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A&S—Linguistics

The Department of Linguistics offers the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in both linguistics and Applied Hispanic linguistics, with areas of concentration in applied linguistics and Sociolinguistics. The MA Program requires a minimum of 10 courses (30 credits). The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences requires a minimum of 72 credits beyond the baccalaureate for a PhD degree.

Master of Arts in Linguistics
Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics
Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Hispanic Linguistics
Doctor of Philosophy in Sociolinguistics

Students may fulfill requirements for the TESOL Certificate in conjunction with their graduate study or as a stand-alone post baccalaureate certificate.

Contact Information

Department Chair: Shelome Gooden
Main Office: 2816 Cathedral of Learning
412-624-5938
Fax: 412-624-6130
E-mail: lingpitt@pitt.edu
www.linguistics.pitt.edu

Additional information concerning the department’s graduate program may be obtained from the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Linguistics, Graduate Secretary, 2717 CL, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Phone: 412-624-1764. Fax: 412-624-8814. E-mail: MaryGerber@pitt.edu

In addition to graduate and undergraduate education in the field of linguistics, the Department of Linguistics is responsible for the following programs and centers:

Less Commonly Taught Languages Center
Robert Henderson Language Media Center
TESOL Certificate Program
          English Language Institute (non-credit)

Admissions

In order to be admitted to graduate standing in linguistics, students must meet the admission requirements of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and have at least two years, or the equivalent, of university-level study of a second language. The Graduate Record Examination is required for all applicants. PhD applicants must also submit samples of written work in linguistics. To be considered for financial aid, complete applications should be received by December 15. Applicants for Hispanic linguistics must be fluent in Spanish in addition to the above admissions requirements (determined by interview following review of other application materials).

Financial Assistance

Some of the aid offered by the department is in the form of teaching assistantships in the Department of Linguistics in the English Language Institute. There are about two new positions per year. There are two to five other teaching assistantships each year, usually involving some sort of research work and sometimes teaching or faculty-teaching support. For all assistantships, applicants whose native language is not English may be eligible for two or three of these positions. For all assistantships, applicants are ranked mainly on the basis of their academic qualifications, but relevant teaching experience or research can help. Students in the Hispanic linguistics program teaching Spanish language courses must be enrolled in Methodology for Teaching Spanish (SPAN 2307). There are a total of 6 funded positions in Applied Hispanic linguistics.

Besides assistantships, there are a limited number of predoctoral fellowships from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and Provost's Humanities Fellowship program, for which PhD applicants in linguistics are eligible. Applicants should realize that these are very prestigious fellowships, granted on the basis of a University-wide competition. The application deadline is February 1. For more information on these fellowships, see Fellowships and Traineeships in the A&S section of this bulletin.

MA-PhD Program Requirements

The MA/PhD program is a combined program designed for students entering with a BA with the intention of earning a PhD. The program consists of core coursework, requirements for specific Areas of Concentration (ARCO), preliminary exams, comprehensive exams, and dissertation work. The ARCOs available are:

Applied Linguistics
Applied Hispanic Linguistics
Sociolinguistics

If none of the above ARCOs are chosen, then the student will be in the General and Descriptive Linguistics Program.

Required Core Courses for the MA/PhD

The following courses are required of all students in the MA/PhD program. Students entering with an MA degree from another institution may petition to have coursework taken for that MA degree apply to the PhD degree at Pitt. See also the Preliminary exam requirement.

Courses required to be taken in the first year

2578 Phonetics (Fall)
2579 Phonology (Spring)
2773 Morphology (Fall)
2777 Syntax (Spring)
2144 Research Methods (Fall)

Required courses that can be taken any time

One course in socio/language change
            2267 Sociolinguistics
            2253 Language Contact

Choose one advanced level core course approved by the student's advisor. Some example courses fulfilling this requirement::
            2580 Advanced Phonology
            277X Advanced Morphology
            277X Advanced Syntax

Other ARCO requirements

Applied Linguistics PhD Requirements

Courses

2146 Second Language Acquisition
Language pedagogy course
Either LING 2945 Psycholinguistics or a course in First Language Development
A seminar in Applied Linguistics (2147, 2149)
Statistics for Research in Linguistics

General and Descriptive Linguistics PhD Requirements

Courses

Field Methods
One Advanced Core Course in Phonology, Morphology or Syntax (whichever was not taken in core)
3000-level Advanced seminar in Phonology, Morphology or Syntax
Sociolinguistics, or Language Contact (whichever not taken in core)
Linguistic Typology

Hispanic Linguistics PhD Requirements

Courses

2392 History of Spanish
Spanish Sociolinguistics or 2394 Spanish Dialectology

Other requirements

Entrance requirement: Advanced Proficiency in Spanish as measured by an OPI or equivalent.

