Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Lior Laks (

In order to apply to the Department a student needs a minimum average grade of 87 in his/her MA degree and a thesis grade of 87 or higher. The policies, rules, and procedures established by the Faculty of Graduate Studies serve as the framework and set the standards for the Department's Graduate Committee.

Degree Specializations

The Linguistics Division has strengths in both theoretical and applied linguistics. The Ph.D. program gives students the opportunity to specialise in one or more of a broad range of topics, including phonology, morphology, formal syntax and semantics, the syntax/semantics interface, pragmatics, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, language disorders, neurolinguistics, bilingualism, reading, and more. Each student with his/her supervisor constructs an individualized program. The program may include specialization in a combination of two or more areas of linguistics, as well as in other fields such as brain sciences, psychology, computer science or philosophy. Specializations can also involve research in the structure or use of a specific language or languages.

Students are admitted into the Ph.D. program only if there is a faculty member able and willing to direct the research; therefore, candidates are highly urged to read about the research interests and fields of specialization of our faculty members to see if any of the active fields of research in the department match their interests.

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Ph.D. Programs in Linguistics

There are three Ph.D. programs in Linguistics:

  • The Regular Ph.D. is for students with an M.A. degree in linguistics with a thesis graded 87 or higher. Full requirements
  • The Direct Ph.D. is for students who have completed a B.A. in linguistics with exceptionally high grades and outstanding recommendations from their teachers.
  • The Combined M.A./Ph.D. is for students who have completed coursework and a thesis proposal for an M.A. which the Graduate Committee in Linguistics considers of Ph.D. quality and who move directly from the M.A. program to the Ph.D. program. Full requirements

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Provisional Admission

Students are sometimes recommended for admission on the condition that they first complete a certain number of courses and/or write a major paper equivalent to an M.A. thesis; this includes students whose previous studies were in fields other than linguistics, such as Psychology, Philosophy, Computer Science, or Education. In such cases, students are usually required to take up to 5 supplementary/prerequisite courses before they can be formally admitted as Ph.D. students. Students who meet these conditions and who show other evidence of ability for advanced research are recommended by the department for admission. These minimal criteria do not guarantee admission.

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Dissertation Proposal

Most students are usually assigned a supervisor upon admission, and should immediately start working on a research proposal, which is due one year from the date of acceptance into the program. Students who do not have a supervisor at this stage should plan to take courses with a range of faculty members at the rank of Senior Lecturer or higher (who are eligible to advise Ph.D. dissertations). When the proposal has been completed and approved by the supervisor, it is reviewed by at least two other lecturers, one inside the University and one outside the University. When the reviews are received and corrections are made if required, the dissertation proposal is submitted by the department to the Faculty of Humanities Committee who forwards it, upon approval, to the University Ph.D. Committee.

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Ph.D. Dissertation

When completed, the Ph.D. dissertation is submitted to the supervisor for approval, and then is submitted by the student to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for review and approval. The Faculty of Graduate Studies solicits anonymous reviews from at least two outside reviewers. This process usually takes from two to six months.

Format Guidelines

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Seminar Papers

Graduate students are expected to provide evidence of independent scholarship. The seminar paper is the primary medium towards this end. Each lecturer determines the requirements and the grading criteria in graduate courses. According to University regulations, papers must be handed in before the beginning of the following academic year, unless an earlier time has been set by the lecturer/professor. Permission to submit late papers is granted in special circumstances by the University PhD Committee. Students who wish to submit a late paper must apply to this committee.

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Linguistics Colloquium and Conferences

Advanced students in Linguistics are strongly encouraged to join the community of linguists by participating in scholarly meetings open to the public (colloquia and conferences).The departmental linguistics colloquium takes place about every two weeks on Tuesday afternoons and features speakers from the department and from other universities presenting research on a wide range of topics. You are encouraged to attend these meetings to broaden your understanding of linguistics and find out about all sorts of interesting topics and methods of research. Linguistics graduate students are required to attend the departmental linguistics colloquium for one full year during their graduate education in the department. All graduate students are encouraged to attend national and international conferences organized at the University. Some funding is available for graduate students giving papers at international conferences abroad.

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Continuing as a Graduate Student

According to University regulations, the minimum grade which can be counted toward a degree is 60%. Graduate students in the English Department are expected to maintain an 80% average. The Department enforces the University rules on plagiarism very strictly.

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Foreign Language Requirement


Ph.D. students studying in the department are exempt from the foreign language requirement.

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Financial Aid and Assistantships


There are several sources of funding for Ph.D. studies. Presidential Fellowships consist of three to four years of support, which includes tuition remission and a stipend of approximately NIS 4000 per month. These awards are granted on a competitive basis to students who show high academic promise and commit themselves to a full-time study program to allow them to complete the degree within the three or four year period specified in the Fellowship contract. A second source of funding is the University Scholarships Committee, which grants sums of approximately NIS 6,000 on the basis of academic merit and financial need. Private sources of funding are sometimes available from foundations. Finally, some students receive support as Research Assistants from research grants, and others have been employed as Teaching Assistants.

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Important Notice: Before your application can go to the Bar-Ilan University PhD committee, it must first be approved by the Department of English Literature and Linguistics. Those who register through the university first who are later rejected by the department will not be refunded the initial registration fee. As such, please be sure to contact us first before applying through the university's general online system.

While PhD students can be admitted at any point during the academic year, students wishing to enroll in fall courses should apply to the department no later than July 31st, while students wishing to enroll in spring courses should apply to the department no later than December 31st.

Applications for the Linguistics PhD Program should include the following:

  1. CV
  2. Scanned formal transcripts of prior studies (all of them), including all the course names, instructors and grades
  3. Scanned diploma(s)
  4. A writing sample in English, such as a seminar paper or an honors/MA thesis
  5. A letter describing your research interests, about 1-2 pages long

Please follow the following steps to apply to the program:

1. Step One: Applications should be sent via e-mail to the Linguistics Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Lior Laks, with a copy to the Graduate Registrar, Chelsea Mosery-Birnbaum. Be sure to include the documents listed above in your email

2. Step Two: Should you receive a notice from the Department of English Literature and Linguistics recommending your acceptance (via email from Dr. Laks), you must then apply though the university's general online system at this link: You will also be asked to pay the application fee-