Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Second Language Studies
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In the Second Language Studies Ph.D. Program, advisors help students move through the program in a timely manner and help them with balancing academic demands with other aspects of life.

Who are the advisors?

All faculty in the SLS Program serve as advisors. The Program Director serves as the initial advisor for all incoming students. The Director is responsible for working with each student to determine which courses he or she is to take during the first year of the program. During that time, the student can spend time to identify an academic advisor.

By the end of the first year of study, the student forms a Guidance Committee, and the Chair of the Commitee is the student's academic advisor. The advisors on the Guidance Commitee serve as the student’s advisors until a Dissertation Committee is formed. (The faculty on the Guidance Committee may be on the Dissertation Committee; depending on the topic of the dissertation, the student may ask faculty to switch. Likewise a student may switch the academic advisor.) The Guidance Committee meets with the student at least once before the end of the student's first year in the program. Each student meets with his or her academic advisor as needed.


All students must complete a minimum of 24 credits at MSU. Depending on a person's background or specific emphasis, a student's advisors, the program director, and/or the Guidance Committee (see Section IV) may require additional coursework.

The following courses are required of all Ph.D. students:

LLT 860 Introduction to Second Language Acquisition
LLT 861 Advanced topics in Second Language Acquisition
LLT 862 Advanced research in Second Language Acquisition (861-862 constitute a 2-semester seminar)
LLT 863 The Acquisition of Morphosyntax
LLT 864 Second Language Psycholinguistics
LLT 872 Research Methods for Language Teaching and Foreign/Second Language Learning
LLT 873 Quantitative Research in Second Language Studies
LLT 874 Qualitative Research in Second Language Studies
LLT 807 Language Teaching Methods
LLT 808 Assessment for Language Teaching and Research

In addition, five courses in a student's area of specialization (to be selected from among the following) or others approved by a student's committee must also be completed.

LIN 871 Advanced Studies in Sociolinguistics
LIN 850 Advanced Studies in Child Language Acquisition
LLT 992 Advanced Topics
LIN 824 or 825 Phonological Theory I/II
LIN 834 or 835 Syntactic Theory I/II
LIN 875 Advanced Studies in Computational Linguistics
LIN 855 Advanced Studies in Neurolinguistics
CEP 920 Construction of Psychoeducational Instruments
CEP 921/2 Psychometric Theory I/II
CEP 923 Item Response Theory
CEP 934/5 Multivariate Data Analysis I/II
HDFS 892 Sem in Human Dev & Fam Studies (when it is "Measurement Methods with Ryan Bowles")

No more than 2 CEP courses will count toward completion of this requirement.

In addition, all students must register for and successfully complete a minimum of 24 credits of doctoral dissertation research (LLT 999) during tenure in the SLS program. Generally, students can begin taking these credits during the last semester of their coursework. For exceptions, please work with your Guidance Committee.