntax III, Semantics III and Phonology III. Students must have taken all 3 Area III courses by the end of year 3.

A full course load 9 credits per semester, but students can register for up to 12 credits with the permission of the GPD.

The Graduate School requires a minimum of 72 credits for a Ph.D degree, divided into 48 course credits and 24 research credits.

TAs get 6 credits towards their minimum workload for each semester.