Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.
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.
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.
Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.
Three core courses and three electives
Four years full-time; six years maximum
A supervisor is required; potential supervisors must be listed when applying to the program
A minimum of 3. GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.
A master’s degree in linguistics, or a master’s degree in a related field with significant training in linguistics at the graduate level, normally including at least one graduate course in syntax and one graduate course in phonology.
A sample of previous work in linguistics or a related field (e.g., a seminar paper or Master of Arts thesis).
A statement of purpose specifying the applicant’s research interests and reasons for wishing to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Calgary
An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:
For admission on September 1:
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4