School of Interdisciplinary Studies Linguistics

Admission Information

Welcome to the Linguistics Program at Purdue University! We are delighted with your interest. The links to the left will provide you with valuable information on our program and the application procedure. 

Should you apply to the Purdue Linguistics Program? 

  • How well do our course offerings and degree requirements fit with your own interests?
  • How well do the research interests of our faculty fit with your own research interests?
    • 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 contact them by email to ask whether they are currently taking new students and if so, to explain your interest in their work and find out whether your interests are compatible with theirs.
    • 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, but encouragement from a potential advisor can be taken as a positive sign that you should apply.

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 all of your higher degrees are in a field other than linguistics)?

  • You have the option to apply for either the M.A. or the Ph.D. program.
  • 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 four-year fellowship funding packages. 
    • If admitted to the Ph.D. program you would have the opportunity to complete an M.A. along the way. 
    • If the admissions committee feels that your application is promising, but that 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 in the following circumstances:
    • You have a degree from Purdue already 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 application for a Ph.D. elsewhere.
    • You are sure you are not interested in pursuing a Ph.D. but would like to earn an M.A. in linguistics to enhance your professional development in a related field that you already have a career in, such as language teaching, language technology, or professional translating. You are planning to continue on the same career path after earning your M.A. in linguistics.
    • You are sure you are not interested in a Ph.D. but would like the opportunity to further your education in a field that greatly interests you.

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 January 1.

  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 can be accessed by going to 

    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 and may have other conditions on their acceptance. We welcome applications of qualified individuals from other fields (computer science, psychology, foreign languages...). 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 on for 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 on-line 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 which it was issued.  This includes both the transcript and diploma. The uploaded transcripts and/or academic document 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 choose to 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]). A score of 27 or higher on the speaking section of the TOEFL ibt is required for teaching assistantship consideration. 

  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

  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 on-line application

  8. Deadline: January 1 for anyone seeking financial support. Applications for admission that include requests for financial support must be completed and in our office by January 1. 

We look forward to reviewing your completed application for admission to our program.

Financing Graduate Studies

Application Procedures

Change of Degree Objective

Beering Hall
Purdue University
100 North University Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098
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Academic Advising
Advisors Directory
(765) 494.3670
(765) 496.1910 (FAX)

Undergraduate students

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

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