Doctor of Philosophy
The Department of Linguistics offers four concentrations leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Linguistics: Applied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, and Theoretical Linguistics. Each concentration has distinct admissions profiles, distributional requirements and career paths.
Further details concerning requirements, standards and procedures for the Ph.D. are given in the Linguistics Graduate Student Handbook and the Graduate Bulletin.
The general requirements for the Ph.D. in Linguistics include:
Non-native Language Proficiency
"Research Tool" Proficiency
Second Qualifying Paper (QP2)
Oral Defense of a Dissertation
A grade point average of 3.33 is required to maintain good standing in the Ph.D. program.
Plan of Study
All doctoral students must complete a Plan of Study during their first semester in the doctoral program. This plan shall include a tentative schedule for satisfying all degree requirements, including required courses, the language requirements, the Qualifying Review, the Second Qualifying Paper (QP2), and the Oral Examination. The Plan of Study must be approved by the student's advisor during their first semester of coursework and submitted to the Graduate Program Assistant in order to be added to the student's departmental file.
A Ph.D. student who has received a Master’s degree in Linguistics or a related field may reduce the number of credit hours required for the Ph.D. program by applying for advanced standing on the basis of previous coursework. Subject to Graduate School and department approval, students with a Master’s degree in Linguistics MAY be granted up to 18 credits of advanced standing in the Ph.D. program. Students in the doctoral program who have not been granted advanced standing have a 54 credit program.
In the case of students with graduate credits which have not been applied to a previous graduate degree, the Graduate School, on recommendation of the Department, may allow up to 25% of the credits required for a degree to be transfer credits. Students must consult with their advisors during the first semester of study at Georgetown to determine if any transfer credits can be recommended.
Master's Degree in Passing
Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program can apply for M.S. degrees in passing, on completion of 36 credit hours and all other degree requirements for the M.S. See the section "Degree Requirements: Master of Science".
A doctoral student in Linguistics is required to complete a total of 54 credit hours. These credit hours will include:
• Departmental Distribution Requirements
• Concentration Courses
• Supplemental Courses
Departmental Distribution Requirements
The courses that make up our distribution requirements reflect the diversity of perspectives on language and linguistics reflected in our department. Of the 18 courses (54 hours) required for completion of the Ph.D., 9 courses (27 hours) will come from the following content/skill areas:
Each concentration requires that a substantial part of the 54 credit hours be within the concentration. Each Ph.D. student is required to take at least one seminar (most concentrations require two or more).
The remaining credit hours are taken as supplemental courses, selected under the guidance of the student’s faculty advisor. These courses will reflect the needs and interests of the individual student. They may include additional courses within the student’s concentration, linguistics courses in other concentrations, language courses, courses in other departments, and courses at area universities through the Washington Area Consortium of Universities.
Further details on department and concentration specific requirements can be found in our current Linguistics Graduate Student Handbook
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