Ph.D. Overview and Emphases

The UC Davis doctoral program in linguistics offers a variety of concentrations, serving students interested in theoretical and applied linguistics. Students can opt to complement their instruction with a "designated emphasis".


The PhD program in linguistics at UC Davis is served by a graduate faculty with expertise in diverse areas of linguistics, including faculty from several departments. Students should take advantage of the interdisciplinary outlook the faculty can afford. Students can specialize in the following areas:

  • Multilingualism and Language Development
  • This tract responds to a growing need for researchers trained to investigate issues of multilingualism and the acquisition of non-native languages. This area of research applies linguistic analysis to advance understanding of the many complex sociocultural, psychosocial, educational and pedagogical issues that surround second (or multiple) language acquisition and development. The large and diverse group of faculty members who participate in this emphasis have research expertise in numerous facets of second language research, language policy, and sociolinguistics. The program also derives strength from collaborative links with the Second Language Acquisition Designated Emphasis and Certificate, and the Designated Emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies.

    Faculty in this area
  • Language Structure and Theory, and Language Sciences
  • The language structure and theory area of emphasis within the Ph.D. program allows students to pursue advanced coursework and specialized research in various traditional areas of linguistic inquiry, including, phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, language typology, theoretical linguistics, descriptive linguistics, lexical and cognitive semantics, and formal semantics. The Ph.D. program in linguistics is affiliated with a large interconnected group of UC Davis centers and programs that are devoted to mind and brain sciences. At the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain, Graduate Group faculty in linguistics operate three research laboratories


    Research in the Language Sciences examines the application of experimental and laboratory methods in linguistic research, as well as statistical and computational modeling of linguistic phenomena.

    Faculty in this area