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Frequently Asked Questions:
What Prospective Students Want to Know

 


Index Of Questions



  1. What kind of job will I be prepared for with the Ph.D. in LALS from USF?

  2. How long does it take to complete the Ph.D. degree?

  3. Can you tell me details about the coursework?

  4. Can I get financial aid or an assistantship?

  5. What are the research specializations of the Applied Linguistics faculty?

  6. Do I have to know exactly what my research specialization will be before I apply to the program?

  7. Is it possible to waive the GRE requirement?

  8. How do I know if I need to submit a TOEFL score?

  9. There are so many Ph.D. programs in Applied Linguistics. What makes USF special?

  10. I see that there is a language requirement for the Ph.D. program. What does this mean?

  11. How can I find out more about USF?

Questions and Answers



  • What kind of job will I be prepared for with the Ph.D. in LALS from USF?
    • As members of an applied discipline, applied linguists are language scientists who address issues related to language use in diverse contexts, ranging from understanding language choice in professional writing, to analyzing the critical role of language in doctor-patient interactions, to understanding how people from different language backgrounds are able to communicate successfully in global business environments. Focusing on the rigorous empirical analysis of language data, applied linguists address problems such as how writers in various disciplines use language to construct professional expertise, how users of a second language can make their accent intelligible to others, how and why second language learners differ in their language learning journeys, and how to define and measure specific language abilities.  The program prepares graduate to work both in academic and non-academic positions. 

  • How long does it take to complete the Ph.D. degree?
    • For the LALS program, the coursework requirements should take two years to complete with an additional two years for the qualifying exam and the dissertation. The program advisors will help each student determine the coursework sequence and timing.

  • Can you tell me details about the coursework? 
  • Can I get financial aid or an assistantship?  
    • Our goal is to help all students admitted to the LALS program find funding for a 4-year period (unless otherwise specified in the acceptance letter).  If a student should need longer than 4 years to finish the program, we will try to help with funding when possible; however, funding priority will be given to those students in their first 4 years of study.  Based on your application, the faculty will help identify potential funding opportunities, and you will likely be asked to complete additional applications and/or go through the interview process for these positions. For loans or other types of non-USF financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid: http://www.usf.edu/financial-aid/  

  • What are the research specializations of the Applied Linguistics faculty?
    • The faculty have a wide range of research interests and specializations. For details, see the “people” page.

  • Do I have to know exactly what my research specialization will be before I apply to the program?  
    • You will submit a statement of purpose (SOP) as part of your application package. The SOP is a discussion of why you want to pursue the LALS Ph.D., including your current research interests and faculty that you could potentially work with at USF. In other words, you would need to have some sort of tentative plan of a research topic in Applied Linguistics that you would like to pursue for your Ph.D. studies. That being said, you might become inspired by a specific class, the research of a specific faculty member at USF, or a conference that you attend during the first part of your studies.  While the information in your SOP will be an indication to the faculty of whether or not you will be a good fit for the program, the project/topic you propose in your SOP is open to modification. 

  • Is it possible to waive the GRE requirement? 
    • No, all applicants must submit a GRE score from a test taken within the past 5 years.  

  • How do I know if I need to submit a TOEFL score?  
    • If you are an international student, you will need a TOEFL score for both admission and funding. More details can be found on the “prospective student” page.  http://languages.usf.edu/graduate/lals/prospective/ Note that while admissions accepts the IELTS for admissions purposes, the Office of Graduate Studies does not accept it to show English proficiency for a TA position. As such, if you are requesting funding from USF (as we expect most Ph.D. applicants will do), we require a TOEFL be submitted at the time of application.  

  • There are so many Ph.D. programs in Applied Linguistics.  What makes USF special?    
    • The faculty in the LALS program at USF pride themselves on the close mentoring they give to their students.  The faculty have a long history of advising doctoral students and have many co-authored papers and conference presentations with their graduate students.  For more information about past student-faculty collaborations, see the “people” section of the website:

  •  I see that there is a language requirement for the Ph.D. program.  What does this mean? 
    • Students whose first language is a language other than English, and who have submitted TOEFL scores to satisfy admission requirements, will have satisfied the foreign language proficiency requirement upon admission to the program. Native speakers of English must demonstrate a minimum of “Novice-High” proficiency in an additional language, based on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.  There are a variety of ways to meet this requirement – see the handbook for details.  

  • How can I find out more about USF?  
    • There are some great web sites where you can explore this university. For example, you can read the Oracle (the student newspaper). You can even take a virtual tour. Check out the “resources” page: http://languages.usf.edu/graduate/lals/resources/