Have questions about the linguistics graduate program at Maryland? Find answers to some frequently asked questions below.
The department offers outstanding resources for Ph.D. study in three areas of focus: (i) theoretical linguistics (especially syntax, semantics and phonology); (ii) psycholinguistics (first language acquisition, language processing, neurolinguistics, cognitive and computational neuroscience, computational modeling); (iii) computational linguistics (natural language processing, machine translation, cognitive computational modeling, etc.). Successful applicants to the graduate program usually have strong interests in one or more of these areas. Prospective students are encouraged to consult faculty and student web pages to determine whether the department provides a good match to their research interests. If in doubt, contact Graduate Admissions Director Jeffrey Lidz.
The School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Maryland now offers a strong Ph.D. program in SLA, and students with a primary interest in SLA should look to these programs rather than to linguistics. Nevertheless, the department of linguistics values its cooperation with the School of Languages and encourages students to consider SLA as a secondary area of research specialization.
Questions of this nature may be directed to individual faculty members. Find their contact information in our directory.
Students with interests in psycholinguistics or cognitive neuroscience may pursue either of these programs. Contact the graduate admissions director or a prospective advisor to discuss which program is more suitable to your individual needs. A number of students in the linguistics Ph.D. program now also pursue the new NACS certificate program, which provides official recognition for additional coursework in cognitive (neuro-)science. Many students with interests in this area are also attracted by the new interdisciplinary opportunities provided by our NSF-IGERT program in biological and computational foundations of language diversity.
In recent years close to 90% of the department's graduates have secured jobs in teaching or research after graduation. This includes a number of appointments in psychology, computer science or cognitive (neuro-)science programs. Although prejudices persist in some quarters, the most vibrant departments are the least prejudiced. We believe that students are most successful when they are in an environment that motivates and excites them, regardless of the title of the department or the name of their degree. It is also worth noting that psycholinguistics and computational linguistics are important current growth areas in linguistics departments.
No. The department does not admit students who intend to pursue a terminal M.A. degree. An M.A. degree exists officially, but it is used only in cases where students leave the department before completing the Ph.D.
This is very rare, although the department has allowed this under special circumstances. The department does not offer financial aid for part-time students.
Unlikely. Most students with a focus on computational linguistics enter the program with significant prior experience in CL or a related area. Students with limited CL experience but strong formal/mathematical skills are encouraged to contact the graduate admissions director or a CL faculty member to discuss their application. Note that experience with computer-assisted language learning (CALL) is not normally useful preparation for CL research at Maryland.
In this case first check whether an email from the University of Maryland was caught by your junk email filter. If this fails, contact Jeffrey Lidz, who can access a copy of the ASF invitation.
Inform the department about the scores as soon as you have them, even if this is after the deadline. Alert the graduate admissions director to this delay, and feel free to submit unofficial scores before you receive the official scores.
Very unlikely. The course credit requirements for our Ph.D. program are more flexible than most linguistics Ph.D. programs.
Yes! The department's financial aid offers are unaffected by a student's national origin.
This depends very much on individual circumstances and on the availability of funding in the department. In a typical year the department receives a little over 100 applications and is able to make offers of admission to 10-15 students. In recent years most students who have been admitted to the Ph.D. program have chosen to come to Maryland.
This does not necessarily mean that your documents have not been received. The application status is only marked as complete once the department of linguistics has manually confirmed that all materials have been processed in the department. This will not occur until at least a couple of weeks after the application deadline. Contact Jeffrey Lidz via email if you are concerned about receipt of your application materials.