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Director of Graduate Studies:

Alicia Grandey

For information on
The Graduate Program
please contact Sherri Gilliland
(814) 863-1721

Location:

Graduate Office
Department of Psychology 
125 Moore Building 
The Pennsylvania State University 
University Park, PA 16802-3106

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Language Science

Students electing this program through the Department of Psychology will earn a degree with a dual-title at the PhD level in Psychology and in Language Science. A graduate student obtaining this dual-degree will have the skills and knowledge to bring the methods and theories of linguistics, psycholinguistics, and cognitive neuroscience to bear on central issues in psychology.

Program Description

A dual-title degree program in Psychology will prepare students to combine the theoretical and methodological approaches of several disciplines in order to contribute to research in the rapidly growing area of Language Science. This inherently interdisciplinary field draws on linguistics, psychology, communication sciences and disorders, and cognitive neuroscience, among other disciplines, to address both basic and applied research questions in such areas as first and second language acquisition, developmental and acquired language disorders, literacy, and language pedagogy. Dual-title degree students will receive interdisciplinary training that will enable them to communicate and collaborate productively with a wide range of colleagues across traditionally distinct disciplinary boundaries. Such training will open up new employment opportunities for students and give them the tools to foster a thriving interdisciplinary culture in their future careers. The dual-title program will facilitate the formation of a cross-disciplinary network of peers for participating students as part of their professional development.

Requirements for the Psychology/Language Science Dual-Title Ph.D.

The doctoral degree in Psychology and Language Science is awarded only to students who are admitted to the Psychology doctoral program and admitted to the dual-title degree in Language Science. The minimum course requirements for the dual-title Ph.D. degree in Psychology and Language Science, in addition to the Psychology requirements, are described below.

Psychology/Language Science Requirements

  • Major Area (e.g., cognitive, developmental clinical, etc.): 18 credits
  • Breadth: 12 credits outside of the major area (which can be satisfied through courses within other areas of the Psychology Department or through a minor specialization outside of the department)
  • Research Methods/Statistics: Ling 525 or equivalent (note that Psych 507 and 508 satisfy this requirement)
  • Theoretical Linguistics (LING 500 or LING 504; 3 credits)
  • 6 credits, Research internships with two different faculty mentors (students will choose one course among the following: CSD 596, GER 596, LING 596, PSY 596, SPAN 596)
  • 6 credits, Proseminar in the Language Science of Bilingualism (LING 521), Proseminar in Professional Issues in Language Science (LING 522)
  • Particular courses may satisfy both the Psychology requirements and those in the Language Science program. Final course selection is determined by the student in consultation with their dual-title program advisors and their major program advisors. Students who already hold a master’s degree from another institution may petition to have equivalent course credits accepted.

Candidacy

In order to be admitted to doctoral candidacy in the dual-title degree program, students will take a candidacy examination that is administered by the major program. A single candidacy examination will contain both elements of the Psychology program and the dual-title offering. For the Ph.D. student, the examination may be given after at least 18 credits have been earned in graduate courses beyond the baccalaureate; it must be taken within three semesters (summer sessions do not count) of entry into the doctoral program. With careful planning and consultation, in some cases it may be possible to complete all requirements for both Psychology and Language Science without incurring any delays. However, it is possible that the dual-title degree student may require an additional semester or more to fulfill requirements for the major program and dual-title program; therefore, the candidacy examination may be delayed. The candidacy committee will determine whether an additional semester is warranted on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to the candidacy examination, the student will be required to present a portfolio of work in Language Science to their committee. Such a portfolio would include a statement of the student’s interdisciplinary research interests, a plan of future study, and samples of writing that indicate the student’s work in Language Science. The candidacy examination committee will be composed of faculty from the major program, as well as at least one faculty member affiliated with Language Science. The designated Language Science faculty member may be appointed in the student's major program, but he or she may also hold a formal appointment with Linguistics. The Language Science member will participate in constructing and grading candidacy examination questions in the area of Language Science.

Committee Composition

The doctoral committee of a Ph.D. dual-title degree student must include a minimum of four faculty members, i.e., the chair and at least three additional members all of whom must be members of the Graduate Faculty. The committee must include at least one member of the Language Science graduate faculty. The chair of the committee is typically a member of both Psychology and Language Science, however, if the chair of the committee representing Psychology is not also a member of the graduate faculty in Language Science, then the member of the committee representing Language Science should be appointed as Co-Chair.

Comprehensive Exam

At the end of the coursework, candidates for the dual-title doctoral degree in Psychology and Language Science will be required to pass an oral comprehensive examination based on their thesis proposal and area of specialization in Psychology, while reflecting their dual-title degree curriculum. The Language Science program representative on the student’s doctoral committee must have input into the development of the evaluation of the comprehensive examination and participate in the evaluative process.

Dissertation and Dissertation Defense

Ph.D. students enrolled in the dual-title degree program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that reflects their original research. A dissertation on a topic related to Language Science is required for a dual-title Ph.D. degree in Language Science.

Psychology and Language Science Courses to Fulfill Requirements

Many existing Penn State courses are relevant and appropriate for Language Science students. The following list offers examples of courses that could contribute toward a student's individualized doctoral program. A number of the courses could fulfill coursework requirements (e.g., research methods/statistics). The listing is organized by program.

