School of Interdisciplinary Studies Linguistics

Admission Information

Welcome to the Linguistics Program at Purdue University! We are delighted with your interest.

Detailed instructions for applications are available under Application Procedures

If you have been admitted to another Purdue graduate program and wish to change your degree objective, here are instructions

Should you apply to the Purdue Linguistics Program? 

    • If you are applying to the PhD program, we encourage you to identify one or two faculty members who could supervise your research and serve as your advisor. You may wish to email them to ask whether they are taking new students and if so, to find out if your interests are compatible.
    • Please keep in mind that admission decisions are made by the admissions committee in consultation with program faculty. Individual faculty members cannot make admission decisions. 

Are you applying for your first post-baccalaureate degree in Linguistics (i.e. you currently have only a bachelor’s degree in any field, or your higher degrees are in other fields)?

  • You have the option to apply for either the M.A. or Ph.D.
  • If your final degree goal is a Ph.D. you should apply directly to the Ph.D. program. 
    • This ensures that you will be considered for five-year fellowship funding packages. 
    • If admitted to the Ph.D. program, you can complete an M.A. along the way. 
    • If the admissions committee feels that your application is promising, but you are not competitive for the Ph.D., you may still be admitted to the M.A. program.
    Applying for the M.A. program makes the most sense if:
    • You have a degree from Purdue and are sure you would like to pursue a Ph.D. elsewhere. You feel that completing your M.A. here will allow you to continue with a line of research already started at Purdue and/or help you develop a more competitive Ph.D. application elsewhere.
    • You are sure you are not interested in pursuing a Ph.D. but would like an M.A. in linguistics to enhance your professional development in your field, such as language teaching, language technology, or professional translating. You are planning to continue on the same career path after earning your M.A.
    • You are sure you are not interested in a Ph.D. but would like to further your education in linguistics.

Are you primarily interested in language pedagogy or second language studies?


Admissions Checklist

Applications for admission that include requests for financial support must be completed and in our office by December 15.

  1. Department: Application for admission and $60 (domestic)/$75 (international) application fee submitted directly to the Graduate School. 

    The Graduate School requires an electronic application. This electronic application is at http://www.purdue.edu/gradschool/admissions/how/index.html 

    Degree or Enrollment Objective: Indicate "Linguistics". 

    Select your degree goal based on your final objective (M.A. or Ph.D.). Most entering students, regardless of preparation, are required to enroll in 6 core courses in linguistics. We welcome applications of qualified individuals from other fields (computer science, psychology, foreign languages, etc.). The Linguistics Program does not offer a non-thesis M.A. option. 

  2. Statement of Purpose: In this statement be sure to describe your academic and professional goals, your preparation in linguistics, and your background in research and writing. If you are applying for an M.A., please indicate if you expect to terminate your studies with the M.A. or hope to continue to a Ph.D. You may also wish to describe your prior work experiences and cite any published works. (Approximately 500 words.) This document can be submitted with your online application. 

  3. Transcripts: You must upload to the online application transcripts and/or academic documents for every institution of higher education you attended.  If a transcript is not in English, you must upload an English translation certified by the college or university that issued it.  This includes both the transcript and diploma. The uploaded transcripts and/or academic documents must be from the official version of the document.  An official transcript bears the original signature of the registrar and/or the original seal of the issuing institution.  All transcripts and/or academic documents uploaded to the online application system are considered unofficial.  You will need to provide official transcripts and/or academic records at the request of the graduate program or if you are admitted and enroll.  These materials must be sent to: Graduate Studies Office, Linguistics Program, Purdue University, Beering Hall of Liberal Arts and Education, Room 1289, 100 North University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098. 

  4. GRE Scores: M.A. and Ph.D. admission requires the general test only. 

  5. TOEFL Scores: Required if your native language is not English (score of at least 620 on the paper-based test and 77 on the internet-based test [iBT] or its equivalent on the IELTS or PTE). A score of 27 or higher on the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT or its equivalent on another test, or certification of oral English ability by the Oral English Proficiency Program is required for teaching assistantships. Even if the application says they are not required, international students must submit scores demonstrating proficiency in spoken English to be considered for funding. As students without funding are usually not offered positions, it is essential that international students include their scores so that they can recieve fellowships and assistantships.

  6. Letters of Recommendation Three (3) letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic ability. There is a form on the electronic application to submit reviewer names.  An email request will be sent to them directly.  Electronic copies may also be sent to eschirme@purdue.edu

  7. Writing Sample: An academic paper written in English, consisting of at least 2,500 words (4-5 pages, no binding).  This document can be submitted with your online application

  8. Deadline: December 15 for anyone seeking financial support. Applications for admission that include requests for financial support must be completed and in our office by December 15. 
We look forward to reviewing your completed application for admission to our program.

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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