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Department of Modern Languages
The University of Mississippi

Ph.D. in Second Language Studies

PhD 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.

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Current Ph.D. Students

Program Requirements:

Ph.D. Student Resources:

Beyond Campus:

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Ph.D. Application and Assistantships

Brochure for the Graduate Programs in Modern Languages at the University of Mississippi

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

Deadlines and assistantships:

  • February 1 for following fall admission (assistantships offered only during this time); October 1 for following spring admission.
  • 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.

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Contact Information

Ph.D. Program Coordinator:

Dr. Felice Coles
Bondurant East 210A

Chair of the Department of Modern Languages:

Dr. Daniel O’Sullivan
Bondurant C-115

Mailing address:

Department of Modern Languages
Bondurant Hall C115
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677