Course Requirements

The PhD requires a total of 30 hours (10 courses) at the 6000 level or above, of which 21 hours (7 courses) must be in LING. Required courses account for 12 of the total 30 credit hours. The required courses are as follows:

  • LING 6450 (Syntactic Analysis)
  • LING 7100 (Field Methods I)
  • Any two of the courses in the following list: LING 7030 (Phonetic Theory), LING 7410 (Phonological Theory), LING 7420 (Syntactic Theory), LING 7430 (Semantic Theory), LING 7570 (Diachronic Theory)

Additional courses both within and outside the Department are chosen in consultation with the student’s thesis advisor. Courses numbered at the 5000 level can under some circumstances be used to fulfill PhD elective credits; consult with your advisor or the graduate advisor.

Transfer of Credit and Requirement Waivers

A PhD student may transfer up to 21 PhD-level coursework credits from a prior academic experience. Transferring graduate credits from another accredited institution involves a Request for Transfer Credit. This form, once completed by you, must be approved first by the Graduate Advisor and second by the Graduate School. There are numerous restrictions on transfer of credit, spelled out on the form. One of these is that you cannot request transfer credit until you have completed at least 6 credits in your graduate program.

By contrast, receiving a waiver of a PhD requirement is a process internal to the Linguistics department. You can use prior coursework to satisfy a requirement or requirements of our PhD program whether the credits corresponding to that coursework are transferred/transferrable or not. If you think that a course you took before beginning your CU Linguistics graduate career should be accepted in satisfaction of a requirement of the PhD program, give the relevant syllabus(es) to the Graduate Advisor. The Graduate Advisor may ask you for additional supporting documentation, e.g., papers that you wrote for the course. The Graduate Advisor may also consult with faculty who teach the relevant course(s) in our program. If your request for a waiver is accepted, the Graduate Advisor will note this in your graduate file and include the relevant documentation. Crucially, you must take elective credits to make up for the required credits that have been waived. In addition, the Department cannot guarantee that your request for a waiver of a graduate requirement will be accepted.

Reading Knowledge of a Research Language

All doctoral students must demonstrate the ability to read linguistic literature in a language other than English, prior to attempting the dissertation prospectus defense. The student and the advisory committee will choose the language together. The student will present the committee with a justification for the language chosen; it must be a medium for publication of pertinent linguistic literature. The committee will determine the means of satisfaction, and may in addition require mastery of another language or languages as a research skill.

Skill Requirements

All doctoral students must demonstrate a research skill appropriate to the research specialization, as determined by the student’s advisory committee. Examples of research skills are competence in a specific programming language, skills in eliciting and organizing primary linguistic data in the field and competence in statistical analysis.