Ph.D. in Second Language Studies
Interdisciplinary in nature, the Ph.D. in second language studies promotes state-of-the-art research and practice, preparing future academics and professionals for the realities of a multicultural and multilingual society. Second language studies uniquely prepares individuals to be global leaders in various cultural contexts in multiple languages through rigorous course work and investigation in areas including, but not limited to, second language structure, language in use, language and culture, language learning and acquisition, language teaching, and language policy and planning. As experts in one or more of these fields, graduates of the program are able to work in academia, business, industry, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, media, journalism, and other fields requiring linguistic and cultural competencies.
Minimum Total Credit Hours: 54
The aim of the doctoral program is to afford instruction and guidance leading to the mastery of a major field. Specific course requirements for Applied Linguistics or Spanish are stipulated by the student’s advisory committee. In certain instances, a student may be required to take courses in a minor field. For students required to take a minor, a specific program will be formulated. To fulfill the degree credit requirement, the student must (a) have completed three years (54 hours) of study beyond the bachelor’s degree; (b) have completed a minimum of two years (36 hours) of graduate study at the University of Mississippi; and (c) have completed a minimum of one year (18 hours) of graduate work in continuous residence. Where coursework (excluding dissertation hours) is required for the degree, at least one-half, up to 30 hours, must be completed at the University of Mississippi. Separate descriptions of requirements follow because courses are taught in the language of emphasis.
At or near the beginning of the student’s work beyond the master’s degree, the department or school may require a preliminary examination to determine the student’s qualifications to undertake a program leading to the doctorate and to assist the student’s adviser in planning the student’s program. Comprehensive Examinations and Admission to Candidacy
All doctoral students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination. Upon completion of this examination, the student is admitted to candidacy. The purpose of this examination is to establish that the student has satisfactorily mastered the body of academic material appropriate to the degree. Though academic programs have broad latitude in the design of comprehensive examinations, the following guidelines should be followed. The examination may be either a single test or a set of tests. The examination must be written; however, departments may require that part of the examination be oral. The examination may be constructed and evaluated by the student’s dissertation advisory committee or by a separate committee. To sit for the examination, a student must be in full-standing status, must have satisfied any foreign language requirement, must have a graduate grade-point average of 3.0 or above, and must not have an outstanding I grade. If a graduate program has an extradepartmental concentration area of more than 12 hours, a component of the comprehensive examination must include testing over this concentration area, and this testing must be done by faculty in the second department. Upon completion of all components of a comprehensive examination and notification to the Graduate School, the student is considered to be a candidate for the degree. In general, this status signifies that the individual has completed all or nearly all of the program coursework and has entered the formal dissertation stage of the program. Ordinarily, the comprehensive examination should be completed before the dissertation prospectus is defended.
Other Academic Requirements
Specific Requirements for the Emphasis in Applied Linguistics:
- Proficiency in a second language: Native speakers of English will demonstrate reading knowledge proficiency through advanced coursework or an agreed-upon assessment before advancing to comprehensive exams. Non-native speakers will have met this requirement by the TOEFL score.
- Core required courses (may be waived if equivalent was taken at MA
- introduction to linguistics (LING 600 or 615)
- classroom research and practice (TESL 672)
- one core theoretical course in Phonology (LING 612), Morphology (LING 614) or Syntax (LING 616)
- one core applied course in Sociolinguistics (LING 620), Teaching ESL (TESL 672), Cultural Dimensions of SLA (TESL 649), Seminar in SLA (TESL 695) or Descriptive Grammar (LING 501)
- two pro-seminar courses (LING 701 and LING 702)
- Research Methods (TESL 694)
- one 700-level research seminar (LING 721 or 722)
- An optional subfield (6-12 hours), subject to departmental approval may focus on Teaching English as a Second Language; Theoretical Linguistics; or Arabic, Chinese, French, German or Spanish language and literature.
- Students will take the comprehensive exam after they have completed met all core course requirements, submitted a term paper from a graduate class, and met proficiency in a second language: The written exam consists of two parts, taken one week apart, or up to a semester apart. Part 1 is a two-day exam (cloistered), answering questions based on the Ph.D. reading list. Part 2 is a take-home question based on the student’s research interest. The student has one week to answer the question, and the answer (usually 40-50 pages) counts as the student’s dissertation proposal/prospectus. A one-hour defense for each part may be taken at the same time, or as two separate defenses if Parts 1 and 2 are taken in different semesters.
Specific Requirements for the Emphasis in Spanish:
- Reading Proficiency in a language other than Spanish and English: Speakers of Spanish will demonstrate reading knowledge proficiency of a language other than Spanish or English through advanced coursework or an agreed-upon assessment before advancing to the comprehensive exam. Speakers of other languages will demonstrate proficiency of Spanish through advanced coursework and an agreed-upon assessment before advancing to comps.
- Core-required courses (some coursework may be waived if equivalent
was taken at the MA level):
- Classroom Research and Practice (SPAN 672)
- two Core courses: one literature and one linguistics (sections designated for graduate students only)
- two Pro-Seminars (SPAN 701 and 702)
- Research Methods (SPAN 671)
- one 700-level research seminar (SPAN 721 or SPAN 722)
- An optional subfield (6-12 hours), subject to departmental approval may focus on Teaching English as a Second Language; Theoretical Linguistics; or Arabic, Chinese, French or German language and literature.
- To be eligible to take the comprehensive exam, students must have completed the first year of coursework, met all core course requirements, have submitted a term paper from a graduate class, and met proficiency requirements. The written exam consists of two parts, taken one week apart, or up to a semester apart. Part 1 is a two-day exam (cloistered), answering questions based on the Ph.D. reading list. Part 2 is a take-home question based on the student’s research interest. The student has one week to answer the question, and the answer (usually 40-50 pages) counts as the student’s dissertation proposal/prospectus. A one-hour defense for each part may be taken at the same time, or as two separate defenses, if Parts 1 and 2 are taken in different semesters.
The faculty and student will collaborate to compose a Ph.D. committee, consisting of at least three members of the Department of Modern Languages graduate faculty and one University of Mississippi faculty member external to the graduate program who can evaluate the candidate’s work in the major, minor or subfield areas. The Ph.D. committee will supervise and approve dissertation work, conduct and evaluate the oral defense, and recommend the conferral of the degree.