Ph.D. Program

Rowers on Lake Mendota

Students in our graduate program receive strong foundational training in all major subfields of linguistic theory, and work closely with a faculty advisor to develop an individualized program of advanced research tailored to the student’s goals and experience. Students have access to Language Sciences faculty from across campus and extensive research opportunities at our world-renowned institution.

The degree can generally be completed in 5-6 years, and is comprised of 3-4 years of coursework (including two original research papers defended before a preliminary exam committee), plus 2 additional years for dissertation preparation and defense.

The UW-Madison Arboretum in Spring

See the Graduate Handbook for details of program requirements and policies. Information about the application process can be found on the How to Apply page.

Admitted graduate students typically fund their education with a combination of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, grants, and scholarships. Teaching assistantships are available for Linguistics 101/301, as well as for courses in other departments such as English, Psychology, and foreign language departments, depending on the specific student’s prior training and skills. We are committed to securing funding for all graduate students in good standing in our program, and do not admit students for whom we cannot secure support.

A doctoral degree in Linguistics can prepare students for language science research and teaching positions in higher education, as well as for work in private and public sector fields. You can peruse a sampling of career paths for our doctoral alumni on the Graduate Alumni page.