The PhD program in Language and Information Technologies is focused on understanding and extending the state of the art in computational linguistics, information retrieval, multimedia information retrieval, natural language processing, machine translation, speech processing, text mining, and other topics related to analysis of unstructured information (e.g., computational biology, machine learning, and software engineering of intelligent systems). 

Overview of the PhD Program

The PhD in Language and Information Technologies consists of several components:

  • Successful completion of courses fulfilling specific requirements;
  • Mastery of certain proficiencies; and
  • A program of research culminating in a PhD thesis.

Note that the LTI PhD has no qualifying exam.

Please see the PhD Handbook for a more detailed set of rules concerning this program. You can also view a list of frequently asked questions.

Typically during their first two years in the program, students spend 50 percent of their time doing coursework and 50 percent of their time doing research under the supervision of their PhD advisor. In subsequent years, the majority of their time is spent doing research, although they may take additional courses when appropriate. Typically a student completes a PhD proposal in the third or fourth year, and completes a PhD dissertation in the fifth or sixth year.

Beginning in their first semester, PhD students are expected to do research that extends the state of the art in a particular scientific area and that can be published in the most competitive peer-reviewed conferences and scientific journals. Although scientific publications are not an explicit program requirement, students who are extending the state of the art typically publish their results.

PhD Advisors

Students are matched to advisors 3-4 weeks after they enter the program. This gives students time to attend talks given by faculty and to meet individually with potential advisors. We believe that it is important for students and faculty to get to know each other before this important decision is made.

Students may change advisors during their PhD career, for example, if their research interests change. However, it is more common for a student to stay with the same advisor throughout their PhD career.

Financial Support

LTI PhD students typically receive financial support that covers their full tuition and a monthly stipend. Typical forms of support include external fellowships, research assistantships (RAs) and teaching assistantships (TAs).