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Graduate Programs School of Languages and Cultures

Programs of Study

The School of Languages and Cultures offers graduate study leading to the M.A. degree in French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Comparative Literature and the Ph.D. degree in French, German, Spanish and Comparative Literature. In addition, the School of Languages and Cultures participates in the curriculum for the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees granted by the Program in Linguistics/Foreign Language Acquisition housed in Interdisciplinary Studies.

A minimum of 30 hours of graduate-level coursework is required for the M.A. (24 hours for the M.A. thesis option). For the Ph.D., 60 hours of coursework beyond the B.A. are required, along with a dissertation (30 credit hours of research). For full-time students, the M.A. program normally takes four semesters to complete. Graduate students receive college-level teaching experience while pursuing their degrees. Because of the favorable faculty-student ratio, individual guidance of student programs of study is possible, and graduate classes and seminars are small.


Applications are accepted throughout the year. However, admissions are limited to the Fall semester, and the application deadline is December 12.

CONTACT US: Prof. Cara Kinnally, Director of Graduate Studies, or  , Graduate Secretary, for more information on our graduate programs.

GRADES: The normal requirement is a B+ average (3.5 out of 4) in work in language, linguistics, and literature and a B average in the overall undergraduate program.

ENGLISH PROFICIENCY: All international students are required to provide proof of English proficiency. The results of either TOEFL, Duolingo, or IELTS must be submitted to the Purdue University Graduate School. Due to long delays for score submissions, upload a copy of your PDF score report and attach it as a miscellaneous document to your application.

The required minimum TOEFL score is 80 on the internet-based test with a minimum in the following areas: writing 18, speaking 18, listening 14, and reading 19 to be admitted to the Graduate School. We accept the IELTS with a minimum band score of 6.5 (with a minimum in the following areas: writing 5.5, speaking 6.0, listening 6.0, and reading 6.5). The required minimum Duolingo score is 115 (with a minimum score of 115 in each area). The Graduate School will routinely waive the TOEFL/IELTS for applicants who have received a baccalaureate degree or graduate or professional degree, within the last 36 months, from a school where English is the primary language of instruction in a country/location where English is the native language.

LANGUAGE SKILLS: The applicant must be able to read, write, speak, and understand the language of study accurately in academic and everyday settings. If such ability is not evident from the application (e.g., course work, recommendations, time spent in the target culture, native speaker status), it will be verified by phone or personal interview with a faculty member in the appropriate language.

ACADEMIC PREPARATION: The applicant must have a background in the proposed area of study, for example, the equivalent of a two-semester survey of the literature to be studied. Those without such basic preparation are eligible for conditional admission only, with deficiencies to be made up in the first one or two semesters. Remedial work may be prescribed as necessary by the specific language department.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: Three letters of recommendation are required.

TRANSCRIPTS: Complete official transcripts from all higher-level education are required.



Research Facilities

The Purdue University libraries hold book and periodical collections of more than two million volumes, housed in fourteen school and departmental libraries. The Humanities, Social Science, and Education Research Library maintains a continuing acquisitions program and is equipped for research at the master's and doctoral levels.

These resources are supplemented by the three million items of research materials held by the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago. Purdue is within easy driving distance of three major research libraries at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, and Indiana University, and Purdue faculty members and graduate students have browsing and borrowing privileges at all three. Further, Purdue’s inter-library loan system connects with hundreds of other universities.


Purdue University's main campus is located in West Lafayette, Indiana, on the banks of the Wabash River in Tippecanoe County. West Lafayette and its twin city, Lafayette, have a combined population of 96,736 people. The cities and campus are served by major intercity bus lines and limo service to Chicago, which is 126 miles to the northwest. The campus is approximately one hour's drive from Indianapolis and a little more than two hours by car from the University of Illinois and Indiana University, as well as the city of Chicago. Purdue is the cultural center of northwest Indiana, providing a rich variety of film, theater, concert, and lecture series.

West Lafayette and Lafayette both offer a wide variety of activities that contribute to student life - Art, music, and cultural festivals play a central role in the Arts of the two cities. In addition to having rich historical and architectural sites, such as Fort Ouiatenon, a fur trading post from 1717, and downtown architectural tours, West Lafayette and Lafayette are home to many breweries and great places to eat. There is a wide variety of trails and parks for nature lovers, as well as family-friendly activities and agritourism.

Explore and learn more about Lafayette and West Lafayette HERE!


Founded in 1869, Purdue is the Indiana link in the chain of sixty-eight land-grant colleges and universities in the United States. The University enrolls students from all fifty states and many foreign nations; 42% of the students are women. Purdue has five campuses and a faculty of 1,963 on the West Lafayette campus. Thirteen schools/colleges form the academic nucleus of Purdue's main campus.

The University fosters an environment based on building community. Students can find and participate in a wide variety of activities, such as athletics and recreation, graduate student-oriented clubs and organizations, as well as arts and entertainment.

Find out more about graduate student life HERE!