Please note:

To view the current calendar go to

Department of Linguistics | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Simon Fraser University Calendar | Spring 2018


Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Students must demonstrate a substantial background in linguistics and research methodology. Direct doctor of philosophy (PhD) program admission without a master of arts (MA) in linguistics, or equivalent is normally not possible. Visit graduate general regulation 1.3 for more information.

Areas of Specialization

Phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, computational linguistics, documentation and linguistic analysis of North American Indigenous Languages, historical and comparative linguistics, first and second language acquisition, neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics.

Time Limit

Although University regulations allow an eight calendar year time limit for the PhD, a PhD student is normally expected to complete the degree in four years after the MA. See the graduate general regulations.

Program Requirements

These requirements are beyond those of the MA requirements. Students may need to complete specified courses from the MA program requirements as a condition of admission to the PhD program.

Course Work

Students complete at least 20 units (five courses) that have been approved by the supervisory committee. Only one course may be a directed research course.

and, in the first year of program enrolment, both of

LING 890 - Graduate Seminar I (1)

An introduction to professional aspects in the field of Linguistics. Course consists of seminars, lectures and workshops. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

LING 891 - Graduate Seminar II (1)

An introduction to professional aspects in the field of Linguistics. Course consists of seminars, lectures and workshops. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
Th 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
RCB 7402, Burnaby

Qualifying Papers

Students are expected to complete two qualifying papers during their second year in the program. At least one of the papers will be in an area outside of the student's main area of research, and unrelated to the thesis.

Students will typically enrol in the first qualifying paper course in the fall of their second year in the program, and in the second qualifying paper course during the following spring term. The paper is evaluated by a committee of at least two faculty members, one of them being the senior supervisor.

Thesis Proposal

Candidates submit a written thesis proposal to the supervisory committee which defines the intended original research and the relationship between it and existing scholarship. After submission, the student presents the proposal at a departmental colloquium no later than the end of the ninth residence term. The written proposal must be approved by the supervisory committee prior to the start of substantive research.


All students must complete a PhD thesis based on original research and must comply with University regulations on completing and defending a thesis.

Language Requirements

Candidates must show high competence in two languages other than English, with some knowledge of the structure of at least one non-Indo-European language. The supervisory committee determines how to demonstrate this competence.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.