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    McMaster University
  Oct 23, 2017
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2014-2015 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Cognitive Science of Language, Ph.D

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Ph.D. Degree

The M.Sc. in the Cognitive Science of Language  or an equivalent Master’s degree is required for entrance into the Ph.D. program. Some applicants may require additional courses in core areas (e.g., linguistics or cognitive science) in order to be eligible for admission. Each application will be evaluated on an individual basis.

A. For students holding an M.Sc. in the Cognitive Science of Language

Note: * denotes half courses; # denotes quarter course modules

Required Courses:

Students entering with the M.Sc. in the Cognitive Science of Language are required to complete four half courses plus two pass/fail modules. If the following courses were not completed in the M.Sc. program, they must be included in the Ph.D. program of study:

Additional Requirements

(these are Pass/Fail courses):

B. For students entering with a Master's degree but not an M.Sc. in the Cognitive Science of Language

Comprehensive Examination

The Ph.D. comprehensive examination must be completed within two years of entering the Ph.D. program and is articulated in three phases:

Phase 1

The student will develop a reading list in collaboration with the supervisor and the Comprehensive Committee (appropriate for each student), by the Spring of the first year of Ph.D. study. The Reading List, established by the Comprehensive Committee, will cover at least two (2) subject areas determined by this committee.

Phase 2

In the Spring of the second year of the Ph.D. program, students will be required to take a comprehensive exam. The examination is on two distinct areas and requires the student to complete one assignment in each area, i.e., the student may write two papers (of publishable quality), take two take-home exams, prepare two original experiment reports, or some combination of these. The Comprehensive Committee will determine the appropriate format of the written exam for each student. If the student fails the exam, there will be one opportunity to re-write the exam within one month of the original.

Phase 3

Oral Exam: Within one week of having completed and passed the written exam, the student will be examined orally by the Comprehensive Committee. The Oral Exam will take the form of a discussion of the material submitted for the Written Exam. If the student fails the exam, there will be one opportunity to re-take it.

According to Departmental Policy, all Comprehensives are to be completed within the month of May.

Language Requirement

In order to ensure language diversity and breadth, the Department has a second-language requirement for the Ph.D. degree, in addition to the general Graduate School requirement of English proficiency. Candidates should have, as a minimum, intermediate knowledge of a language other than English, defined as having passed the equivalent of two (2) full year courses. Candidates admitted without this requirement will be expected to pass the equivalent of two (2) full year courses or to pass a Qualifying Exam. The Department will evaluate each student’s language preparation at the Admission stage.

Lecture Series

All students are expected to attend the talks in the Cognitive Science of Language Lecture Series, where scholars from around the world in the fields of Linguistics, Psychology, and Cognitive Neuroscience discuss their research.

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