Applied Linguistics, Doctor of Philosophy

Department of English

College of Arts and Letters

If, as has been said, "Language is humanity's most useful tool," then linguistics, as the study of language, also looms large. This dissertation-based degree allows students to customize their coursework and research around such areas as computational linguistics, meaning, neurolinguistics, language acquisition, rhetoric, speech pathology, speech production, etc. Emerging fields demanding linguistics expertise include forensic linguistics, natural speech recognition technology, artificial intelligence, and naming/branding.

  • To receive a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses, from one or more disciplines, ranging from at least 60-109 units of graduate-level courses. Most plans require research, a dissertation, and comprehensive exams. All plans have residency requirements regarding time spent on the Flagstaff campus engaged in full-time study.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 81
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Dissertation Dissertation is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Foreign Language Optional
Research Individualized research is required.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • GRE® revised General Test
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • writing sample
    • personal statement or essay
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • Official TOEFL iBT/IELTS scores taken within the last 2 years are required for international applicants. Please see department website for information regarding minimum score requirements.
Doctoral Requirements
  • Take the following 81 units:

    • Master's-level work relevant to your research interests (36 units)
    • Statistics, such as: ENG 668, EPS 625 and EPS 725 (9 units)
    • Literature or rhetoric (3 units)
    • Seminars (9 units)
    • Graduate electives, chosen in consultation with your dissertation committee (9 units)
    • ENG 799, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved dissertation (15 units)
  • Please note that you may end up taking more units of dissertation credit than the 15 units you can count toward your degree, because you must register for ENG 799 each semester while you work on your dissertation.

    In addition you must:

    • Complete a screening process
    • Complete a qualifying exam
    • Fulfill Northern Arizona University's residency requirements (For more information about residency and other requirements that pertain to this degree, see Doctoral Requirements Policy.)
    • Pass an oral exam on your dissertation (Dissertation Defense)

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.