Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Graduate FAQs

Have questions about the linguistics graduate program at Maryland? Find answers to some frequently asked questions below. 

I am interested in [your favorite area]. Can I study this at Maryland?

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.

I am interested in Second Language Acquisition (SLA). Can I study this in your program?

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.

I am interested in working with [faculty member X]. Is s/he taking new students this year?

Questions of this nature may be directed to individual faculty members. Find their contact information in our directory.

What are my chances of admission to the Ph.D. program?

This depends very much on individual circumstances and on the availability of funding in the department. In a typical year the department receives around 150 applications and is able to make offers of admission to 10-15 students. In recent years slightly over half the students who have been admitted to the Ph.D. program have chosen to come to Maryland.

Can I pursue an M.A. degree in your department?

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.

Can I pursue a part-time Ph.D. in your department?

This is very rare, although the department has allowed this under special circumstances. The department does not offer financial aid for part-time students.

Do I need to submit GRE scores?

The Linguistics Department does not use GRE scores in the application process, even if an applicant includes them in their application. It is therefore unnecessary to include such scores.

How can I request an application fee waiver?

The Linguistics Department and the university are committed to reducing barriers to applying to the doctoral program for Black and Indigenous Peoples, and People of Color, as well as those facing financial hardship. In order to request a fee waiver, please follow the instructions on the Graduate School website, .

I am unsure whether my interests are best served by the Ph.D. program in linguistics or by the Ph.D. program in neuroscience and cognitive science (NACS). Which is more appropriate?

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.

I am interested in psycholinguistics or cognitive neuroscience or computational linguistics, but I am concerned that a Ph.D. in linguistics may impact my future job prospects. Is this true?

In recent years over 80% 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.

I have an M.A. degree in linguistics. Can I transfer credits from this degree towards a Ph.D. at Maryland?

Very unlikely. The course credit requirements for our Ph.D. program are more flexible than most linguistics Ph.D. programs.

I submitted an online application some days ago, but the Application Supplemental Form (ASF) invitation has not yet reached me.

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.

I submitted my application materials some time ago, but my online application status is still listed as incomplete. What should I do?

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.

Do international students have access to the same financial aid possibilities as American students?

Yes! The department's financial aid offers are unaffected by a student's national origin.