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Ph.D. Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in linguistics is individually tailored to the needs and professional goals of the student, drawing strong interdisciplinary support from related fields on the University campus. These may include—, but are not limited to, —anthropological linguistics, cognitive science, discourse and text analysis, English linguistics, first- and second-language acquisition, language-data processing, neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics.

Residency Requirement

The Graduate School requires at least three years of full-time work beyond the baccalaureate degree for the doctorate, with at least one year spent in continuous residence on the Eugene campus. We construe the latter requirement to mean that at least six formal courses, including seminars, must be taken within the program while the student is in continuous residence for three academic terms.

Coursework: 32 Credit Hours Total

Students must complete at least 32 credits of graduate courses at the University of Oregon after commencing the Ph.D. program.  The coursework must be approved by their doctoral advisor.  Even those students who have already earned an M.A. degree are typically expected to complete all of the M.A. degree requirements at University of Oregon as part of the normal progress toward the Ph.D.

The required courses for the Ph.D. degree are
a) LING 614, 615, and 616, together with their prerequisites (LING 511, 550, 551, and 535 if determined by the student’s advisor and the Department’s Director of Graduate Studies;
b) two of LING 507, LING 607 and/or equivalent seminar courses; and
c) the sequence of courses in either field methods, quantitative methods, or philological methods, or a combination of courses from two of these areas.

For each student, the specific course requirement in (b) and (c) are to be determined by the student’s advisor and Department’s Director of Graduate Studies, as are all other courses required for the Ph.D.  No course with a grade lower than B- may be used to satisfy degree requirements.

Language Requirements

Students in the Ph.D. program must demonstrate proficiency, either by examination or through coursework, in two non-native languages. Languages which meet this requirement represent meta-languages through which a researcher gains access to subject matter in linguistics (a language for research). Traditionally, library languages, such as French, German, Russian, or Chinese, meet this requirement well. However, it is also possible to count as one of the two languages a language which is used to gain access to the field, such as Spanish would be for field work in Latin America. Knowledge of a language which is the object of study will not satisfy this requirement. A language used to satisfy the M.A. language requirement may count for the Ph.D. requirement, if that language is a research language.

Second-Year Review

  1. By the end of a doctoral student’s second year,  he or she shall be given a review by the faculty members at a Department meeting. Materials submitted by the student to the Department for this review must include the following:  a) a report that includes a research plan for the  next year’s course work, potential topics for the two qualifying papers, a statement about the student’s career plans beyond the  Ph.D. degree (and how the specific QP/thesis topics are  relevant), and any other details worked out in consultation with the student’s advisor; (b) a c.v.; and (c) written evidence of research progress and scholarly potential, such as a  substantive term paper or revision of a term paper that demonstrates excellence of original research, or a Linguistics Master’s thesis. The materials must be submitted to the Department  by April 15 .
  2. Following review of these materials, the faculty decides either to accept or deny the student for continued study in the Ph.D. program. In some cases, a probation year may be granted for a student’s third year of study; the review process is repeated at the end of the third year with an accept outcome the only possibility for continued study.
  3. As soon as possible after completion of the review, a letter to each graduate student under review is issued by the DGS informing the student of his or her status and, in the case of a one-year probation, specifying the conditions that must be met for a successful outcome during the additional third-year review. The language of the probation conditions is drafted by the student’s doctoral advisor and the DGS. The DGS may also meet with any students who are denied continued study or who are granted probation.

Annual Review

Beginning in the third year of the program, each graduate student must submit an annual report and CV to his or her advisor by April 15 of each year. The report should be no more than one page in length and should detail what the student has accomplished over the past year in the program.

Doctoral Examination

1. QP requirements. The doctoral examination in the Department consists of two original publishable papers, of substantial length and quality, in different subfields of linguistics (QPs). The term “different subfields” may include two different methodological approaches to a single broad topic. A QP is considered publishable if the QP review committee deems it to stand a reasonable chance of acceptance by a refereed venue such as a peer-reviewed journal, although the QP itself is not required to be accepted for publication, and may be submitted to a non-refereed venue.

An unmodified M.A. thesis cannot serve as one of the QPs. A QP may be, however, a publishable expansion or revision of an M.A. thesis or publishable term paper written for a course conducted by any faculty member in the Department or, where deemed reasonable, for a course conducted by a faculty member outside the Department. The QP may be written under the supervision of either (a) the student’s advisor or (b) another faculty member, in consultation with the student’s advisor, who approves the topic and the final version.

On submitting each QP to the committee, and after consultation with the student’s advisor, the student indicates in a cover note or e-mail to the QP coordinator the intended publication venue for the QP. In reviewing the QP, the QP committee takes into consideration the appropriateness of the proposed venue for the content of the QP.

Submission of both QPs to the proposed venue(s) is required before the student can advance to candidacy. Before applying to the Graduate School for advancement to candidacy, the student must submit to the QP coordinator either (a) his or her cover letter to the venue to which each of the two QPs was sent, or (b) in the case of invited publications, the invitation letter. The publishing venue may be a refereed journal, a refereed or non-refereed conference proceedings volume, an online publication, or another venue. While submission of each QP to a publishing venue is required for advancement to candidacy, acceptance for publication is not a requirement.

2. QP committee composition. A committee of three faculty members is drawn up to review each QP. The committee is composed of two faculty member reviewers and the student’s doctoral advisor. In cases where the QP supervisor is not the student’s doctoral advisor, the doctoral advisor will be one of the two reviewers and the QP supervisor will be the third member of the QP committee.The advisor sits on both of an individual student’s committees, whereas at least one of the two faculty reviewers serves on only one of the two QP committees. One of the two faculty members on the committee may be from another Department, where appropriate.

Upon completion and documented submission to a publisher of both QPs, and completion of all required course work and research language requirement, the student advances to candidacy for the Ph.D degree. The student and the Department must electronically submit the advancement to candidacy to the Graduate School for approval.

3. QP coordinator and reviewers. The QP coordinator is a member of the faculty who receives QPs submitted by the graduate students (after approval of the QP by the student’s doctoral advisor), selects reviewers for the QP in consultation with the doctoral advisor, sends the QP to the reviewers and sets a deadline for review (generally six weeks), receives the reviewers’ comments and decisions, sends a summary of the comments and decisions, together with the reviewers’ specific comments, to the doctoral advisor and the student, and notifies the Department when the QP is submitted and when it is accepted by the reviewers.

In the event that one or both of the reviewers requests revisions, after the student’s doctoral advisor approves the revised version of the QP, the student submits the revised version to the QP coordinator. A QP reviewer may choose whether or not to review the revised QP version. If a reviewer chooses to review the revised version, the QP coordinator sends the revised version to the reviewer and sets a deadline for review (generally four weeks). Any further comments or revision requirements from the reviewer or reviewers are sent by the QP coordinator to the doctoral advisor and the student for further revision.

In the event that both reviewers reject a QP, the student may submit a substitute QP, with the approval of the doctoral advisor. Except by petition to the faculty and subsequent faculty approval, there may be no third submission of a QP.

Doctoral Committee and Dissertation

The doctoral committee must include at least three Linguistics faculty members and one outside member, and must be either chaired or co-chaired by the student’’s doctoral advisor in Linguistics. A dissertation prospectus must be submitted in writing to, and approved by, the doctoral committee before the writing of the dissertation commences. The Ph.D. will be granted upon completion of the preceding requirements, the writing of an original dissertation acceptable to the doctoral committee, and an oral examination on the dissertation.