In core courses, students are encouraged to work on topics in Hispanic linguistics and to use Spanish sources.

All papers must have a significant Hispanic element, and a significant number of sources in Spanish.

Students may wish to focus on Applied Spanish Linguistics or Spanish Sociolinguistics, but these are not official ARCOs. The following are suggested courses.

Applied Spanish Linguistics:

 

 

Education of Linguistic Minorities
Second Language Acquisition
Approaches and Methods of TESOL
Techniques and Procedures of TESOL

Spanish Sociolinguistics:

 

 

Education of Linguistic Minorities
Language Contact
Discourse Analysis
Variation Analysis

Sociolinguistics PhD Requirements

Sociolinguistics (if not already taken)

Field Methods
SOC 2102: Sociological Theory 2 – PostClassical
An appropriate statistics course

Two of:

 

 

Discourse Analysis
Language Contact
Sociology of Language
Variation Analysis

Other MA/PhD Requirements

Language requirements:

There are many ways that students come to learning languages; not all of them are covered here. If you have learned another language and have questions about this requirement, you are encouraged, admonished, and requested to ask the DGS about it. Do not rely on rumors from other students.

  1. Reading proficiency in two languages other than English is required. Oral proficiency in one language other than English is also required (the language fulfilling the oral requirement may be the same as one of those fulfilling the reading requirement). This requirement is normally satisfied by examination, which is arranged on an ad hoc basis with the DGS. Language course credits may also be used with the approval of the DGS.

  2. Students whose native language is not English and who complete their core courses with a grade of B+ or better will be considered to have completed the oral and reading requirements for one language. Such students will still need to demonstrate reading proficiency in another language.

  3. If a student speaks two languages natively and one of these is English, the student need only demonstrate proficiency in one further language.

  4. In addition to the basic second language requirement above, the department requires one term of study with a grade of B or better in a language that is not Germanic, Greek, Italic (Romance, including Latin), or Slavic. For a list of languages in these branches, see http://www.danshort.com/ie/iefamilyfull.htm. If a student studies such a language for one of the other language requirements, no extra language need be taken. For applied linguists, however, this requirement must be fulfilled by classroom study. This requirement cannot be  fulfilled by Field Methods.

  5. Example 1: A student may pass an exam reading Spanish, and then take two years of Vietnamese to allow her/him to pass a reading and oral proficiency exam. In this case all language requirements have been fulfilled.

  6. Example 2: A native Spanish-speaking student passes all core courses with an A grade. She/he then takes one semester of Japanese. This student has fulfilled the language requirement.



Preliminary exam : The preliminary exam is fulfilled by submitting a portfolio of written coursework and passing the final exam of all core courses with a B+ grade or better. With respect to the thesis, the student is considered to have passed the preliminary exam if the thesis committee recommends the student for doctoral study.


Students entering with an MA degree may petition to have core courses waived. In order to waive phonetics, phonology, morphology or syntax, a student must demonstrate knowledge by providing course syllabi and passing an oral interview. In order to fulfill the preliminary exam requirement when entering with an MA, a student must have written a thesis for the previous MA; in addition, the student must defend the previous thesis in their first year at Pitt. Students are advised to have the MA thesis approved by the faculty—and set up a defense committee and date—as soon as possible after they begin PhD study. If a student’s MA did not require a thesis, then the student must submit a portfolio of written work from their coursework in order to pass the preliminary exam (in addition to the core course requirement).

Comprehensive exam : Two comprehensive papers are required to fulfill the comprehensive exam requirement for the Linguistics PhD.


The topics of the two papers must be substantially different. Although the topics can be in the same specialty of linguistics, at least one paper should in some way involve linguistic form or structure (for example, by analyzing the acquisition of a particular syntactic construction, by investigating variation of a phonological variable, or by doing a theoretical analysis in syntax or phonology).


