Linguistics, PhD

The Ph.D. program in Linguistics at Penn embraces a wide range of theoretical specializations and methodologies. What unites them is a commitment to careful and explicit formal analysis of the human capacity for learning and using language.

The core of our program is the formal generative tradition, but we encourage the cross-fertilization that results from the confrontation of empirical and theoretical perspectives on language structure. By our close collaboration with other programs (such as computer science and psychology) we promote an awareness of the broad view of language that interdisciplinary study induces. In addition to broad training, students are offered and expected to master the methods and results of their chosen areas of concentration in linguistics as a prerequisite to fruitful engagement in dialogue with others, both within and outside the program.

View the University’s Academic Rules for PhD Programs.

Required Courses

The total course units required for graduation is 20. A minimum of 12 course units must be taken at the University of Pennsylvania.

Foundational Courses
LING 5310Phonology I1
LING 5320Phonology II1
LING 5510Syntax I1
LING 5520Syntax II1
Select four of the following:4
Morphology I
Morphology II
Phonetics I: Experimental
Phonetics II: Data Science
Semantics I
Semantics II
Linguistic Field Methods
Historical and Comparative Linguistics
Language Variation & Change
Developmental Psycholinguistics

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.