The Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences (CLPS) offers three Ph.D. programs: in Cognitive Science, Linguistics, and Psychology. An entering student is accepted by the department and formally chooses one of the three Ph.D. programs after completing the first year. The department does not accept students interested in obtaining terminal master’s degrees.
Linguistics focuses on the nature of human language: modeling human linguistic knowledge and its theoretical, behavioral, and biological bases. Our graduate program is designed to prepare students for careers as scientists and teachers who will make contributions in academic or applied settings. Students will gain broad competence in the scientific issues using formal, theoretical, experimental, and/or computational methods relevant to modeling linguistic domains, and are expected to develop expertise in one or more research specializations. We especially encourage directions of study that bridge work in theoretical linguistics with experimental and/or computational methods.Programs of study are highly individualized. Decisions about research and coursework are made in close collaboration with a research advisor and graduate committee chosen by each student. Students may change areas and advisors as their interests develop. Students are also encouraged to collaborate with faculty members who are not their primary advisers.
Semantics and syntax. Formal semantics, the syntax-semantics interface, lexical semantics, the interaction of information structure, discourse and pragmatics with semantics and syntax, categorial grammar and related theories of syntax. Primary faculty: Jacobson and Kertz.
Phonetics and phonology. Acoustic properties of phonetic categories of speech; physiological basis of articulation and perception; phonetic and phonological theories and the phonetic/phonological interface. Primary faculty: Blumstein, Cohen Priva, and Morgan.
Psycholinguistics and language processing. The experimental study of language processing across linguistic domains and the relationship between experimental and theoretical approaches to language. Primary faculty: Blumstein, Cohen Priva, and Kertz.
Language acquisition. Empirical and computational study of typical and atypical infant speech perception, spoken word recognition, and word learning, phonology, syntax. Primary faculty: Morgan.
Students accepted into the Linguistics Ph.D. program are guaranteed five years of financial support contingent on satisfactory progress toward the degree. The support includes full-time tuition, health fee, and a stipend to cover basic living expenses during the academic year. The department also typically provides summer stipends if the student continues to work on research over the summer. Support normally comes in the form of teaching or research assistantships, and students are encouraged to apply for their own fellowships (e.g., NSF) before or after being admitted to the program.
Ph.D. in Linguistics: Ten substantive courses (including at least one course in phonetics, one in phonology, one in syntax, one in semantics, and at least two courses drawn from the following areas: acquisition, computational linguistics, neurolinguistics, and/or psycholinguistics, first-year project (research and/or critical literature review and synthesis) and oral presentation, four semesters of teaching, major paper and oral defense of the major paper, dissertation proposal and oral dissertation proposal meeting, doctoral dissertation and oral presentation. In addition, Ph.D. candidates in linguistics must demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language (usually French, German, or Russian or knowledge of a foreign language to a level suitable for conducting linguistic research on that language. Non-native speakers of English may use English for their foreign language requirement.
Writing sample recommended.
GRE General: Required (no minimum required)
GRE Subject: Not required
Application deadline: December 15
The electronic application asks for a declaration of area interests. More than one option may be chosen, and this choice only expresses current interests; it does not prevent an admitted applicant from pursuing other areas in the future.
In their statement of purpose, applicants should describe their background and interests as they relate to the preferred Ph.D. program (e.g., Linguistics) and to the research conducted by one or more faculty who might serve as research advisors.