One of the comps papers must be presented publicly in a 30-minute lecture at a department colloquium, and the other may be presented to the committee only (however, if the student wishes, both papers may be presented publicly).


Dissertation proposal : When the student has successfully completed the PhD comprehensive examination, she or he must prepare a dissertation proposal and present it in a formal dissertation proposal defense. A four-person doctoral committee will direct the dissertation and administer the required proposal defense after the proposal has been submitted. The student chooses the chair of the doctoral committee, and together they select the remaining committee members, subject to the approval of the department chair. One of the committee members must be from outside the core faculty of the Department of Linguistics, while three members must be affiliated with the Linguistics Department. The committee may be composed of more than four members, but at least four must be on the graduate faculty of the University of Pittsburgh. Students and advisors must also consult the policies and procedures of the School: http://www.bulletins.pitt.edu/graduate/regulations2.htm


A dissertation proposal must have at least two elements: a knowledge essay and a proposal. The dissertation advisor will determine exactly the format for these two elements. For example, the advisor may require the first few literature review chapters of the dissertation for the knowledge essay portion, and then require a student to provide a proposal based on those chapters. Alternately, the advisor may construct a series of questions about the topic that a student must satisfactorily answer (in written essay form) in addition to providing a proposal. Upon approval of the proposal, the student will be admitted to candidacy for the PhD. Up to nine credits of dissertation study credits may count toward the total required number of credits.

The student should obtain an “Admission to Candidacy” form from the Graduate Secretary or DGS prior to the meeting in order to obtain at least committee signatures on the form at the conclusion of the defense. If revisions are needed, the committee chair will withhold the form until all committee members are satisfied with the revisions, at which time the form is sent to the Arts and Sciences Graduate Dean’s Office.

Dissertation : The student must prepare and submit a dissertation that is a contribution to linguistic knowledge. A four-person doctoral committee will direct the dissertation and administer the required oral defense after the dissertation has been submitted (see http://www.bulletins.pitt.edu/graduate/regulations2.htm) for regulations governing the dissertation committee and defense). The dissertation defense is open to all members of the University community, and all graduate faculty members who attend have the right to pose questions to the candidate. See the bulletin regulations linked above for details.

Sample progression through MA/PhD program (milestones)

Year 1
Core courses

Year 2
Core courses and electives
Submit coursework portfolio

Year 3
Elective courses
Defend comprehensive 1
Present comprehensive paper in colloquium (can wait until year 4)

Year 4
Defend comprehensive 2
Present comprehensive paper in colloquium (if not done in year 3)
Dissertation proposal defense

Year 5
Dissertation research or fieldwork,
Possibly defend dissertation

Year 6
Defend and submit dissertation

Evaluation of Students

Annual evaluation. Students must submit an annual report to their main advisor each year by April 1. Advisors then complete an evaluation for each advisee, due to the DGS by the penultimate week of the spring semester for an evaluation meeting of faculty in the final week. Forms for both the annual review and the annual report are in the forms section of the department's graduate handbook, available from the DGS or graduate administrator.

For progression from MA to PhD in MA/PhD program: At the end of their first year, a written evaluation is presented to all faculty that assesses the student’s work in courses and TA assignments. If unsatisfactory, students are put on notice that they will only be permitted to continue through the next year (i.e. 2nd year). The faculty may also elect to warn the student that unless their performance improves in the next semester, they will only be permitted to finish their MA. A final continuation evaluation will be based on the portfolio review

For students entering with an MA, the first year is probationary. Students must complete the year with a GPA of 3.5, and their performance will be reviewed in the spring semester.

For funding
: All currently-funded students, current students without funding, and newly admitted students are evaluated at the funding meeting each January. Students currently funded will also be evaluated at this time for their performance in TA duties.

Requirements for an MA in Linguistics

Required Courses for all linguistics MA degrees

LING 2578 Phonetics  
LING 2579 Phonology
LING 2777 Syntax 
LING 2144 Research Methods 

One course in sociolinguistics/language change. Choose from:
            LING 2267 Sociolinguistics
            LING 2253 Language Contact

ARCO Requirements

Requirements for MA in Applied Linguistics

LING 2146 Second Language Acquisition
Language pedagogy course
Choose one:
            LING 2945 Psycholinguistics
            A course in First Lg. Development
            2147 Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition
            2149 Special Topics in Applied Linguistics

 

Other MA Requirements

Comprehensive exam : Students must attain a B+ in all core courses. If the grade is lower than a B+, a student must re-take the final exam the following year-or take an exam through other arrangements-and attain a grade of B+ on the exam, or retake the course.
 

