Linguistics Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study


Program Description

The interests of the faculty cover a wide range of areas in theoretical and experimental linguistics. The field's graduate program covers all facets of linguistics, as well as an exceptionally broad spectrum of courses dealing with computational linguistics, field methods and historical linguistics. All graduate students in the field are enrolled in the Ph.D. program.

Research Facilities: The department offers state-of-the-art facilities for research in phonetics, including articulatory movement tracking, ultrasound, electroglottography, and speech aerodynamics. The phonetics lab is part of the Cornell Speech Imaging Group (SIG), a cross-disciplinary team of researchers using real-time magnetic resonance imaging to study the dynamics of speech articulation. The department also hosts a Computational Linguistics Lab which focuses on statistical parsing of large data samples, including grammar development, parameter estimation, and acquisition of lexical information from corpora. The Language Documentation Lab provides resources and laboratory space for research involving language documentation, description, and analysis, with an emphasis on understudied languages. The Interface Research Lab focuses on understanding the interfaces between phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.



Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-1105

203 Morrill Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • computational linguistics (minor)
  • East Asian linguistics (minor)
  • English linguistics (minor)
  • general linguistics
  • Germanic linguistics (minor)
  • Indo-European linguistics (minor)
  • phonetics (minor)
  • phonological theory (minor)
  • second language acquisition (minor)
  • semantics (minor)
  • Slavic linguistics (minor)
  • Southeast Asian Linguistics (minor)
  • syntactic theory (minor)


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Dec. 15; no spring admission

Requirements Summary:

Learning Outcomes

  • Produce original, publishable research in the field, demonstrate independent thinking to find topics of inquiry, linguistic data, and develop concepts and methods.
  • Demonstrate a thorough command of theoretical and empirical knowledge across several distinct subareas of the field of linguistics, such as phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, computational or historical linguistics. 
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of a major area of expertise in linguistics, including a thorough knowledge of the relevant literature.
  • Show effective mastery of the appropriate methodologies and techniques necessary for research, such as statistics, computational skills, formal logic, acoustic and articulatory methodologies, and data documentation methods.
  • Show effective professional skills:  keeping abreast of advances within the field, clear and concise writing, well-organized presentations in conference and classroom settings, well-conceived course syllabi, job search preparation.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to advancing the values of scholarship: teaching and mentoring,  adhere to ethical standards of the discipline, engagement in professional societies (CLC, LSA), editorial activities.