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University of Toronto Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Jan 
International :15 Jan 

PhD Linguistics

 Course Level
Full Time

5 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

20530 CAD
20530 CAD

Application fee

International 120 CAD
National 120 CAD
Department of Linguistics
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)93
TOEFL-PBT (min)580

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About this course

The Department of Linguistics offers Doctor of Philosophy program in three fields:

  • Theoretical Linguistics (generative grammar: phonology, morphology, syntax)
  • Language Variation (sociolinguistics, dialectology, language variation and change)
  • Psycholinguistics (comprehension and production, language acquisition)

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Minimum required score: 7.0 (Academic)with at least 6.5 for each component.

The IELTS test is available in two test formats: Academic or General Training. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking modules. It is the Reading and Writing components that differ. The Academic version of IELTS measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. This is the format that is required for an application to the University of Toronto.

The TOEFL examination is offered in two formats: the traditional paper-based format (only offered on specific dates in a limited number of countries), and the Internet-based format (IBT). Applicants in countries where the Internet-based testing is not available must register for the paper-based TOEFL which includes the Test of Written English (TWE) component. The Internet-based tests automatically include an essay rating component which is similar to the TWE. All applicants must satisfy a minimum score requirement on the TOEFL and on the TWE/Essay Rating component to be considered for admission. The table below lists the minimum TOEFL score requirements set by each of the four SGS academic divisions.


Students with an MA in linguistics from the University of Toronto, or with an equivalent degree from elsewhere, are eligible for admission to the PhD programme. Students who have a research-oriented degree but lack the specific course background for admission to the PhD programme may be admitted to the one-year MA programme. Such students may subsequently apply to the PhD programme. A minimum average of at least A- over four full course equivalents is required.

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Course Modules

The PhD Programme

Course Work

PhD students are expected to take three full graduate course equivalents. Courses are to be chosen in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator and the advisor, and are normally to be completed by the end of the first year.
Language Requirements

In addition to coursework, all students must demonstrate the ability to read professionally in two languages other than English. The choice of languages must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator. A student who has met the language requirements for the MA is deemed to have met one of the language requirements for the PhD.
Generals Papers

Every PhD student is required to write two Generals papers after completing their course work. Students planning to write a Generals paper must register for LIN2201H for the first paper, and LIN2202H for the second.

The two Generals papers must be written in the following areas:

  • One of phonology, phonetics, syntax, or semantics

A second area, to be chosen from the following:

  • Another area of linguistic theory (phonology, phonetics, syntax, or semantics)
  • Language variation: sociolinguistics, dialectology, or historical linguistics
  • Cognitive science: psycholinguistics, language acquisition, or computational linguistics
  • Paper topics must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator, who is responsible for determining whether a topic falls within an appropriate area, and whether the two topics are sufficiently distinct.

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How to Apply

Included with the application the department requires:

  • the applicant's curriculum vitae
  • a letter of intent (max 2 pages, single spaced, 1-inch margins)
  • three letters of reference from people familiar with the applicant's academic and research capabilities
  • scanned transcripts and official transcripts.

Check further details on University website

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