Language requirement : Proficiency in one second language is required for the MA degree. This requirement is satisfied by examination for students whose native language is English. Students whose native language is not English and who complete their MA work with a grade point average of B (3.0) or better will have fulfilled this requirement automatically.

Portfolio Review: See the department's graduate student handbook.

Requirements for the Certificate in TESOL

TESOL

TESOL is an acronym for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Professionals in TESOL may be involved in teaching, administration, curriculum development, materials development, assessment, research, and advocacy.  They work in a variety of contexts including various age levels, countries, and specialist areas such as English for specific purposes.
This TESOL certificate program includes the study of: linguistics at an introductory level, structures of English, theories and practices of teaching second language, second language acquisition, materials and curriculum development, and assessment. 

The Department of Linguistics offers two certificates in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

  • Higher Education Course
  • ESL Program Specialist Course

TESOL Certificate: Higher Education Course Requirements

Any student who wishes to earn the certificate at the MA or PhD level:

PREREQUISITE (or taken concurrently with the first certificate  course)

 

1. LING 1000

Introduction to Linguistics

(3 credits)

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

 

Courses

Descriptions

Credits

LING 2738

Linguistic Structure of English

(3 credits)

LING 2142

Theories and Practices of SL Teaching

(3 credits)

LING 2143

Materials Development for Second Language Teaching and Testing

(3 credits)

LING 2146

Second Language Acquisition

(3 credits)

I&L 2253

 Testing and Assessment        

(3 credits)

LING 2195

Practicum in Second Language Teaching

(1 credit)

PhD students must take an additional 3 credit course approved by the TESOL Certificate Advisor

 

Please note:
I.  LING 2195 involves supervised language teaching concurrent with or following LING 2142.  Teaching Assistants who are teaching in the English Language Institute automatically fulfill the Practicum requirements, but they must sign up for LING 2195 once during their teaching terms.  Other candidates fulfill the requirement by signing up for LING 2195 and teaching during that term in an informal ESL course run by the English Language Institute, OR, with permission of the TESOL certificate advisor, another ESL teaching context.

II.  The certificate candidate must earn a grade of B or higher in each certificate course.

III. Those applying for graduate degrees will completed the TESOL Certificate program application process after gaining acceptance to the degree program.

Degree prerequisite for admission

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent with a minimum grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4-point scale).  Preference is given to applicants who have studied abroad, worked with international students, and/or have any EFL/ESL teaching experience (including volunteer).

Second language learning prerequisite for admission

Native speakers of English must have classroom second language learning experience equivalent to at least one year of college level study of a language.  Each applicant who is not a native speaker of English must: (1) achieve a score of 100 or higher on the iBT TOEFL (Skill Requirements: Reading and Listening - High; Speaking and Writing - one skill must be at the level of Good) or 7.5 or higher on the IELTS (Skill Requirements: Speaking and Writing - combined minimum of 13) or their equivalent and (2) have good spoken English skills (a score of at least 4 on the ITA interview test administered by the University of Pittsburgh). 

Transcripts and CV

Undergraduate transcripts (and graduate if applicable) and a CV (including a list of references) must be submitted as part of the application.

PLAN OF STUDY

Students must complete a TESOL certificate plan of study form after consultation with the TESOL Certificate advisor during the first term of study. The student then will work with academic advisor if earning a graduate degree, or the TESOL Certificate advisor if not in a degree program.

COMPLETION OF REQUIREMENTS

When nearing completion of all TESOL certificate requirements, students must apply for graduation from the TESOL Certificate program through the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office. This graduation application is separate from any other degree graduation applications.

