The Ph.D. in linguistics is an academic/professional research degree. Our program is designed to produce scholars who can carry out research at the intersection of anthropology and linguistic in any of their aspects within a contemporary theoretical framework, and which challenges, modifies, and extends contemporary theory and practice. Our students also have the opportunity to investigate the intersection of anthropology and language in an interdisciplinary context. Following completion of written and oral comprehensive examinations within both the anthropology and linguistics department, students must submit a dissertation prospectus, and complete and defend a dissertation demonstrating their ability to undertake and carry out original research.
History - In the Beginning
(Excerpted, condensed, and adapted from Raymond H. Thompson, "Anthropology at the University of Arizona, 1893-2005," Journal of the Southwest, Autumn 2005, 47(3): 327-347)
Anthropology at the University of Arizona began in 1915 with the appointment of Byron Cummings as Professor of Archaeology and Director of the Arizona State Museum. He came to Arizona from his position as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Utah. He had received his B.A. from Rutgers University in 1889 and his M.A. there in 1892. Cummings served Utah as Professor of Greek and Latin, Head of the Department of Archaeology, and for many years as Dean of Men and briefly as Dean of the College of Medicine. He played an important role in the life of the University of Utah, even organizing its first football team the first year he was there. The football stadium at Utah is named Cummings Field in his honor.
The 54-year-old Cummings left Utah after 22 years of distinguished service at the oldest university in the Far West to throw in with one of the newest in the West. In 1915, the University of Arizona community consisted of 70 faculty members and 463 students, and there were 24,045 books in the University Library. Arizona had become a state only three years before and the population of Tucson, still the largest city in Arizona, was about 15,000. When Cummings arrived on campus, University President von KleinSmid took him to an overflowing storage area, opened the door, and said something like, "Here's the museum, go to it!"
Cummings was vigorous in responding and quickly made the University of Arizona a center for archaeology. In 1928, three of his students, Clara Lee Fraps (Tanner), Florence M. Hawley (Ellis), and Emil W. Haury, received the first M.A. degrees in archaeology awarded by the University. They all stayed at Arizona as Instructors in Archaeology with academic-year salaries of $1500. Florence eventually entered graduate study at the University of Chicago where she earned her doctorate in 1934, using her excavations at Chetro Ketl in Chaco Canyon for her dissertation. She obtained a position at the University of New Mexico, where she spent 37 years as an inspiring and beloved teacher and continued an active professional life until her death in 1991 at age 84.
Emil stayed at the University for one year to study dendrochronology with A. E. Douglass and then went to Globe to work with Harold S. Gladwin at the Gila Pueblo Archaeological Foundation. He earned a doctorate under Roland B. Dixon at Harvard University in 1934 and returned to the University of Arizona in 1937 to replace Cummings who retired in 1938. Clara Lee remained at the University of Arizona where she inspired and nurtured several generations of students during a full half-century of dedicated service on the faculty of the Department of Anthropology.
College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
University of Arizona - Main - Tucson
Prospective applicants must have a 3.0 or higher GPA in order to qualify for admission.
Statement of Intent
Applicants must submit a concise statement of intent demonstrating their academic goals, career goals, and why a graduate degree in ANLI would help him/her pursue these goals. Potential applicants should clearly address in their statement of intent how their past experiences and future research interests fit with the current strengths of both departments.
Applicants must provide a writing sample to demonstrate their level and proficiency of writing.
The GRE is optional, not required for application to the PhD Program.
Letters of Recommendation
Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation from letter writers who know the student’s work, specifically assessing student’s ability to carry out graduate work in linguistics. Applicants are encouraged to submit letters of recommendation from professors who are familiar with the applicant's recent academic work.
English proficiency is one of the requirements for admission for all applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants must submit a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 on the paper-based test (PB), 79 on the internet-based test (iBT), or a IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 7 (no subject area below a score of 6). International students seeking graduate teaching assistantships must attain the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score listed above, and in addition must attain a score of 26 or higher on the speak portion of the TOEFL IBT.
Required coursework in Linguistics
Ling 503 Syntax
Ling 510 Phonology
Ling 697A Prelim
Ling 595 Colloquim
Anth 608A Anthro Theory )
Anth 608B Anthro Theory II
Anth 680 (oundations of Ling Anthropology
Ling 515: Phonetics or Ling 507: Statistical Analysis for Linguists
Anth 620: Linguistic Field Techniques or Ling588: Linguistic Elicitation and Documentation
Additionally five courses must be taken out of the following six areas (one out of each group, with one group not treated).
LING 508 Computational Techniques for Linguists
LING 538 Computational Linguistics
LING 539 Statistical NLP
LING 578 Speech Technology
LING 501 Foundation of Linguistic Theory
LING 507 Statistical Analysis for Linguists
LING 588 Linguistic Elicitation and Documentation
LING 518 Analysis and Argumentation
LING 514 Phonology II
LING 515 Phonological Phonetics
LING 516 History of Phonology
LING 532 Psychology of Language
LING 533 Theories of Language Development
LING 543 Advanced Language Development (syntax/lexicon)
LING 504 Advanced Syntactic Theory
LING 505 Theories of Grammar
LING 506 Major Works in Syntactic Theory
LING 564 Formal Semantics
LING 522 Lexical Semantics
LING 535 Morphology
LING 544 Typology and Universals
LING 545 Structure of Non-Western Language
LING 554 Structure of A Near-Eastern Language
Anth 608A (Anthro Theory I)
Anth 608B (Anthro Theory II)
Anth 680 (Foundations of Ling Anthropology)
One of Anth 620: Linguistic Field Techniques or Ling588: Linguistic Elicitation and Documentation
Students must take additionally take four courses chosen from the following:
Anth 576 Language and Culture
Anth 580 Historical Linguistics
Anth 583 Sociolinguistics
Anth 585 "Face to Face"
Anth 589 American Indian Languages
Anth 678 Ethnographic Discourse Analysis
Anth 679 Language and Ethnography
Anth 681 "Keywords"
Anth 696C Topics Seminars
Two required colloquium courses, LING595A, are to be taken in the 1st and 2nd semesters, one unit each. These are important parts of graduate education. All other students are strongly encouraged to enroll in these courses.
Professionalism in Linguistics Requirement
There is a required one-credit course on professionalism, LING689, (separate from the comprehensive exam courses) to be taken by the 6th semester. This class is required of all students. In addition, the graduate advisor will be responsible to meet with students in order to cover issues such as students’ survival skills, meetings with professors, planning graduate career, library resources, etc.
In addition, before moving on to their dissertation research, students write a comprehensive exam in Anthropology and a qualifying 'prelim' paper in Linguistics (while taking the "Prelim" course). During dissertation research, students must take at least 18 dissertation units, in compliance with Graduate College regulations.
Please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for students who are pursuing this program of study.