PhD Program

The Department of Linguistics is pleased to announce that we are accepting admissions for the PhD program beginning in the fall of 2022. The application deadline is December 15, 2021. For mor information about the program and the application process, please see below and also the Frequently Asked Questions page. If you consider applying to our program for fall 2022, or have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Marta-Ortega Llebaria,


We only accept PhD students with specialization in areas in which the core faculty have expertise. These areas include phonetics/phonology, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, Hispanic linguistics, and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Students can receive training in statistical modeling and data science. Because PhD students follow highly individualized programs and work closely with their professors, only a limited number of applicants can be admitted to the doctoral program at a time.

Besides previous training in linguistics, the major substantive criteria for admission are evidence of excellent potential for doctoral-level study in linguistics and a good fit between the applicant's scholarly interests and those of relevant faculty members. Applicants for the PhD program must submit samples of their best written work in linguistics in support of their application. Without such supporting evidence, admission is very unlikely. For more information on the application process and requirements, please refer to the application process.


The School of Arts and Sciences requires a minimum of 72 credits beyond the baccalaureate for a PhD degree; credits earned for the MA will of course count toward this total. Students who received their MA degree in the department can normally use all earned credits toward the PhD degree; entering students may transfer a maximum of 30 credits, provided the course work is the equivalent of that taught in the department. In the rare case of a student entering without the equivalent of the linguistics core courses for the MA in applied linguistics, those courses must first be completed.

View course descriptions at the University's Graduate Catalog.

Current MA students who wish to move to the PhD program upon completion of their MA degree need not submit a completely new application. They must, however, write a letter to the director of graduate studies requesting that they be considered for the PhD program. In this letter, they should indicate what subfield their PhD research will focus on and which faculty member(s) they would like to work with. Students must discuss the possibility of doing the PhD with the faculty member(s) before applying. If students wish to be considered for admission to the PhD program, they must submit this letter before February 1 of the academic year before they intend to enter the PhD program. The students should clearly state whether financial aid is being requested.

Knowledge of other languages

No foreign language prerequisite is needed to apply to the graduate program. However, by end of the PhD program, students should have knowledge of other languages as described in the Department's Graduate Student Handbook.

Comprehensive Examinations

A comprehensive examination precedes admission to candidacy and dissertation research.


When students have successfully completed the PhD comprehensive examination, they must prepare a dissertation prospectus and present it in a formal dissertation overview meeting. Upon approval of the prospectus, students will be admitted to candidacy for the PhD. They must then prepare and submit a dissertation that is a contribution to linguistic knowledge.

Specific information about the requirements is available for the following topics and can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook:

  • Comprehensive papers
  • Dissertation proposal
  • More information on PhD requirements


Photo above:  PhD graduate, Dr. Matthew John Hadodo conducted ethnographic fieldwork on the Istanbul Greek community in the summer of 2016. Here is a former Greek boys' grammar school that has since been converted into a Turkish film academy. Located in the Asian side of Istanbul (Üsküdar, formerly Σκούταρι Skutari), the Neoclassical building with Doric columns also boasts a Turkish flag covering the Greek writing and the traditional Nazar or Evil Eye commonplace in the Mediterranean.