Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Linguistics Ph.D.

Linguistics, Institute of
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Institute of Linguistics, 205 Elliott Hall, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-624-3331; fax: 612-624-4579)
Email: ling@umn.edu
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2018
  • Length of program in credits: 78
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Investigation in phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics seeks to determine general principles governing the structure and use of human language and the parameters that determine degree and manner of variation across languages. These core areas constitute the foundation for other sub-fields of linguistics, including psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, computational linguistics, and neurolinguistics.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
There are no specific prerequisites for admission. Students admitted normally have a broad undergraduate background that includes some linguistics courses
Special Application Requirements:
Applicants must submit the following application materials by December 15 of the preceding academic year: (i) University of Minnesota Application form; (ii) a statement of purpose; (iii) a writing sample; (iv) three letters of recommendation; (v) a supplementary questionnaire; (vi) transcripts from each college or university attended; (vii) GRE scores; (viii) English Language Proficiency Scores (TOEFL, MELAB or IELTS) are required of international applicants. Entry is for fall semester but may be permitted in other semesters in exceptional cases.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
42 credits are required in the major.
12 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Language Requirement: See below.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Students must demonstrate competence (the equivalent of two or more years of study) in two languages other than their native language before the PhD can be awarded. Upon completion of required coursework, students must pass a preliminary written exam. To pass the preliminary written exam, a student must complete (1) a paper judged to be of near publishable quality by the student's committee in the student's primary area of specialization; (2) a paper judged to be of near publishable quality by the student's committee in the student's chosen secondary area of specialization. Students are required to pass the preliminary oral exam. The preliminary oral exam is a presentation and defense of a research-paper-length dissertation prospectus, which introduces and motivates the student's dissertation topic and provides a detailed plan for completion of the dissertation. Students are required to complete a dissertation and pass the Final Oral Exam, which is a defense of the completed dissertation.
Required Courses
LING 5001 - Introduction to Linguistics [SOCS] (4.0 cr)
LING 5201 - Syntactic Theory I (3.0 cr)
LING 5202 - Syntactic Theory II (3.0 cr)
LING 5205 - Semantics (3.0 cr)
LING 5302 - Phonological Theory I (3.0 cr)
LING 5303 - Phonological Theory II (3.0 cr)
LING 8005 - Research Paper Workshop (3.0 cr)
LING 8105 - Field Methods in Linguistics I (4.0 cr)
LING 8106 - Field Methods in Linguistics II (4.0 cr)
LING 8210 - Seminar in Syntax (3.0 cr)
Linguistics Seminar Courses
Take 9 or more credit(s) from the following:
· LING 8200 - Topics in Syntax and Semantics (3.0 cr)
· LING 8210 - Seminar in Syntax (3.0 cr)
· LING 8300 - Topics in Phonetics and Phonology (3.0 cr)
· LING 8500 - Topics in Second Language Acquisition (3.0 cr)
· LING 8900 - Seminar: Topics in Linguistics (3.0 cr)
· LING 8921 - Seminar in Language and Cognition (3.0 cr)
· LING 8991 - Independent Study (1.0-4.0 cr)
Supporting Program Courses
The required 12 credits of coursework from outside the major can be in the same field or in different fields. 6 credits of outside coursework from the M.A. may be used towards the PhD supporting program requirement.
Thesis Credits
Take 24 or more credit(s) from the following:
· LING 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral (1.0-24.0 cr)
· LING 8888W - Thesis Credit Dissertation Seminar (1.0-3.0 cr)
 
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LING 5001 - Introduction to Linguistics (SOCS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00099 - Ling 3001/3001H/5001
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Scientific study of human language. Methods, questions, findings, and perspectives of modern linguistics. Components of the language system (phonetics/phonology, syntax, semantics/pragmatics); language acquisition; language and social variables; language and cognition; language change; language processing; language and public policy; language and cognition.
LING 5201 - Syntactic Theory I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01958
Typically offered: Every Fall
Concepts/issues in current syntactic theory. prereq: 3001 or 3001H or 5001 or instr consent
LING 5202 - Syntactic Theory II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01961 - Ling 4202/Ling 5202
Prerequisites: 4201 or 5201
Typically offered: Every Spring
Modern syntactic theory. Syntactic phenomena in various languages. Syntactic argumentation, development of constraints on grammar formalisms. prereq: 4201 or 5201
LING 5205 - Semantics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Analysis of sentence meaning. Semantic properties. Relations such as analyticity, entailment, quantification, and genericity. Philosophical background, formal techniques of semantic analysis, how sentence meaning depends on word meaning, syntax, and context. The role of semantics in grammatical theory. prereq: [4201 or 5201] or instr consent
LING 5302 - Phonological Theory I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00065
Typically offered: Every Fall
How sounds are organized/patterned in human languages. Phonological theory/problem-solving for advanced work in in linguistics. Analyzing data. Presenting written solutions to problem sets. prereq: 3001 or 3001H or 5001 or instr consent
LING 5303 - Phonological Theory II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01962 - Ling 4303/Ling 5303
Prerequisites: 4302W or 5302 or #
Typically offered: Every Spring
Phonology of human languages. Reading papers in the literature. Doing research in phonology. prereq: 4302W or 5302 or instr consent
LING 8005 - Research Paper Workshop
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Workshop on research methodology/writing in linguistics. prereq: [5105, 5202, 5205, [4302W or 5302]] or [instr consent, grad ling major]
LING 8105 - Field Methods in Linguistics I
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Techniques and practice in obtaining/analyzing linguistic data from an unfamiliar language through direct interaction with a native speaker. Study of a language by elicitation of speech samples/analysis of patterns that emerge. prereq: [5001, 5201, 5302, grad linguistics major] or instr consent
LING 8106 - Field Methods in Linguistics II
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Continued analysis through work with a native speaker of language begun in 8105. Greater emphasis on analysis of recorded texts of various kinds. Some grammars of the language/contents compared with field notes from previous semester. prereq: 8105 (taken in same academic yr)
LING 8210 - Seminar in Syntax
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Current issues in syntactic theory. Topics vary. prereq: 5202, 5205 or instr consent
LING 8200 - Topics in Syntax and Semantics
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Syntax and semantics of natural language, with particular emphasis on the interface between the two. prereq: 5202, 5205 or instr consent
LING 8210 - Seminar in Syntax
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Current issues in syntactic theory. Topics vary. prereq: 5202, 5205 or instr consent
LING 8300 - Topics in Phonetics and Phonology
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
N/A prereq: 5303 or instr consent
LING 8500 - Topics in Second Language Acquisition
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
tbd prereq: 5001, 5505
LING 8900 - Seminar: Topics in Linguistics
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Topics vary. See Class Schedule. prereq: instr consent
LING 8921 - Seminar in Language and Cognition
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Language-related issues in cognitive science from a linguistic perspective. Serves as elective for cognitive science minor, but only for linguistics nonmajors. prereq: instr consent
LING 8991 - Independent Study
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 15.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Independent Study prereq: instr consent
LING 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral
Credits: 1.0 -24.0 [max 100.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 24 cr required
LING 8888W - Thesis Credit Dissertation Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 24.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
A means for students to make progress on the dissertation in a structured setting. Brings together students writing on related topics. Credits are applied to doctoral thesis credits. Contact instructor for description. prereq: Doctoral student who has passed oral prelims