Master’s students (except Comp. Ling MA) are required to show proficiency in or familiarity with one language (spoken, singed or written) other than English.
Doctoral students are required to show proficiency in or familiarity with two distinct languages (spoken, signed or written) other than English.
Proficiency in a foreign language will be satisfied if any of the following hold:
a) you are a native speaker of the foreign language
b) you are literate in the foreign language
c) you can demonstrate the equivalent of 2 years of college study of the foreign language
d) you can pass a translation exam in the foreign language, composed and graded within our program
e) you can pass an oral proficiency exam in the foreign language, organized and graded within our program
Familiarity with a foreign language will be satisfied if:
a) you have done significant fieldwork on the language
b) you have completed Linguistics 73100, The Structure of a Language, with a grade of B or better
c) you can document extended first-hand contact with the language (spoken, signed, or written) during your course of graduate study to the satisfaction of the Executive Officer.
The "scholarly requirement."
The scholarly requirement is satisfied by demonstrating competency of a scholarly project/paper in a language other than English. The paper will demonstrate a linguistic property that is commonly studied in the program. The project/paper should:
be about a syntactic, semantic, or phonological aspect of the language;
concern sociolinguistic issue of the language;
be written in connection with a computational linguistics problem;
deal with a question concerning acquiring the language, as a first of second language;
focus on variation within or use of the language
The preceding list is only suggestive; a student may select an appropriate project under the guidance of any member of the doctoral faculty. The faculty member will be responsible for determining if the project satisfies the language requirement.
Exam Rules and Regulations
Please consult the Student Handbook for the information on En Route M.A., Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy, Dissertation Proposal, Dissertation Committee, and the Third Examination (Oral Defense)
First Examination / Qualifying Paper 1 (QP1)
Each student writes a QP1 demonstrating that the candidate controls the literature in one or more core area (s) of linguistics relevant to the topic of the QP1 (i.e., Phonology or Phonetics; Morphology; Syntax; Semantics). The content of the QP1 must be the student’s original research. The research question may be in any area of linguistics, but the analysis applied to it must be informed by knowledge of a core area commensurate with 30-45 credits of study. The final QP1 is due July 1st
A QP1 should be written with a linguistically informed audience in mind, including readers not specialized in the topic area. It must conform to a consistent style accepted by some standard journal; it must be in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font, double spaced with one-inch margins. The body of the paper, excluding the bibliography or appendices, must be between 6,000 and 10,000 words.
The student must secure the participation of two faculty advisors, one of whom shall be the main advisor. Both will be selected by the student and approved by the Executive Officer (EO). It is strongly recommended that, at the outset of preparing for the QP1, the student meet with each advisor to establish a reasonable working plan.
Students must pass the QP1 before registering for the 46th credit. Students are advised to start the writing process around the time they have 30 credits (approximately 10 courses).
Students preparing to submit their QP1 are required to enroll in the QP1 Workshop. The QP1 Workshop will be offered every Spring semester as a regular three credit course. The purpose of the QP1 Workshop is to enhance students’ research, argumentation and writing skills. For the content of the QP1, students should consult with their advisors and other faculty members specializing in the chosen topic.
Statement of Research Question:
The student will submit a statement of the research question that includes the core area and names of advisors no later than October 15th
The student will submit a 1 page advisor-approved abstract no later than January 27th
. It will include a brief description of the topic including examples, diagrams and references, if appropriate. The abstract must specify the core area, a title, and names of the two advisors. The EO will offer advice or request clarification if it is not clear that the chosen topic is able to fulfill the content requirements.
Procedures and Evaluation of the QP1:
The QP1 will be evaluated within three to four weeks of the submission deadline, July 1st. If the QP1 is submitted early, e.g. in the Fall, evaluation will begin on January 15th
Students who anticipate not being able to meet the deadline must consult with their advisors and the EO at least 1 month
prior to the submission date.
Every QP1 will be evaluated by two Faculty Readers and will receive a grade of Pass, Pass with revisions, or Fail. Comments are required in case of a Fail or Pass with revisions. The EO may call on the advice of a third reader in case of a disagreement between the two Faculty Readers. In the case of a Pass with Revision, the student must follow the readers' comments to revise the QP1 under the supervision of the main advisor. In the case of a Fail, the student will be allowed to re-take the QP1 once, within one year of having submitted it initially. For the re-take, the student may change advisors, topic or core area(s). In the case of a Fail the student will receive written feedback, detailing the reasons for the Fail. Students may not continue in the Program following a second failed submission.
Second Examination / Qualifying Paper 2 (QP2)
Students write a Second Examination, which is a Qualifying Paper (QP2) in any area within Linguistics. The QP2 is an in-depth examination of a topic that provides both theoretical background for the problem being addressed as well as original research that advances our knowledge of the topic. The paper topic may overlap with that of the First Exam if it is a substantial advance (as determined by the student's Advisory Committee) on the First Exam. As part of the exam, the student will orally present and defend the QP2.
The subject matter of the QP2 may be the subject matter of the student's dissertation but the two need not overlap, nor need the QP2 Advisory Committee overlap with the dissertation committee. The QP2 is nevertheless an opportunity for the student to acquire the knowledge and skills that will prepare him or her for the larger project of the dissertation.
