The School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures offers a rigorous doctoral program in theoretical linguistics, drawing on work in syntax, phonology, phonetics, morphology and more to train authoritative scholars with a comprehensive understanding of the discipline. Our program also has a long tradition of field work-based research and work closely with speakers, collaborators and educators in our local First Nations communities. PhD students take six courses and conduct two small-scale independent research projects as part of their candidacy requirements. Post-candidacy, students complete a doctoral thesis, based on original research, which is expected to make a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of linguistics. Students benefit from a low student-to-faculty ratio that ensures personalized attention to each student's academic needs and research goals. Students are expected to complete the program within four years; we guarantee funding packages of $22,000/year for four years.
Completing this program
- Core Courses: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Linguistics, Advanced Syntactical Analysis and Advanced Phonological Analysis.
- Language: Knowledge of a language other than English demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Graduate Studies Committee.
- Thesis: Students will be required to submit and defend an original thesis.
- Additional Courses: Topics may include semantics, morphology, language acquisition, historical linguistics, quantitative modelling and others.
- Candidacy: Students complete a primary and a secondary research paper, which they defend in a Field of Study examination. Students must also complete a written thesis research proposal.
Linguistics PhDs also have the skills to pursue a variety of non-academic career paths. Students interested in the computational side of linguistics may work on speech recognition, speech synthesis, artificial intelligence, natural language processing or computer-mediated language learning. Students interested in language education may teach English as a Second language or develop educational materials, train language teachers, or work on assessment methods for more effectively teaching language. Linguists may also work in translation or interpretation. Field linguists work on the preservation of endangered languages by conducting fieldwork, documenting a language, or establishing literacy programs for endangered language communities. Linguists also work in speech-language pathology, audiology, publishing, law, national security, medicine, editing, market research, and the film industry.
A PhD in linguistics is usually considered a final degree.