New Courses and A Requirement Reminder

The Ph.D. (and M.A.) requirements are being modified to reflect a better balance of depth and breadth in your graduate-level training. Here is the new curriculum, which we are implementing as best we can this year (2017W).

Breadth requirement. Complete at least 3 courses from the following list for a total of 9 credits:

  • LING 508 (Phonetics)
  • LING 510 (Phonology)
  • LING 520 (Syntax)
  • LING 525 (Semantics)

Depth requirement. Complete at least 5 courses from the following list, including at least 1 section of LING 530 for a total of 15 credits.

  • LING 503 (for this year it’s 530E) (Acquisition)
  • LING 532 (Field Methods in Linguistics II)
  • LING 505A (Morphology)
  • LING 513 (for this year it’s 530H) (Phonetics)
  • LING 511 (for this year it’s 530G) (Phonology)
  • LING 527 (for this year it’s 530J) (Semantics)
  • LING 521 (for this year it’s 530I) (Syntax)
  • LING 530 (Seminars on assorted topics)

Methods requirement. You’ll need  a total of 9 credits of methods courses to complete this requirement. You must complete LING 531 (Field Methods) and at least 3 credits of Linguistics methods courses*.  For the remaining credits you could take an additional field methods course (LING 532) or an appropriate course in a different department (statistics, logic, etc.).

Important note! We used to require that a Ph.D. student had to be registered in a LING 530 seminar until they were ABD. Now they just must be registered in any course other than a thesis credit course. Easy peasy.

*These new methods courses do not exist at all yet! For the time being students will have to take Ling 518 to complete this methods bit.

Some new rules about doctoral degrees


There have been some changes to the university-level rules about transferring to from an MA to a PhD program and about how to maintain your status as a PhD student. I provide the highlights here:

For students transferring from a master’s to a doctoral program:

  • coursework requirement during the master’s program has been reduced from 12 credits to 9 credits
  • all 9 required credits must be of first-class standing. (First-class standing means A- or higher.)

In order to maintain registration in the doctoral program:

  • students must complete 12 credits with a first-class average
  • at least 9 of the 12 credits must be at the 500-level or above
  • at least 9 of the 12 credits must be of first-class standing

For more information (tons more, that is) about University-level rules about admission to doctoral degree programs, see this page.

LSA 2017 Linguistic Institute Fellowships

Attention! Applications are now open for the LSA’s 2017 Linguistic Institute!
“Graduate and undergraduate students interested in attending the LSA’s 2017 Linguistic Institute can now begin applications (login required) for student fellowships. A large number of fellowships covering the full cost of tuition are available, as well as four named fellowships which cover additional expenses. The 2017 Linguistic Institute, themed “Language Across Space and Time”, will be held from July 5 – August 1 and hosted by the University of Kentucky. Over the Institute’s four weeks, scores of courses will be offered on introductory and advanced topics across linguistics.”
“All elements of the application, including letters of recommendation, must be submitted by Wednesday, February 1.  Applicants should therefore submit their applications sufficiently early to allow their recommenders to submit letters of reference by the February 1 deadline.  All applicants must be student members of the LSA. To begin the application, visit (LSA member login required); if you’re already logged in to the LSA website, you can click the “Submit Fellowship Application” button on your profile page to begin. If you are not already a student member, you may join the LSA by visiting this page.”

Are you well?

Whether you are a student or a “normal” person, it is important to be in tune with your innards and outtards. Take this quiz to assess your wellbeing (I did!) and if your thetans, photons, or croutons are out of whack, take advantage of the resources at UBC to get in shape.

QP Timelines

This schedule should contain pretty much everything any of us want to know about QP timelines.


for December defence
for April defence
(Monday, Week 4 of Term 2; early February) Graduate Advisor arranges a QP committee for any 1st year

PhD student (or a provisional QP committee for any MA student intent on requesting transfer to PhD program), in consultation with the student, no later than this date

Monday, Week 9 of Term 2
(early March)
Monday, Week 3 of Term 1
(mid Sept)
Student emails initial draft of QP proposal to all committee members, cc-ing the Graduate Advisor.

