Ph.D. in Second Language Studies
The Ph.D. Program in Second Language Studies offers two emphases:
Students in the Applied Linguistics Ph.D. emphasis focus on linguistics, empirical research, and language pedagogy. The curriculum is shaped by the scholarship of the department’s faculty. Faculty expertise includes dialectology, discourse analysis, functional linguistics, historical linguistics, language obsolescence, language pedagogy, language variation, second language phonology, and sociolinguistics.
Students in the Spanish Ph.D. emphasis explore linguistics, culture, language, literature, and film across the Spanish-speaking world. The curriculum provides students with a comprehensive understanding of literary criticism, cultural and film studies, and Hispanic linguistics. Faculty expertise includes the study of languages in contact, Spanish dialects, literature from Spain and Latin America, film, indigenous languages of Latin America, and Hispanic sociolinguistics.
All faculty are recognized experts in their fields and are committed to mentoring doctoral students as they pursue careers as researchers, teachers, and/or consultants in a variety of professional contexts.
Current Ph.D. Students
- Applied Linguistics
- Spanish + Spanish Program Checklist
- Faculty Specialties for PhD Comprehensive Exams
Ph.D. Student Resources:
- Second Language Studies: Practical resources by Modern Languages PhD students, for Modern Languages PhD students
- Recently Admitted Graduate Students: Now What?
- International Student and Scholar Services
- UM Graduate School
- Graduate Student Council
- Modern Languages Faculty
- Modern Languages Graduate Student Handbook 2023-2024
- Graduate Student Travel to Academic Conferences: Policies and Application
- The Colloquium: The UM Graduate Student Colloquium in Applied Linguistics and TESOL (GSCALT)
- UMWPL Journal: University of Mississippi Working Papers in Linguistics
- Community English as a Second Language (CESL) Program: Applied Linguistics students are encouraged to work as teachers and administrators in the CESL Program, which offers weekly classes for family members of international faculty and scholars at the University of Mississippi
- Teach Mississippi Institute: An alternate route to teacher certification for secondary schools
- Mississippi Foreign Languages Association
- Modern Language Association
- Visit Oxford, Mississippi
Ph.D. Application and Assistantships
Admission to the Ph.D. in Second Language Studies follow the criteria of the Graduate School.
Applied Linguistics Specialization Requirements for Admission:
- Master’s degree in one of the following: Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, English Language, ESL, Foreign Language, Spanish, or a related field. Applicants to the emphasis in Applied Linguistics should have graduate-level coursework in Linguistics (at least an introduction)
- GRE score: a holistic evaluation of all sections
- TOEFL ibt score = 79 –or- IELTS = 6.0 (waived for students with M.A. from an approved English-speaking institution)
- Undergraduate GPA: above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (as a Graduate School requirement)
- Master’s GPA: recommended above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
Spanish Specialization Requirements for Admission:
- Master’s degree in Spanish or a related field
- GRE score: a holistic evaluation of all sections (Verbal scores above 142 and Writing scores above 3.0 will be considered competitive)
- For international applicants: TOEFL score of 79 or IELTS of 6.00 (countries exempt from TOEFL examinations)
- Undergraduate GPA: 3.0 and above on a 4.0 scale
- Master’s GPA: above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
Materials to Submit:
- Online application through the Graduate School
- $50 application fee paid to the University of Mississippi Graduate School
- Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions where coursework has been taken
- Scores from a recent GRE and TOEFL exam (if applicable)
- Three letters of recommendation
- A current curriculum vita or résumé
- A statement of purpose for research and career plans using the Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics or Spanish
- A 3,000 – 8,000 word writing sample, such as a publishable-quality manuscript, a thesis chapter, research paper, etc.
- For more information and assistance, consult the Graduate School website, Graduate School Inquiries, and International Student and Scholar Services
Deadlines and assistantships:
- October and March
- Competitive assistantships may be available for those who can teach one of the 11 languages offered by the Department of Modern Languages. Scholarships are awarded for applicants who start in the fall. Very few funding opportunities are available for spring.
- Additional assistance may be available from the Office of Financial Aid.
For any questions that arise during the application process, please contact Dr. Felice Coles.
Ph.D. Program Coordinator:
Chair of the Department of Modern Languages:
Department of Modern Languages
Bondurant Hall C115
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677