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Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

PhD requirements and timeline 

The official up-to-date requirements of the PhD program are posted on McGill’s website under Programs, Courses and University Regulations (http://www.mcgill.ca/study/2012-2013/faculties/arts).

There are two streams in the program (Theoretical and Experimental). In the following, we outline the requirements of each stream on a year-by-year basis.

A. THEORY STREAM

A.1. Required courses

LING 631

Phonology 3

Year 1

LING 660

Semantics 3*

Year 1

LING 671

Syntax 3

Year 1

LING 635

Phonology 4

Year 1

LING 665

Semantics 4

Year 1

LING 675

Syntax 4

Year 1

 

LING 619

Experimental Linguistics: Foundations

(Normally) Year 2

*Note: LING 660 (Semantics 3) has PHIL 210 (Introduction to Deductive Logic) as a prerequisite. Students with insufficient background in logic must take this course simultaneous with LING 660.

A.2 Complementary courses (normally taken in Year 2)

 A.2.1. One course (3 credits) from the following list:

LING 520

Sociolinguistics 2

LING 650

Testing Theories in the Laboratory

LING 521

Dialectology

LING 651

Topics in Acquisition of Phonology

LING 530

Acoustic Phonetics

LING 655

Theory of L2 Acquisition

LING 555

Language Acquisition 2

LING 751

Advanced Seminar: Experimental 1

LING 590

Language Acquisition and Breakdown

LING 752 

Advanced Seminar: Experimental 2

LING 620

Experimental Linguistics: Methods

 

A.2.2. Two additional courses (6 credits) at the 500, 600, or 700 level, at least one course in the student’s intended research area. (Students intending to specialize in semantics must take LING 661: Advanced Formal Methods.)

B. EXPERIMENTAL STREAM

B.1 Required courses

LING 631

Phonology 3

Year 1

LING 660

Semantics 3*

Year 1

LING 671

Syntax 3

Year 1

LING 619

Experimental Linguistics: Foundations

(Normally) Year 1

Two of the following courses:

LING 530

Acoustic Phonetics

Year 1

LING 635

Phonology 4

Year 1

LING 665

Semantics 4

Year 1

LING 675

Syntax 4

Year 1

Plus:

LING 620

Experimental Linguistics: Methods

(Normally) Year 2

B.2. Complementary courses (normally taken in Year 2)

B.2.1 One course (3 credits) from the following list:

LING 520

Sociolinguistics 2

LING 650

Testing Theories in the Laboratory

LING 521

Dialectology

LING 651

Topics in Acquisition of Phonology

LING 530

Acoustic Phonetics

LING 655

Theory of L2 Acquisition

LING 555

Language Acquisition 2

LING 751

Advanced Seminar: Experimental 1

LING 590

Language Acquisition and Breakdown

LING 752 

Advanced Seminar: Experimental 2

B.2.2. Two additional courses (6 credits) at the 500, 600, or 700 level, at least one course in the student’s intended research area. (Students intending to specialize in semantics must take LING 661: Advanced Formal Methods.)

PhD Evaluations (Years 2 and 3) (Both Streams)

LING 601

Graduate Research Seminar 1

Year 2 (Fall)

LING 602

Graduate Research Seminar 2

Year 2 (Winter)

LING 706

PhD Evaluation 1

Year 2 (Winter)

LING 707

PhD Evaluation 2

Year 3 (Fall)

The PhD Evaluation consists of two parts — Evaluation 1 (LING 706) and Evaluation 2 (LING 707) — each focusing on a different sub-field, chosen from the following areas: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, acquisition, computational linguistics, dialectology, neurolinguistics, processing, sociolinguistics. For each Evaluation, candidates will prepare a paper, which presents original research, suitable for presentation at a conference and/or for publication.[2] Successful completion of Evaluations 1 and 2 is a prerequisite to further supervised research for the doctoral dissertation. The requirement that each Evaluation paper focus on a different sub-field is motivated by the need to give students sufficient breadth in their education. If there are concerns about whether the topic of Evaluation paper 1 overlaps too much with the topic of Evaluation 2, the issue should be addressed with the student’s supervisor.

Timeline and deadlines

Year 1

May 15:

Constitution of committee for Evaluation 1

Year 2 

April 15:

Submission of Evaluation 1

May 15:

Constitution of committee for Evaluation 2

Year 3 

Dec 15

Submission of Evaluation 2

Two months after completion of Evaluation 2

Constitution of dissertation committee

Five months after completion of Evaluation 2

Submission of dissertation proposal

Year 4 

Thesis research and writing

Year 5 

Thesis research and writing

(The final draft of dissertations to be officially deposited by the end of August should be finished by the end of April.)

Failure to meet an Evaluation paper submission deadline may result in a failure for the Evaluation.

We strongly encourage candidates to complete the PhD within 4 or 5 years. Absolute deadline: PhD theses must be deposited no later than the end of PhD7.[3][4]

Language Acquisition Program (LAP) option 

PhD students in the interdisciplinary PhD Language Acquisition Program option must meet the above requirements (and some additional ones). For information, see http://ego.psych.mcgill.ca/lap.html and McGill’s website for Programs, Courses and University Regulations (http://www.mcgill.ca/study/2012-2013/faculties/arts).