A world-class institute of changemakers in the deaf and signing community.
Since 1864, we have been investing in and creating resources for deaf and hard of hearing children, their families, and the professionals who work with them.
Over 50 degree programs, with online and continuing education for personal and professional development.
Innovating solutions to break down barriers, and using science to prove what does and doesn’t work.
We make it easy for you to apply and enter here.
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Program Director: Dr. Deborah PichlerSorenson
Language and Communication Center (SLCC) Third floor
Gallaudet's Ph.D. program in linguistics, with a focus on sign language, opened its doors in the fall
semester of 2002. Students may specialize in a range of theoretical and applied areas related to sign
language, including phonology, syntax, morphology, cognitive linguistics, sociolinguistics, first
language acquisition, and second language acquisition.
Because of the unique sign language focus of the Gallaudet M.A. curriculum in Linguistics, successful
completion of this degree is a prerequisite for the Ph.D. program. Additionally, students wishing to
apply to the Ph.D. program must submit an application portfolio to the Linguistics faculty for review
during their fourth semester in the M.A. program.
Successful applicants advance to Ph.D. candidacy and are required to complete a minimum of 36 credits of
coursework beyond those completed for the M.A. degree, followed by dissertation research. Ph.D. level
coursework includes the following required courses, plus 12 credits of elective coursework:
Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities (LIN 741), Guided Research Project (LIN 880, taken twice),
Phonology III (LIN 801), Generative Linguistics III (LIN 802), Cognitive Linguistics III (LIN 827),
Concept Paper (LIN 803), Dissertation Proposal Development (LIN 890), and Dissertation Research (LIN
For the program of study and requirements for the Ph.D. in Linguistics, click here and view left-hand menu,
For Gallaudet M.A. Linguistics students/graduates only:
For applicants not in or graduated from Gallaudet M.A. Linguistics program only:
Gallaudet University is a federally chartered private and premier university for the deaf and hard of hearing since 1864.
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Spring 2021 – Dec 12Fall 2021 – May 15