Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics Program Requirements

Introduction to Doctoral Studies in Applied Linguistics

All students in the Ph.D. Program in Applied Linguistics are required to take Applied Linguistics 209: Introduction to Doctoral Studies in Applied Linguistics, during their first quarter in the program. This 4-unit course is taken on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading basis.

Area of Research Focus

Students are required to take 8 courses, or 32 units, that are relevant to their research foci. These courses are selected in conjunction with the faculty mentor. Courses taken for the area of research focus requirement must be taken for letter grades. These 32 units may not include: Applied Lingusitics 375, 400, 495, 597 or 599, or Linguistics 275, 375, or 495. No more than eight of the 32 units may be in 596 courses. Any independent studies units applied toward the requirement should be in Applied Linguistics 596, if possible. Any additional courses that are not required for the research specialization may be taken on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading basis.

Qualifying Paper

In lieu of a written qualifying examination, one Qualifying Paper (“QP”), which is an original research paper of publishable quality, is required. The paper may be revised or an extended seminar paper but must be prepared after admission to the Ph.D. program. Students choose the topic of the paper in consultation with appropriate faculty members from UCLA and with the consent of the faculty mentor. The finished paper must be evaluated by three faculty members from UCLA, two of whom must be faculty members of the Applied Linguistics faculty* including its affiliated members and one of whom must be a faculty member outside of the department. Additional faculty and temporary faculty may serve as supernumerary members, if desired.

*For the QP, Applied Linguistics adjunct assistant professors may sign as one of the two internal members.

Language Requirements

Before advancement to candidacy, students must demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language. This may be demonstrated by means of: (1) a UCLA Foreign Language Department Placement exam, showing equivalency to completion of the sixth quarter of instruction in a foreign language; or (2) completion of the sixth quarter of instruction in a foreign language at UCLA with a minimum grade of Satisfactory or a letter grade of B or better. Non-native speakers of English may use English to fulfill the language requirement.

Doctoral Committee

The doctoral committee is nominated by the student, approved by the department chair, then appointed officially by the Dean of the Graduate Division.  The doctoral committee will include a minimum of four members, three “inside” the department of Applied Linguistics and one “outside” faculty member (a regular UCLA faculty member who holds no official affiliation with the department). In addition, Graduate Division regulations specify that there must be two different departmental affiliations represented among the four members of the committee. For more information, please see the “Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study” manual published by the Graduate Division.

Preliminary Oral Examination and Advancement to Candidacy

After completion of the above requirements, including appointment of the doctoral committee,the preliminary oral exam is held. All committee members must be present to participate and unanimously determine the adequacy of the student’s preparation to write the dissertation and whether a Final Oral Exam is to be held.  If it is determined that the student is prepared (i.e., if the student passes the preliminary oral exam), the examination report is filed with the Graduate Division. The paperwork is completed by the staff of Graduate Division and the Registrar’s Office. The student then completes his/her portion of the paperwork, pays an advancement to candidacy fee, and is officially advanced to candidacy and awarded the Candidate in Philosophy (C.Phil.) degree.

Candidate in Philosophy Degree

The intermediate degree of Candidate in Philosophy (C. Phil) is awarded to qualified students on advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. program.  The C. Phil is not a terminal degree but gives formal recognition to a definite state of progress toward the doctorate.

The Dissertation

Each student is required to complete and file a dissertation, under the guidance of the doctoral committee, as a final demonstration of his/her ability to carry out original research under the guidance of the doctoral committee. A minimum of three members of the doctoral committee, suggested by the committee chair and approved by all committee members at the time of the preliminary oral exam, must read the dissertation and certify that it satisfies the research requirements of the Ph.D.  These three members must include at least two “inside” and at least one “outside” member.

The Public Report (Doctoral Colloquium)

All candidates must make a public report of their research results. This report should be scheduled through the Graduate Student Advisor, for rooms, equipment, and publicity to the academic community.

Normal Progress Toward the Degree

As stated in the Program Requirements published by the Graduate Division, the normative time to complete the Ph.D. degree in Applied Linguistics is, “From first enrollment in the doctoral program to advancement to candidacy: two to three years. From first enrollment to completion of degree: three to five years. The outside limit for the Ph.D. from start to finish, including leaves or interruptions of any kind, is seven calendar years from first enrollment. The approved normative time-to-degree for the Ph.D. is 15 quarters (five years).”