  • LING 446 FIRST LANGUAGE ACQUISITION (3)
  • LING 447 BILINGUALISM (3)
  • LING 448 SOCIOLINGUISTICS (3)
  • LING 449 SEMANTICS (3)
  • LING 493 FIELD METHODS (3)
  • LING 500 SYNTAX II (3)
  • LING 502 HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS (3)
  • LING 504 PHONOLOGY II (3)
  • LING 521 Proseminar in the Language Science of Bilingualism (3)
  • LING 522 Proseminar in Professional Issues in Language Science (3)
  • LING 525 EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH METHODS IN LANGUAGE SCIENCE (3)
  • LING 545 MORPHOLOGY (3)
  • LING 548 SOCIOLINGUISTICS (3)
  • LING 570 THE HISTORY OF MODERN LINGUISTICS (3)
  • LING 597 SPECIAL TOPICS (1-9)

 

  • CSD 500 RESEARCH METHODS IN COMMUNICATION SCIENCES AND DISORDERS (3)
  • CSD 520 PHYSIOLOGIC AND ACOUSTIC ISSUES IN SPEECH SCIENCE ( 3)
  • CSD 540 PHONOLOGICAL DISABILITIES ( 3)
  • CSD 546 LANGUAGE DISORDERS IN ADULTS ( 3)
  • CSD 547 LANGUAGE DISORDERS IN CHILDREN ( 3)
  • CSD 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES ( 1 - 9)
  • CSD 597 SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1 - 9)

 

  • PSY 507 ANALYSIS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL DATA I ( 3)
  • PSY 508 ANALYSIS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL DATA II ( 3)
  • PSY 510 HISTORY OF THE HIGHER MENTAL PROCESSES ( 3)
  • PSY 511 SEMINAR IN CONTEMPORARY PSYCHOLOGY ( 1 - 3 per semester, maximum of 12)
  • PSY 515 ADVANCED STATISTICS IN PSYCHOLOGY AND EDUCATION ( 3)
  • PSY 520 (LING) SEMINAR IN PSYCHOLINGUISTICS ( 3)
  • PSY 521 COGNITIVE STUDIES ( 3)
  • PSY 524 PROSEMINAR IN COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY ( 3)
  • PSY 525 COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY SEMINAR ( 3 per semester, maximum of 12)
  • PSY 527 STATISTICAL INFERENCE AND EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN ( 3)
  • PSY 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES ( 1 - 9)
  • PSY 597 SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1 - 9)

 

  • APLNG 512 LANGUAGE AND ADULT LIFESPAN DEVELOPMENT ( 3)
  • APLNG 570 SECOND LANGUAGE READING ( 3)
  • APLNG 581 (CAS) DISCOURSE ANALYSIS ( 3)
  • APLNG 591 SEMINAR IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION ( 3)
  • APLNG 593 EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH ON LANGUAGE ( 3)
  • APLNG 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES ( 1 - 9)
  • APLNG 597 SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1 - 9)

 

  • SPAN 507 HISPANO-ROMANCE LINGUISTICS ( 3 per semester, maximum of 9)
  • SPAN 510 SPANISH DESCRIPTIVE LINGUISTICS: PHONOLOGY ( 3)
  • SPAN 511 SPANISH TRANSFORMATIONAL-GENERATIVE LINGUISTICS ( 3)
  • SPAN 513 ACQUISITION OF SPANISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE ( 3)
  • SPAN 514 SPANISH DIALECTOLOGY ( 3 per semester, maximum of 6)
  • SPAN 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES ( 1 - 9)
  • SPAN 597 SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1 - 9)

 

  • GER 512 INTRODUCTION TO GERMAN LINGUISTICS ( 3)
  • GER 513 GERMAN PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY
  • GER 514 GERMAN SYNTAX
  • GER 516 ACQUISITION OF GERMAN AND DUTCH
  • GER 522 OLD HIGH GERMAN (3)
  • GER 523 GOTHIC GER 525 OLD ICELANDIC ( 3)
  • GER 593 SEMINAR IN GERMAN PHILOLOGY AND GERMAN LINGUISTICS ( 3 per semester, maximum of12)
  • GER 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES ( 1 - 9)
  • GER 597 SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1 - 9)

 

  • FR 500 HISTORY OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE ( 3)
  • FR 502 INTRODUCTION TO FRENCH LINGUISTICS ( 3)
  • FR 503 FRENCH PHONOLOGY ( 3)
  • FR 504 FRENCH SYNTAX ( 3)
  • FR 505 SEMANTICS OF FRENCH ( 3)
  • FR 597 SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1 - 9)

 

  • CAMS 501 COMPARATIVE GREEK AND LATIN GRAMMAR ( 3)
  • CAMS 502 THE SANSKRIT LANGUAGE ( 3)
  • CAMS 503 SEMINAR ON ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN LANGUAGES ( 3 - 6)
  • CAMS 596 INDIVIDUAL STUDIES ( 1 - 9)
  • CAMS 597 SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1 - 9)

 

  • STAT 500 APPLIED STATISTICS ( 3)
  • STAT 501 REGRESSION METHODS ( 3)
  • STAT 502 ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE AND DESIGN OF EXPERIMENTS ( 3)
  • STAT 503 DESIGN OF EXPERIMENTS ( 3)
  • STAT 504 ANALYSIS OF DISCRETE DATA ( 3)
  • STAT 505 APPLIED MULTIVARIATE STATISTICAL ANALYSIS ( 3)
  • STAT 511 REGRESSION ANALYSIS AND MODELING ( 3)
  • STAT 512 DESIGN AND ANALYSIS OF EXPERIMENTS ( 3)
  • STAT 515 STOCHASTIC PROCESSES I ( 3)
  • STAT 544 CATEGORICAL DATA ANALYSIS I ( 3)
  • STAT 545 CATEGORICAL DATA ANALYSIS II ( 3)
  • STAT 561 STATISTICAL INFERENCE I ( 3)
  • STAT 562 STATISTICAL INFERENCE II ( 3)
  • STAT 564 THEORY OF NONPARAMETRIC STATISTICS ( 3)
  • STAT 565 MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS ( 3)
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