Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, PhD

The PhD in linguistics and applied linguistics focuses on the study of human language and the application of that study to the human condition. The curriculum will provide foundational and advanced training in linguistics and applied linguistics with focused research in several areas such as phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Second language acquisition and second language teaching and learning, TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages), language contact and change (including World Englishes,) are also research possibilities in addition to sociolinguistics, language planning, discourse analysis, language and cognition.

The degree will encourage students to work with faculty from across the university and its various units and to develop transdisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity in their research.

All applications for admission to the program must be approved by the doctoral admissions committee in the Department of English and Graduate Education. There are several requirements for admission, none of which will be arbitrarily disregarded, and the best applicants will meet or exceed all of these criteria. However, the Admissions Committee will consider the individual aspects of each application.

For more information on how to apply, see the Department of English Application Procedures.

Apply Online!

Deadline: January 15th for the following fall semester.

  1. Undergraduate and graduate majors: Given the interdisciplinary nature of work in linguistics, faculty will consider applicants with bachelor's or master's degrees in fields such as anthropology, applied linguistics, cognitive science, communication, comparative languages and literatures, English literature, education, history, law, linguistics, modern languages, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, rhetoric, composition, sociology and speech and hearing science.
  2. Cumulative grade point average: The Graduate College requires a GPA of 3.00 or better in the last two years of work leading to the bachelor's degree and the recommendation of the academic unit in which the applicant plans to study. In addition, the Department of English requires that applicants have at least a 3.50 GPA in all previous graduate work.
  3. Graduate Record Examination: Applicants must submit scores on the GRE. Normally, they should achieve a score in the 85th percentile or higher.
  4. Letters of recommendation: At least three letters of recommendation from professors familiar with the applicant's academic performance.
  5. Statement of Purpose: A well considered, one to two-page, single spaced statement of purpose in which candidates explain how their experience and training—either in school, out of school, or both—have prepared them for the program. Candidates should indicate their career goals and explain how these goals relate to our graduate program in linguistics and applied linguistics.
  6. Sample of scholarly work: Applicants should submit a critical paper or research paper prepared in a recent course.
  7. Vitae: A CV that outlines educational background, relevant work experience, honors and publications.
  8. Official Transcripts:   Official Transcripts should be sent to ASU Graduate Education - Admissions.
  9. A Graduate application. An application fee is required.
  10. International students must have an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS score report sent to the Graduate College. Please refer to the English Proficiency Score requirements.

Karen L. Adams - Sociolinguistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis, language and politics, language and gender, Southeast Asian languages.

Mark A. James - Curriculum, teaching, and learning in second language education, second language acquisition.

Aya Matsuda - World Englishes, Teaching English as an international language, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Matthew Prior - second language acquisition, language and emotion, socio-psychological dimensions of language use, multilingualism and identity, discourse analysis (narrative, discursive constructionism, talk-in-interaction, conversation analysis, discursive psychology), qualitative methodologies, and sociolinguistic belonging, particularly for immigrant, transcultural, and LGBTQ communities.

Kathryn Pruitt - Phonology and Morphology.

Elly van Gelderen - Theoretical syntax, Historical syntax, Grammar and history of English, Typology.

Degree Offered

Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, PhD
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application Deadline

ONE deadline: January 15 for fall.

How to Apply

See the  Application Procedure tab above. 

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