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Ph.D. in Chinese Linguistics

The Ph.D. program is designed to prepare students for a doctoral degree in Chinese linguistics.

Students should consult the most up-to-date version of the degree plan on the Stanford Bulletin as well as the EALC Graduate Handbook. Each student should meet with their faculty advisor at least once per quarter to discuss the degree requirements and their progress.

Degree Requirements for the Ph.D. in Chinese Linguistics

Admission to Candidacy

Candidacy is the most important University milestone on the way to the Ph.D. degree. Admission to candidacy rests both on the fulfillment of department requirements and on an assessment by department faculty that the student has the potential to successfully complete the Ph.D.

Following University policy (GAP 4.6.1), students are expected to complete the candidacy requirements by Spring Quarter of the second year of graduate study.

Pre-Candidacy Requirements

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in modern Chinese by completing one of the tracks of third-year Chinese with a letter grade of B or higher or by demonstrating an equivalent level of linguistic attainment by passing the appropriate certifying examinations.
    • CHINLANG 103 - Third-Year Modern Chinese, Third Quarter (5 units)
    • CHINLANG 103B - Third-Year Modern Chinese for Bilingual Speakers, Third Quarter (3 units)
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in classical Chinese by completing one of the following advanced classical Chinese courses with a letter grade of B or higher.
    • CHINA 208 - Advanced Classical Chinese: Philosophical Texts (3-5 units)
    • CHINA 209 - Advanced Classical Chinese: Historical Narration (2-5 units)
    • CHINA 210 - Advanced Classical Chinese: Literary Essays (2-5 units)
  3. Proseminar sequence: Complete the following courses for a letter grade of B or higher.
    • EALC 201 - Proseminar in East Asian Humanities I: Skills and Methodologies (3 units)
    • CHINA 290 - Research in Chinese Linguistics (2-3 units)
  4. Additional course requirements:
    • Four courses numbered above 200 in the field of China studies, at least two of which must be listed with the CHINA subject code, and the other two of which may be in different sub-fields such as anthropology, art history, history, philosophy, political science, religious studies, or another relevant field, as approved by the student’s advisor.
  5. Qualifying paper
    • All doctoral students must complete an MA qualifying paper. An MA thesis is accepted instead of a qualifying paper for students initially admitted as EALC MA students. Students seeking an MA en route to the PhD must secure approval from the primary advisor and submit an MA thesis.

    • A graded MA qualifying paper or thesis must be submitted to the DGS and SSO with an accompanying note from the student’s primary advisor by week five of spring quarter of the second year of study for the annual review and candidacy decision.

    • During the quarter when students complete the MA qualifying paper or thesis (25-30 pages), they must enroll in EALC 299.

Teaching Requirement

  1. Complete the following course during Spring Quarter of the year prior to serving as a teaching assistant. Typically, this occurs during Spring Quarter of the second year of graduate study.
    • DLCL 301 - The Learning and Teaching of Second Languages (3 units)
  2. Demonstrate pedagogical proficiency by serving as a teaching assistant for at least three quarters, starting no later than autumn quarter of the third year of graduate study. The department may approve exceptions to the timing of the language teaching requirement.

Post-Candidacy Requirements

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in at least one supporting language (beyond the near-native level required in Chinese and English) to be chosen in consultation with the primary advisor according to the candidate’s specific research goals. For this supporting language (typically Japanese, Korean, or a European language), students must be proficient at a second-year level at the minimum; a higher level of proficiency may be required depending on the advisor’s recommendation. Reading proficiency must be certified through a written examination or an appropriate amount of coursework to be determined on a case-by-case basis. This requirement must be fulfilled by the end of the fourth year of graduate study.

  2. Students in Chinese linguistics must take at least one literature course.

  3. Complete two relevant seminars at the 300 level. EALC 200 may be substituted for one of these two seminars.

  4. Pass three comprehensive written examinations, one of which tests the candidate’s methodological competence in the relevant discipline. The remaining two fields are chosen, with the approval of the student’s advisor, from the following: Chinese literature, Japanese literature, Korean literature, archaeology, anthropology, art history, comparative literature, communication, history, linguistics, philosophy, and religious studies. With the advisor’s approval, a PhD minor in a supporting field may be deemed equivalent to completing one of these three examinations.

  5. Students should submit a dissertation prospectus before advancing to Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) status. The prospectus should comprehensively describe the dissertation project and include sections on the project rationale, key research questions, contributions to the field, a literature review, a chapter-by-chapter outline, a projected timeline, and a bibliography.

  6. Pass the University Oral Examination (dissertation defense). General regulations governing the oral examination are found in Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures (GAP 4.7.1). The candidate is examined on questions related to the dissertation after acceptable parts have been completed in draft form.

  7. Following university policy (GAP 4.8.1), submit a dissertation demonstrating the ability to undertake original research based on primary and secondary materials in Chinese.