NOTE: Student should have discussed proposal ideas with committee members earlier than this date, at least informally.

Monday, Week 13 of Term 2
(early Apr)
Monday, Week 7 of Term 1
(mid Oct)
Student sends email to Graduate Advisor and Graduate Secretary, cc-ing all committee members, confirming approval of QP proposal and attaching final proposal. Included in that email should be a concrete timeline (work plan) for the QP project as a whole.

Student submits hard copies of the QP proposal and the approval form to Graduate Secretary for filing, and circulates the approved proposal to department email list.

Apr–Aug Oct–Jan Student works on QP research project. During this period, regular corre­spondence and/or meetings with QP readers is expected.
Monday 12 weeks before mini-conference
(Week 3 of Term 1; mid Sept)
Monday 12 weeks before mini-conference
(Week 4 of Term 2; late Jan)
Student submits written draft of QP (at least a partial draft) to all committee members no later than this date.

Student meets with readers to clarify expectations regarding revision process (how many rounds of revisions to expect, turnaround time, etc.)

Monday 8 weeks before mini-conference
(Week 7 of Term 1; mid Oct)
Monday 8 weeks before mini-conference
(Week 8 of Term 2; late Feb)
Student sends email to Graduate Advisor (cc-ed to whole committee), declaring intent to defend in upcoming QP mini-conference.
Monday 6 weeks before mini-conference
(Week 9 of Term 1; late Oct)
Monday 6 weeks before mini-conference
(Week 10 of Term 2; mid March)
Student submits complete written draft of QP to all committee members no later than this date.
Monday 2 weeks before mini-conference
(Week 13 of Term 1; late Nov)
Monday 2 weeks before mini-conference
(Week 14 of Term 2; early April)
Student sends email to Graduate Advisor, cc-ing whole committee, confirming participation in QP mini-conference.
Tuesday 1 week before mini-conference
(Week 14 of Term 1; early Dec)
Tuesday 1 week before mini-conference
(Week 15 of Term 2; mid April)
Student submits defence draft of QP to all committee members
Tuesday 2 weeks after last class (Week 15 of Term 1; early/mid Dec) Tuesday 2 weeks after last class (Week 16 of Term 2; mid April) QP mini-conference
Tuesday 4 weeks after mini-conference
(early/mid Jan)
Tuesday 4 weeks after mini-conference
(mid May)
Student submits revised QP to committee for final approval.
Tuesday 5 weeks after mini-conference Tuesday 5 weeks after mini-conference Student submits to the Graduate Advisor a hard copy of the QP filing form (download from Department website or request from Graduate Advisor/Secretary), signed by all committee members, with a hard copy of the approved QP attached.

Student circulates approved QP to department email list.

2 weeks after filing of approved QP 2 weeks after filing of approved QP Student submits to the UBC Working Papers in Linguistics an electronic copy of the QP, formatted according to the UBCWPL style sheet.

NOTE: Recognizing that demands of particular research projects may place specific constraints on timelines that conflict with the official schedule, deviations from this deadline can be negotiated with the supervisory committee. Student should notify the Graduate Advisor of any such special arrangements by email (cc-ed to whole committee).

QP Expectations and Best Practices

Expectations Regarding the Timing of QP completion within PhD program

  • Other things being equal, QP1 is expected to be defended in the 1st or 2nd term of Year 2.
  • Other things being equal, QP2 is expected to be defended in the 2nd term of Year 2 or the 1st term of Year 3.
  • Note that the periods when a student is working on QP1 and QP2 will thus normally overlap.

Exceptional extenuating circumstances (e.g. relating to health or other emergencies) can justify holding an individual QP defence outside of the April/December mini-conference events.

