Educational Linguistics, PhD

The Educational Linguistics Ph.D. enables students to pursue research on language learning, teaching language, and the role of language in teaching and learning.

The Educational Linguistics, Ph.D. program is rooted in the view that language must be examined within the cultural contexts and social situations in which it occurs. Faculty and students are involved in generating research on language and learning in areas such as:

  • Bilingualism, biliteracy, and bilingual education
  • Multilingual language planning and policy
  • Linguistic, cognitive, and sociocultural aspects of (language) learning, and (second) language acquisition/socialization
  • Educational and social consequences of ethnic and linguistic diversity
  • Local/global perspectives on English language teaching policy and practice in K-12 and higher education
  • Multimodal discourse in social and institutional settings
  • Language revitalization

View the University’s Academic Requirements for PhD Degrees.

The total course units required for graduation is 20. If approved by your advisor, 8 CUs may be transferred into the program; normally these will be electives. Core courses may not be transferred in. The requirements include 5 core courses, 3 research courses, 3 linguistics courses, and your choice of elective courses agreed upon with your advisor. All courses must be at the 500 level or above.

Core Requirements
EDUC 537Educational Linguistics1
EDUC 546Sociolinguistics in Education1
EDUC 661Language Diversity and Education1
EDUC 670Second Language Development1
Select one of the following 900-Level Doctoral Seminars:
EDUC 911Issues in Second Language Acquisition1
or EDUC 927 Research Seminar: Language Policy and Education
Research Methods
Select one Quantitative Methods course1
Select one Qualitative Methods course1
Select one Advanced Quantitative OR Qualitative Methods course1
Linguistics
Select one course from the Linguistics Dept in one of the following core areas: Phonetics, Phonology Morphology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics 1
Select two additional courses, which may be from the Linguistics Dept., Anthropology Dept., or other relevant linguistics course2
Electives
Select nine course units9
Total Course Units20

Required Milestones

Qualifications Evaluation (Also known as Program Candidacy)

A Qualifications Evaluation of each student is conducted after the completion of 6 but not more than 8 course units. The evaluation is designed by the specialization faculty and may be based on an examination or on a review of a student’s overall academic progress.

Preliminary Examination (Also known as Doctoral Candidacy)

A Candidacy Examination on the major subject area is required.  The candidacy examination is a test of knowledge in the student's area of specialization, requiring students to demonstrate knowledge and reasoning in the key content areas in their specialization as defined by their academic division. This examination is normally held after the candidate has completed all required courses.

Oral Proposal

All doctoral candidates must present their dissertation proposals orally and in person to the dissertation committee.

Final Defense of the Dissertation

The final dissertation defense is approximately two hours in length and is based upon the candidate’s dissertation. 

Inquiry Skill: Foreign Language Examination

 Students in the Educational Linguistics program must demonstrate proficiency in one nonnative language. Students may offer evidence of proficiency on admission, otherwise they must demonstrate adequate knowledge of their preferred language by passing an examination.


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2020 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.