For the Ph.D., the student is required to complete a total of 72 points of approved courses of which at least 32 points must be completed in residence at NYU. Course work in related fields must be approved in advance by the director of graduate studies. The following 4-point courses are required of all students: Phonology I, LING-GA 1210, Syntax I, LING-GA 1310, Semantics I, LING-GA 1340, Sociolinguistics, LING-GA 1510. In addition all students are required to take 3 of the following 11 courses to satisfy the breadth requirement: Field Methods, LING-GA 0044, Introduction to Morphology at an Advanced Level, LING-GA 1029, Phonology II, LING-GA 1220, Computational Phonology, LING-GA 1230, Syntactic Theory and Analysis, LING-GA 2310, Semantics II, LING-GA 2370, Linguistic Variation, LING-GA 2530, Neurolinguistics, LING-GA 2710, Sociolinguistic Field Methods, LING-GA 2540, Acoustic Phonetics, LING-GA 2110, or an extra-departmental course, as specified below. At most one of these 11 courses may be used to satisfy both a breadth requirement and the student’s area requirement (see below). Students may satisfy a breadth requirement with another graduate introductory level course either in the Linguistics department, in another department at NYU, or at a consortium partner university. Students must consult with their advisor in advance and obtain the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies if they wish to use a course not on this list to satisfy a breadth requirement.
To satisfy the area requirement, Students must take two courses that constitute an area of specialization. One of these courses may also be used to satisfy the breadth requirement. The second course should be decided on with the student’s advisor and be approved by the DGS. An area of specialization may be one of the traditional sub-disciplines of linguistics (e.g., syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, phonetics, phonology, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, language acquisition, morphology) or another area of specialization that crosses these sub-disciplines, decided on between a student and their advisor. Students are not required to choose a specialization when they enter the program. When they choose, or change, their specialization, the DGS will advise them about how to comply with the area requirements.
The remaining 40 points of the coursework is fulfilled with electives. To qualify for full-time status, Ph.D. students enroll in courses according to the following schedule. First Year: fall, 12 points; spring, 12 points. Second Year: fall, 12 points; spring, 8 points. Third Year: fall, 8 points; spring, 8 points. Fourth Year: fall, 4 points; spring, 4 points. Fifth Year: 4 points.
Language Proficiency: For the Ph.D. degree, the student must demonstrate reasonable proficiency in one language other than English that is of clear relevance to the student’s research, subject to approval by the director of graduate studies. Proficiency can generally be demonstrated in two ways: First, by earning a grade of B or better in at least the fourth term of a college foreign language course completed not more than two years before the student’s admission to the Graduate School of Arts and Science. Second, by passing the appropriate Graduate School of Arts and Science foreign language proficiency examination. When proficiency is demonstrated in some other way (e.g., when a student presents an undergraduate degree from a foreign university where the language in question is the medium of instruction for the student’s course of study), the director of graduate studies may grant a waiver of the foreign language examination.
Qualifying Papers: Students must submit qualifying papers in two different areas of linguistics. A qualifying paper (QP) is called “qualifying” because a student demonstrates that she or he is qualified to do a dissertation. It contains original thought, a command of the literature, sound linguistic analysis and argumentation, and clear presentation. Each paper must be no more than 50 double-spaced pages in length (tables, charts, spectrograms, footnotes, and bibliography included).
The student submits the first QP in the fourth semester of the student’s career and the second QP in the fifth semester. If one of the QPs contains an extensive experimental or fieldwork component, one semester may be added to that QP’s timetable. Thus, if it is the first QP, it is due in the fifth semester (and hence the second QP is due in the sixth semester), while if it is the second QP that adds an extensive experimental/ fieldwork component, it is due in the sixth rather than the fifth semester.
Dissertation Proposal: After a student has completed the second qualifying paper, the student begins work on a dissertation proposal. Once the student has selected the area in which she or he wishes to write a dissertation, the student should meet with her or his potential dissertation adviser and obtain that faculty member’s agreement to serve in that capacity. Students are expected to choose the dissertation adviser by the end of the first week of the seventh semester. This person is responsible for working with the student to make sure that the dissertation proposal is completed in a timely fashion. The student’s dissertation committee will consist of four faculty members, at least three of whom will come from within the department, in addition to the dissertation adviser. A full committee for the dissertation should be chosen by February 1 of the eighth semester.
The dissertation proposal is to be a maximum of 50 double-spaced pages, including footnotes, tables, charts, spectrograms, and bibliography. It should demonstrate a command of the literature, the significance of the dissertation (i.e., the contribution that it will make to the field), the structure of the proposed dissertation, and the student’s ability to carry out linguistic analysis of a quality appropriate for a dissertation. Students may incorporate one (or both) of the qualifying papers into the dissertation proposal if appropriate. Similarly, it is fully expected that large sections of the dissertation proposal will go directly into the dissertation.
Students are expected to complete the dissertation proposal by the third Monday in April of the eighth semester and defend the proposal by the end of the fourth year. A date for the defense will be determined in conjunction with the committee members. A proposal defense can have three outcomes: “accepted,” “accepted pending satisfactory revisions,” and “rejected.” If the proposal is not accepted (in either form) by the end of the fourth year, the student will be put on academic probation.
Dissertation: Students with an approved dissertation proposal will proceed to write the dissertation under the supervision of the dissertation adviser and with the advice of the members of the dissertation committee. When the committee members agree that the dissertation is ready to be defended, a final oral examination will be scheduled. Passing this defense and receiving the committee’s approval of the dissertation are the final departmental requirements for the Ph.D.