Similarly, special circumstances may warrant QP1 and/or QP2 being completed later than in the terms specified above, subject to the approval of the supervisory committee and Graduate Advisor. In any case, both Qualifying Papers must have been completed no later than the 2nd term of Year 3. (Note that all other requirements for advancement to PhD candidacy must likewise have been met before the start of Year 4.)

Comments and feedback: best-practice guidelines

  • For any material submitted to readers or other committee members (e.g. proposals, full or partial drafts of papers), students should expect to receive comments on that material within 2 weeks.
  • Conversely, students should allow for up to 2 weeks before receiving comments from readers on any drafts or other material they intend to submit, and budget their time accordingly (e.g. with respect to the official deadlines on the QP schedule).

Scope of a Doctoral Dissertation

Passing along some information about changes to the Scope of a Doctoral Dissertation. The Public Scholars Initiative seems really interesting — I imagine many of you could be spinning your research in that direction.
The Graduate Academic Policy Committee has approved updates to the section of the G+PS website “Scope of a Doctoral Dissertation”. Related sections have had minor adjustments in consequence. Please note that there are no major changes, and the scope and possibilities have been expanded, not limited.
The updates have been made to support the Public Scholars Initiative, which encourages diverse forms of collaborative scholarship and scholarly products.
The following pages have minor adjustments:


Upcoming Information Sessions

Submitting Your Thesis
Working on your thesis? This session will review the UBC formatting and submission requirements.
Tuesday, September 27 | 9:00 AM to 10:15 AM
For further information or to register, visit .  The direct registration link is .
Copyright for Your Thesis: How to Use Images and Other Material
Are there images or portions of published manuscripts you are planning to use in your thesis? Do you have concerns over how copyright laws could delay your thesis submission? Bring your theses or other work you need guidance on.
Tuesday, September 27 | 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer
This workshop will help you gain an overall understanding of the field of intellectual property; understand the various stages and timelines in the process of obtaining a patent; utilize the resources available to conduct a prior-art search yourself; and participate in technology transfer processes.
Thursday, September 29 | 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Please visit the forums for other graduate student opportunities including:
Tips and Tricks for Formatting your Thesis, Sept 21, 10:00 AM
Top 10 Tips for Getting Organized & Staying Productive, Sept 21, 1:00 PM
Multi-disciplinary Graduate Student Writing Community, Sept 26, 2:00 PM
Submit a proposal to present at the Student Leadership Conference in January
Volunteer with the GSS as a commissioner


Some International Mitacs Opportunities

Global Research Award (12- to 24- week research project abroad)
The Mitacs Globalink Research Award supports research collaborations between Canada and select partner countries. The award is open to graduate students in all disciplines. Select destinations are also open to senior undergraduates in all disciplines. Full details (including eligibility requirements and application materials) are available at:
Mitacs-JSPS Internship (10-week research project in Japan)
The Mitacs-JSPS Internship provides opportunities for graduate students in Canada to pursue collaborative research in Japan, allowing them to advance their own research while promoting scientific progress in both Japan and Canada. Full details (including eligibility requirements and application materials) are available at:
Deadline: Submit the completed proposal by email to by Wednesday, 9
November 2016, at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time
Please contact Mitacs International at if you have any questions regarding the application or eligibility requirements.


IODE War Memorial Scholarship

The IODE War Memorial Scholarships support PhD scholars whose research makes important contributions to Canada and the world in medicine, science, business, politics and academia. Applicants are judged on academic excellence and potential. Details are available online at:
Eligibility: Applicants must be Canadian citizens and in at least their second year of a doctoral program at a Canadian or Commonwealth university.
  1. Letter of Intent by 01 October 2016
  2. Complete application by 01 November 2016
Please submit all correspondence and supporting documents on or before the specified deadline dates.
  • By email, to the IODE War Memorial Officer at; or,
  • By post, to IODE Canada, 40 Orchard View Blvd. Suite 219, Toronto, ON, M4R 1B9