SUGGESTED SEQUENCE OF COURSES

 

Higher Ed. concentration:

2-term option (entering in the fall term)

Courses

Descriptions

Fall:

LING 1000 if needed, LING 2142 (SL Teaching), IL 2253 (Testing), [Elective for PhD-level students]

Spring:

LING 2738 (Structures), LING 2146 (SLA), LING 2143 (Materials), [Practicum], [Elective for PhD-level students]

 

Higher Ed. concentration:

4-term option (entering in the fall term)

Courses

Descriptions

Fall:

LING 1000 if needed, LING 2142 (SL Teaching), [Elective for PhD-level students]

Spring:

LING 2738 (Structures), [LING 2246 (SLA)], [Elective for PhD-level students]

Fall

IL 2253 (Testing), [Elective for PhD-level students, [Practicum],

 

Spring

[Practicum], [LING 2146 (SLA)], LING 2143 (Materials),

 

 

*Note: Students must enter the program in the Fall term. Students may complete LING 1000 prior to the fall term, however.

 

 

Application Deadlines:

March 15 for the following Fall term start date

 

ESL Program Specialist Course Requirements

Any student who wished to earn the certificate must fulfill the following requirements:

 

Prerequisite
(or taken concurrently with the first certificate course)

Courses
Descriptions
Credits
LING 1000 Introduction to Linguistics (3 credits)


 

Course Requirements

Courses
Descriptions
Credits
LING 2738 Linguistics Structure of English (3 credits)
LING 2142 Theories and Practices of Second Language Teaching (3 credits)
LING 2143 Materials Development for Second Language Teaching and Testing (3 credits)
I&L 2257 Teaching English Language Learners (3 credits)
I&L 2253 Testing and Assessment (3 credits)
LING 2195 Practicum in Second Language Teaching (1 credit)

 

Please note:


I. LING 2195 involves supervised language teaching concurrent with or following LING 2142. Candidates fulfill the requirement by signing up for LING 2195 and teaching during that term in an informal ESL course run by the English Language Institute, OR, with permission of the TESOL Certificate advisor, another ESL teaching context.


II. The certificate candidate must earn a grade of B or higher in each certificate course.


Degree Prerequisite for Admission


Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent with a minimum grade point average of B (3.0 on a 4-point scale). Preference is given to applicants who have studied abroad, worked with international students, and/or have any EFL/ESL teaching experience (including volunteer).


Instructional I Prerequisite


Applicants must hold a Pennsylvania Instructional I certificate (or equivalent from another state) and be able to provide a copy as part of the application packet.


Foreign Language Learning Prerequisite for Admission


Native speakers of English should have classroom foreign language learning experience equivalent to at least one year of college level study of a language.


Each applicant who is not a native speaker of English must: (1) achieve a score of 100 or higher on the iBT TOEFL (Skill Requirements: Reading and Listening – High; Speaking and Writing – one skill must be at the level of Good) or 7.5 or higher on the IELTS (Skill Requirements: Speaking and Writing – combined minimum of 13) or their equivalent and (2) have good spoken English skills (a score of at least 4 on the ITA interview test administered by the University of Pittsburgh).


Transcripts and CV and Teaching Certificate


Undergraduate transcripts (and graduate if applicable) and a CV (including a list of references) must be submitted as part of the application. . In addition, a copy of the applicant’s state teaching certificate must be included in the application materials.


Plan of Study


Students must complete a TESOL certificate plan of study form after consultation with the TESOL Certificate advisor during the first term of study.


Completion of Requirements


When nearing completion of all TESOL certificate requirements, students must apply for graduation from the TESOL Certificate program through the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office. This graduation application is separate from any other degree graduation applications. Additional paperwork must be filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Education with the help of the TESOL Certificate advisor.

ESL Program Specialist Suggested Sequence of Courses

 

 ESL Program Specialist concentration:
2-term option (entering in the fall term)

Courses

Descriptions

Fall:

LING 1000 (Intro) if needed, LING 2142 (SL Teaching), IL 2253 (Testing)

Spring:

LING 2738 (Structures), I&L (Teaching ELLs), LING 2143 (Materials), [Practicum]

 

ESL Program Specialist concentration:
4-term option (entering in the fall term)

 

Courses

Descriptions

Fall:

LING 1000 if needed, LING 2142

Spring:

LING 2738

Fall:

IL 2253, [Practicum]

Spring:

IL 2257, LING 2143, [Practicum]

 

*Note: Students must enter the program in the Fall term. Students may complete LING 1000 prior to the fall term, however.

 

 

 


Application Deadline:


March 15 for the following fall term start date.

Course Listing

Faculty

 
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