MA students are generally advised by the Graduate Advisor, though they may also select a personal faculty advisor. If you are on the thesis plan, your advisor will be your thesis advisor. If you do not select a personal advisor, the graduate advisor will serve as your advisor throughout the program. Completion of an MA degree calls for a minimum of three semesters of study; four semesters is usual. Up to 9 graduate credits may be transferred from prior institutions (provided that they have not already been applied toward a degree). Proficiency in a language other than English equivalent to at least the junior year of college study is required for admission to the MA. Otherwise qualified students admitted to the MA without this level of proficiency must make up the deficiency, by taking appropriate courses. Native speakers of a language other than English automatically satisfy this requirement. If you hope to enter the PhD program, you may apply in third semester of matriculation in the MA. A special hard-copy internal application is available in the main office. If you are accepted to the PhD program, you do not need to complete the MA before starting the PhD. However, you should be forewarned that admission to the PhD program is by no means guaranteed to MA students. Admission to the PhD program is highly competitive.
To retain full-time status, you must be registered for at least five credits of coursework, at least one hour of MA Candidate for Degree or at least one MA thesis hour (up to a maximum of 6 MA thesis credits). You must also maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all coursework in order to remain in good standing, according to Graduate School rules. Graduate students are strongly discouraged from requesting Incomplete (I) grades from instructors. An I will lapse into an F should the work not be completed within the required interval. Any retroactive request for withdrawal from a course can be approved only by a vote of the faculty, and there must be a compelling reason to grant a retroactive withdrawal.
By the end of the second semester of doctoral study, students must choose an advisor and a three-member advisory committee appropriate to their intended specialization. Failing to choose a thesis advisor and advisory committee may be considered insufficient progress toward the PhD. After the advisory committee has been constituted, students consult with the advisor and committee members about their course work and other requirements. This is critical, since the advisory committee has the responsibility and power to approve virtually all degree requirements for the individual student beyond the minimum core required by the Department. The advisory committee will also read and evaluate your synthesis paper. Typically, the three-member advisory committee forms the core of your thesis committee, which is composed of five members (including one CU faculty member from outside Linguistics). Tenured or tenure-track faculty members from the CU Department of Linguistics must constitute a majority of both the three-member and five-member committees.
You should expect to consult with your official advisor regularly. You must consult with your advisor to lift your advising hold so that you can register each semester and will also register you for dissertation credits once you are done with coursework. It is your advisor’s duty to monitor your progress and to let both you and the rest of the faculty know their assessment of it. Students who are not making adequate progress will be so informed and remedial measures will be taken. Note that any LING PhD student who enters another graduate program that stops progress toward the LING PhD (e.g., the SLHS MA program) must resign from the Linguistics PhD program and then re-apply for admission.