How do I determine if your program is a good fit for my interests?
We encourage you to look carefully at the individual web pages for our faculty and graduate students to see if their research represents the kind of work that excites you. You should also look at the Research pages on our Department web site, as well as the description of our PhD program there.
What does your program offer in Teaching English as a Second Language and/or Applied Linguistics?
Students whose interests are primarily in Teaching English as a Second Language or in Applied Linguistics would be better served by applying to a graduate program that includes a full curriculum in these areas, as well as faculty whose research is in these areas. (The Ph.D. minor program of study in Applied Linguistics at Stanford was discontinued in 2008.)
May I enroll in Stanford courses prior to being admitted in the graduate program?
The department does not allow non-matriculated students (that is, students who have not been admitted to a degree program) to enroll in or audit courses.
Can I attend the Ph.D. program part-time or online?
No, the program is designed with the expectation that students will be devoting all their time to their graduate study. Students are expected to be in residence for the duration of the program. The department does not offer online or distance learning instruction in Linguistics.
Is is possible to transfer into the Stanford graduate program from another graduate program?
We do not accept transfer students per se. We do accept many students into the program who have already earned or are working towards an M.A. in Linguistics. Students who are in the first couple of years in their current graduate program would be advised to complete the M.A. where they are, before transferring elsewhere for a Ph.D. program. Students who are close to the dissertation stage in their current program or are already at this stage would be advised to complete the program where they are and receive the Ph.D. from their current institution. Such students could apply to be a Visiting Student Researcher in our department, although such visits must be of limited duration and there are fees involved. For further information, including length of visit, details of the application processs, and fees, see the Visiting Student Researchers page.
If I receive an M.A. degree from another institution before I begin the Stanford Ph.D. program, would any adjustments be made to the degree requirements?
Applicants who are admitted to our Ph.D. program and have an M.A. at the time of matriculation may apply up to 45 units of transfer credit toward the P.h.D. Criteria for unit transfer and other details are available on the University Registrar's Office page.
Can I visit the Department?
Visits are not a necessary part of the application process. Prospective applicants should email the Department of Linguistics staff at linguistics [at] stanford.edu to discuss any proposed visit to the Department. It is helpful to include a little about your background and interests in linguistics in your email. Please do not visit the Department without an appointment as staff and faculty may be busy with prior commitments.
Is it important that I contact a faculty member about research supervision prior to applying?
No. Applicants are not expected to contact faculty members about their availability as a research supervisor in order to apply to our Ph.D. program. The department admits the set of students who we feel are the strongest and would benefit the most from the kind of graduate education that we provide. Admissions decisions are not made by individual faculty members, but rather are made by the whole department faculty based on initial recommendations from the department's Admissions Committee, which includes a subset of the faculty and graduate students.
Students admitted to our Ph.D. program work with, and are advised by, a diverse array of faculty during their time in the program. Decisions about doctoral research supervision are made jointly by the student and prospective advisor when the student reaches the dissertation stage in the program.
Please visit the Stanford Graduate Admissions website for additional frequently asked questions.