The QP2 is evaluated by a three member Advisory Committee which consists of a primary advisor from the Linguistics Program, who serves as chair of the committee, and two other faculty members who are also usually from the Linguistics Program. The student chooses the primary advisor, and, generally in consultation with the primary advisor, requests the participation of the other two (who need not be an expert on the topic of the QP2) faculty members. The Advisory Committee's composition must be approved by the Executive Officer. The Advisory Committee decides whether the QP2 constitutes a Pass or Fail of the Second Exam. In the case of a Fail, the student will be allowed to re-take the Second Exam once, within one year of having taken the exam for the first time. For the re-take, the student may ask the Executive Officer for permission to form a new committee or choose a new area or topic. Graduate Center regulations require that students successfully complete the Second Exam by no later than the end of their fifth year (tenth semester).
Statement of Objectives:
The student writes a statement of the problem he or she will address and outlines the basic approach that the QP2 will take in attempting to resolve it. The statement should be between 1 and 2 single-spaced pages in 12-point type with one-inch margins. The statement must be approved by the Advisory Committee. The due date for the Statement of Objectives is 5 weeks after the last day of classes of the semester following satisfactory completion of the First Exam. Students should thus begin developing ideas for their QP2 topic in advance. An independent study with a faculty member may be an appropriate way to develop an approach to the Second Exam. The topic can also develop from a paper that the student has written for a course.
QP2 Content and Process:
There are no limitations on the topic of the QP2, as long as it is a topic in linguistics for which the student can assemble a three-person Advisory Committee. The QP2 identifies a problem or question and proposes a solution or answer to the question. It involves a thorough review of the relevant background to the problem and original research to address the problem. The student should meet at least monthly with the primary advisor. Students and their primary advisors should establish their expectations for the content, form, and length of the QP2 at the beginning of their work together. The student and the Advisory Committee will work together to set realistic goals so that the QP2 can be completed in a timely fashion. The QP2 should be in the style and approximate length of a published journal article, typically between 35-50 double-spaced pages in 12-point type with one-inch margins. Students must submit a final draft of the QP2 to all members at least three weeks prior to the date of the defense.
Defense of the Second Exam:
Students will set a date for the presentation and defense of the Second Exam, generally scheduled for a two-hour period. The student's presentation is expected to take thirty to forty-five minutes, to be followed by questions from the Advisory Committee.
The Advisory Committee will decide whether the QP2 constitutes a Pass or a Fail of the Second Exam. In case of a Fail, the student will be allowed to resubmit the QP2 once, within one year of having submitted the QP2 for the first time. The student may choose a new Advisory Committee, a new topic, both, or neither for the resubmission.
Students may put the Second Exam into perspective by considering their desired progress through the Program. Full-time funded students should aim for a degree within ten to twelve semesters. Since three to five semesters are commonly required for the dissertation, full-time students should aim to defend their QP2 within the first six to eight semesters. The Graduate Center requires that students take the Second Exam no later than the end of their tenth semester, but that requirement, if taken as normative, would lead to failure to graduate within a reasonable time period. Prospective employers assessing likely future productivity attend to the length of time a student has taken to complete their degree. Part-time and unfunded students may of necessity require the longer time span permitted by the Graduate Center regulations provide. All students should discuss their time line with their Advisory Committee to establish a workable plan.
1. Develop ideas for QP2.
2. Select primary advisor.
3. Consult with primary advisor to select other Advisory Committee members and have Executive Officer approve Advisory Committee.
4. Write draft of Statement of Objectives.
5. Get Statement of Objectives approved by Advisory Committee.
6. Submit Statement to Executive Officer 5 weeks after the last day of classes of the semester following satisfactory completion of QP1.
7. Meet with primary advisor on a monthly basis.
8. Recommended: Meet at least once with full Advisory Committee.
9. Schedule QP2 defense and submit final draft to Advisory Committee at least 3 weeks before defense.
Timeline of Statement of Objectives
(Semester After Passing QP1)
Fall 1- course credits (13 cr)
Introduction to Theoretical Ling. + Practicum (4 cr)
Syntax I + Practicum (4 cr)
Phonology I + Practicum (4 cr)
PD Workshop on Teaching across the campuses (1 cr)
Spring 1- Course credits (13 cr)
Semantics I + Practicum (4 cr)
3 Linguistics content courses (9 cr)
PD: Attend colloquia, Program speaker series, local conferences, SYNC, SQUID, Reading Groups, join labs etc.
Fall 2- Course credits (12 cr)
1 Linguistics content course (3 cr)
Any 3 courses (9 cr)
October 15th, QP1 Statement of Research Question, core area, and advisors due to EO.
Spring 2- Course credits (12 cr)
QP1 Workshop (3 cr)
Any 3 courses (9 cr)
January 27th, QP1 abstract due
July 1st, Final QP1 due
Pass QP1, transfer MA credits, if any
Total credits: 50
If not yet passed QP1, you must register for WIUs until passing the QP1
Fall 3- Course credits (9)
Any 3 courses (9 cr)
Preparation for QP2: Identify QP2 topic, select primary advisor, with primary advisor select other advisory committee members, work on Statement of Objectives, get committee approval of Statement of Objectives, submit to EO five weeks after last day of classes
Spring 3- Course credits (1 cr)
1 Independent Study courses (1 cr)
PD: Conference presentations (QP1 or QP2, joint lab work)
Take summer to write QP2
Fall 4 - no credits
Select Dissertation Committee
Schedule Dissertation Proposal Defense
PD: conference presentations, grant-writing skills workshop, prepare publications
Spring 4 - no credits
Prepare job search, look for post-docs
Fall 5 - no credits
Spring 5 - no credits
PD: Jobsearch, conference presentations, interviews
Language requirements (2 foreign language proficiency) may be satisfied at any time, but before advancing to Level III