Interdisciplinary PhD

Starting Fall 2017. 

Linguistics Concentration, Interdisciplinary Information Science PhD Program (IIS PhD Program)


Applications are now being accepted for the Interdisciplinary Information Science PhD Program (IIS PhD Program) Linguistics Concentration. [Applications closed November 1 2016 for Fall 2017]  

About the program

The University of North Texas Interdisciplinary Information Science PhD Program (IIS PhD) responds to the varied and changing needs of the information age; to the increasing recognition in individual, social, economic and cultural affairs of the central role of information and technologies for refining it. Graduates of the program are prepared to contribute to the advancement and evolution of an information society in a variety of roles and settings: as administrators, researchers and educators. Further information is available at:

PhDs in linguistics traditionally focus on the structure of language and the process of learning it. (Relevant sub-disciplines include phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and first or second language acquisition). The UNT IIS PhD program with a concentration in linguistics encourages students to learn and apply methods and theories of information science and other affiliated disciplines to solve problems in core linguistics, which will give graduates an edge in both academic and nonacademic markets. Students will learn how to fashion highly interdisciplinary fields of study, such as digital language data curation, computational modeling of linguistic behavior, advanced technologies for language teaching, and neurolinguistic and psycholinguistic techniques for alleviating speech and hearing disorders.

To receive timely notifications about the upcoming deadlines, defenses, GSA position opportunities, conferences, new courses etc., IIS PhD Program students (both continuing and incoming) need to be subscribed to UNT-ISDOC-L mailing list. To subscribe to the list, send an email to with subject line blank and with “SUBSCRIBE UNT-ISDOC-L YourFirstName YourLastName” in the body of the message.

About the PhD Linguistics Faculty

Shobhana L. Chelliah, Professor: Language documentation and description; structure and use of English around the world, with special emphasis on the teaching and use of English in the former British colonies.

Patricia Cukor-Avila, Professor: Linguistic variation and change, specifically grammatical change over time in African American English; language across the lifespan; linguistic stereotyping and accent discrimination.

Konstantia Kapetangianni, Lecturer. Syntactic theory and comparative syntax, especially within Principles & Parameters and Minimalism. More specific interests are description and theoretical analysis of empirical phenomena that lie at the interface of morphology, syntax, and semantics.

Sadaf Munshi, Associate Professor: Language documentation of Burushaski (and other Indo-Aryan languages); historical and comparative linguistics, language contact.

Alexis Palmer, Assistant Professor: Computational linguistics for low-resource languages (CL4LRL) and computational discourse and semantics with a view to improving performance in natural language processing by developing more linguistically-informed approaches and models, particularly in the areas of syntax, semantics and discourse.

Haj Ross, Distinguished Research Professor: Semantax – an inter-field that sees syntax and semantics as inseparably interpenetrating; linguistic analysis of poetry.

Xian Zhang, Assistant Professor: Second language acquisition, embodied cognition, language assessment, computer assisted language learning. 

IIS PhD Program Information Science faculty and other affiliated faculty are listed on the program website

Course requirements:

Students enrolled in the linguistics concentration will take courses from four blocks:

  1. Information Science Core Area (a minimum of 12 credit hours)
  2. Research (a minimum of 24 credit hours)
  3. Linguistics Concentration Core (a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 18 hours)
  4. Concentration Electives (a minimum of 12 hours)

The total number of hours required is 60, with some flexibility about where courses of study may

fall within these four categories. The courses are as follows:

  1. Information Science Core Courses. These online courses are the same for every concentration and for the general program of study in the IIS PhD program.

INFO 6000 Seminar in Information Science

INFO 6660 Readings in Information Science (last semester of coursework with student’s dissertation committee chair)

INFO 6700 Seminar in Communication and Use in Information

INFO 6945 Doctoral Seminar in Information Issues


2.   Research Courses.  Courses indicated with an asterisk are required.

*INFO 6940 Inquiry and Research Design or equivalent

*LING 5070 Bibliography and Research Methods (or 6000 level equivalent)

*ANTH 5032 Ethnographic and Qualitative Methods (or ANTH 5031 with the approval of the advisor)

*INFO 6950 Dissertation hours (at least 12 credit hours)

LTEC 6510 Introduction to Research     

LTEC 6511 Analysis of Research (Factor Analysis)    

LTEC 6512 Analysis of Qualitative Research      

LING 6514 Seminar on Advanced Research Topics


3.    Concentration Core. [PC1] The following courses or equivalent, as approved by the advisor.

LING 6010 Morphosyntax

LING 6020 Syntax

LING 6040 Computational Linguistics

LING 6050 Phonology

LING 6110 Linguistic Variation

LING 6030 Semantics


4.   Concentration Electives.  The following courses or equivalent, as approved by the advisor.

LING 6120 Annotation Standards

LING 6130 Natural Language Processing

LING 6150 Semantic Ontology

LING 6800 Topics in Linguistics

LING 6900 Directed Study in Linguistic

LING 6060 Data Analysis in Human Language Technology (HLT) I

LING 6060 Data Analysis in Human Language Technology (HLT) II


There are two doctoral program options: 60 credit hours for students with a completed Master’s degree and 72 credit hours for students without a Master’s degree. Additional courses above the 60 or 72 hours may be stipulated as needed.

Applications (Please check:

  1. Applicants must first meet the qualifications for admission set by the Toulouse Graduate School.  
  2. Apply to the IIS PhD Program  Indicate that you are applying for the linguistics concentration.
  3. Attach the following to the application:
  1. Personal statement/letter of intent (500 word minimum)
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Two single-authored academic writing samples
  4. Three letters of recommendation
  5. GRE scores
  6. Email to: (electronic submissions are encouraged)
  7. Mail to IIS PhD Program Office:
  1. Submit the application via:


University of North Texas

College of Information

Department of Library and Information Sciences

1155 Union Circle 311068

Denton, TX 76203-5017

  1. Fax to: 940-369-7898

Note: Students may only start the program in the fall semester.  No applications for Spring enrollment will be accepted. Admission decisions will be announced starting July 31st via email. You may email with questions about admission decisions after that date.

Admission Criteria

Since 2007, the State of Texas has mandated that all applications are to be evaluated under the rubric of “holistic review” indicating that deficiency in one element of an application doesn’t necessarily disqualify a candidate from gaining admission to any given program.


Limited funding is available and will be awarded on the basis of merit. Funding may be available in the form of a stipend as a Graduate Student Assistant (GSA), tuition waiver, or scholarship. Forms to apply for this funding can be found on the IS Interdisciplinary PhD website at


Advising Office (; Linguistics Office (; or Department of Library and Information Science, IIS PhD coordinators (