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Anthony C. Woodbury, Chair CLA 4.304, Mailcode B5100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1701

Ph.D. Program


The program of work for the PhD in linguistics requires 54 hours of coursework, to be completed prior to advancing to candidacy in the PhD program.

All graduate students must take the following 6 courses (18 credit hours).

LIN 381M - Phonetics 
LIN 380K - Phonology I 
LIN 381K - Phonology II 
LIN 380L - Syntax I
LIN 381L - Syntax II
LIN 380M - Semantics I

In addition to the courses above, PhD students must successfully complete two additional years (36 credit hours) of approved coursework. Approved means that you will work out your program with your graduate advisor and your personal academic advisor, and your plan will be approved on this basis. This coursework must include:

  • Nine credit hours in a minor area. The hours must represent a coherent area of study in linguistics and/or a closely related field.
  • The Forum for Doctoral Candidates (taken in the 5th semester)
  • The balance of credits will be for courses in the primary area of specialization.
  • We expect students to enroll in seminars in the major area (most LIN courses beyond the basic core are seminars).

PhD Qualifying Procedures

  • To qualify for PhD candidacy, a student must complete all specified course work, submit an acceptable paper in the minor area (written in conjunction with a seminar in the same area), and submit one paper (Qualifying Paper) in the area of primary specialization.
  • The Graduate Advisor will appoint two faculty readers to evaluate the Qualifying Paper (the student may suggest names) with appropriate areas of specialization.
  • Students are expected to submit a proposal for their Qualifying Paper in the spring semester preceding the fall term in which they will register for the Doctoral Forum. Students are expected to work on the paper over the summer and then finish it during the fall term in conjunction with the Doctoral Forum.
  • The topic must have the Graduate Advisor's signed approval. After a Qualifying Paper has been submitted, the student may not request a change in topic or a change in readers for that paper.
  • The Doctoral Forum (Linguistics 397) is specifically designed to give participants the opportunity to present their work in progress and receive feedback from fellow students as well as the instructor. The Forum is to be taken on a Credit/No Credit basis.
  • Students must submit two copies of the Qualifying Paper to the Graduate Advisor by the end of the fifth semester in residence, counting from the date when the student first entered the graduate program, whether as an MA or a PhD student.
  • The Graduate Advisor will distribute a copy of the paper to each of the two previously appointed faculty readers, who will report an evaluation of "pass," "pass contingent on oral," "fail," or "revise," normally within two weeks of the date of submission.

PhD Candidacy

  • Application to Candidacy

After completion of the requirements described above, the student is eligible to apply for PhD Candidacy with the Graduate School. This requires the submission of an approved Program of Work and an Application for PhD Candidacy, both of which must be approved by the Graduate Advisor. The candidacy application, which includes the dissertation proposal and lists the proposed committee members, must also be signed by the supervising professor. The application for Candidacy must be submitted online through UT Direct. Information can be found at the Office of Graduate Studies website.

  • Continuous Registration

Graduate Students who have been admitted to PhD candidacy are required to register continuously (every fall and spring) from the time they are admitted to candidacy through the semester in which they receive their degree. Students are responsible for maintaining their own continuous registration.

  • Third-Year Review

Unless a student completes the doctoral degree within three years from the date of admission to candidacy, the Graduate Studies Committee will review his or her dissertation progress at the end of three years and annually thereafter and will report its recommendations to the Graduate Dean. The committee may recommend: (1) additional course work, (2) other additional requirements, (3) extending candidacy for one or two semesters, or (4) termination of candidacy.

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