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Learning Goals

The goal of the Ph.D Program in Linguistics is to train students for careers in research and teaching in theoretical or applied linguistics. 

Upon successful completion of the program, students must demonstrate:

  • in-depth knowledge of at least one core area of linguistics centered in phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax or semantics
  • the ability to perform advanced linguistic analyses, based in current theoretical models in one of these areas
  • ability to conduct theory-based empirical studies of any human language and/or ability to apply core area knowledge in an ancillary subfield such as language acquisition, language processing, computational linguistics, and sociolinguistics. 
  • ability to conceptualize, design and carry out research projects and, in the case of experimental and large-scale data analysis studies, demonstrate mastery of a range of methods and analytical procedures
  • ability to construct linguistic arguments in line with scientific principles of hypothesis testing, present original research to an audience at professional conferences and write research papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals.

Three assessments are designed to evaluate the above goals:

  • The First Examination (a written Qualifying Paper)
  • The Second Examination (a written Qualifying Paper and oral defense)
  • The Dissertation and Third Examination (an oral dissertation defense)

Learn more about Examination and Dissertation requirements for the Ph.D. in Linguistics.