Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, PhD

The PhD program in linguistics and applied linguistics at ASU boasts an internationally recognized faculty with expertise in sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, second-language writing, world Englishes, semantics, syntax, phonology, computer-assisted language-learning (CALL) and more. Students are allowed to customize their programs to serve their unique interests and are encouraged toward interdisciplinary projects.

The ASU PhD in linguistics and applied linguistics admits a limited number of students in order to maximize student-faculty contact and mentoring opportunities. The limited number of students also contributes to a more cooperative, less competitive community of scholars. With a variety of internships and an innovative mentoring program focused on professional development, students are prepared for entrance into academia and beyond. Graduates of our program employed in the private sector have careers in research, consultancy, policy-making, and more.

5 years to degree
5 years TA funding
7 faculty

Degree Overview

This 84-hour program requires 42-72 hours of coursework and research including 12 hours of dissertation. PhD examination consists of two papers, an oral or written exam and a prospectus. There is a language requirement. The ideal candidate will have research interests in the study of language and its application to the human condition. 

How to apply

All applications for admission to the program must be approved by the admissions committee in the Department of English and by the Graduate College. There are several requirements for admission, none of which will be arbitrarily disregarded, and the best applicants will meet or exceed all of these criteria. However, the admissions committee will consider the individual aspects of each application.

Deadline: January 1

The GRE is not required to apply.

For details, see the Application Procedures link or the Apply Now button in the left menu.

The English Department is a vast, potential goldmine for deep, nuanced work. Within the tight-knit LAL program community, I have worked closely with well-recognized faculty who encouraged me to build strong scholarly relationships with my fellow students as well as beyond the university. Students, alumni, and faculty alike promote one another and are we are always looking for opportunities to help each other succeed. The faculty allow us to pursue our interests and guide us to make meaningful steps in terms of engaging in the research and publications we want to pursue. 

--Tonya Eick, current PhD student


The Doctor of Philosophy is a total of 84 hours. In general, a student with an appropriate master's degree must complete a minimum of 54 credit hours of approved graduate work, which includes 12 hours of dissertation. Research hours may be used towards course work in consultation with the advisor. A student without an appropriate master's degree usually must complete 84 hours of work at ASU. At the advisor’s discretion, students may include up to 12 hours of appropriate, graduate-level course work undertaken at another university, and not previously counted towards any other degree.


A minimum of 84 credit hours is required without an appropriate MA.

Requirements and electives


Required Core




Research and Electives




Courses and electives

The PhD program in linguistics and applied linguistics focuses on the study of human language and the application of that study to the human condition. All students are encouraged to develop interdisciplinary perspectives which may be done by taking courses from other related programs or units to enhance their areas of specialization.

  • LIN 511 Phonetics and Phonology
  • LIN 514 Syntax
  • LIN 515 American English or LIN 516 Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis
  • APL 555 Disciplinary Discourses
  • APL 601 Introduction to Applied Linguistics
  • LIN 655 Disciplinary Discourses

Students can focus their elective and research coursework, including APL/LIN 790 and 792 on a specific area.

Possible specializations in linguistics:

  • phonology
  • formal syntax and semantics
  • historical linguistics
  • sociolinguistics
  • discourse analysis 
  • pragmatics

Possible specializations in applied linguistics:

  • SLA theory and pedagogy
  • ESOL
  • second language writing
  • bilingualism
  • language policy
  • issues in educational research
  • LIN 501 Approaches to Research
  • Students should consult their supervisory committees when choosing electives.
  • LIN or APL 799 Dissertation

COVID-19 information

Latest updates  |  Coronavirus FAQ page  |  Vaccine FAQ page