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Linguistics, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 60 months
University rank #2 (QS) Stanford, CA, United States
The Department of Linguistics offers a Ph.D. program that aims to emphasize rigorous theoretical work that has at its base a firm empirical foundation in language data.  Students are provided with a broad-based background in linguistics, teaching experience in the classroom and other forums, and opportunities for original and high-quality research.  
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  • Through the completion of advanced coursework and strong methodological and analytical training, the Ph.D. program prepares students to make original contributions to knowledge in linguistics, to articulate the results of their work, and to demonstrate its significance to linguistics and related fields.  At every stage in the program, students are encouraged to present and publish their research and to develop active professional profiles.
  • Students devote the first year to coursework in core areas of linguistics.  The specific set of courses is chosen by each student in consultation with faculty advisors, allowing students to build the foundation that best suits their interests and goals.  Students may also take courses in other departments where appropriate.  During their first quarter, all students also attend a seminar introducing the research of faculty in the department.  In their second quarter, all students participate in small research groups or in one-on-one apprenticeships, allowing them to work individually and cooperatively with faculty of their own choosing.  In their third quarter, students begin work on the first of two qualifying research papers.
  • During the second and third years, the balance shifts from coursework to the further development of research skills.  Students complete two qualifying research papers during this time.
  • Once these papers are complete, each student picks a principal advisor and committee for the dissertation.  The fourth and fifth years of graduate study are devoted to the student’s dissertation work and advanced research.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 60 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Phonetics and Phonology
  • Morphology
  • Syntax 
  • Semantics and Pragmatics 
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Language Acquisitions and Psycholinguistics 
  • Sociolinguistic Variations
  • Historical Linguistics 

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

Academic Requirements

  • This programme accepts GRE® scores. However, it does not provide a recommended score range.

    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

General Requirements

Application Requirements

  • Application Fee - $125. Application fees are non-refundable and submitted with the online application. 
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores
  • Official TOEFL scores (if applicable),
  • Academic Transcripts for both undergraduate and graduate institutions
Teaching RequirementsEach student serves as a teaching assistant for three courses, spread over the second, third, and fourth years of study.  These courses generally include at least one course in the student’s main area of expertise.  Occasionally, more advanced students may be given the opportunity to teach their own course, if this accords with the department’s curricular needs.

Tuition Fee

Fellowship/assistantship salary and tuition guaranteed for first five years of the program  for all students, including international students

Living costs for Stanford

  • 1100 - 1600 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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