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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about applying to the MA program in Linguistics.  To return to the MA in Linguistics page, click here.



The MA in Linguistic Studies program does not normally offer Spring admission.  Many of the courses in the program require the foundational course, LIN 601, Introduction to Linguistic Analysis, which is taught in the Fall and sometimes in an intensive version in the Summer. It may be possible to start the program in the Spring if this course has been taken previously, or if students begin with elective classes that do not have prerequisites.
There is no official minimum, but we strongly recommend a score of 100 on the iBT or 7 on the IELTS.
Yes. We recommend a score of 7 or higher.
We have no official minimum score for the GRE.
For Fall admission and consideration for funding, complete applications including all elements should be received by the Graduate School by January 15th. If applicants do not need to be considered for funding, we accept applications until late spring.

Application procedures at can be found at http://gradsch.syr.edu/admissions.html. We typically look at the following criteria when assessing applications:

  • personal statement detailing interest in the field of Linguistics and possible concentration areas
  • transcripts and GPA from previous studies
  • three recommendation letters
  • GRE scores
  • TOEFL / IELTS score for non-native English speakers
A background in Linguistics is not required as the program begins with introductory courses. However, some background in Linguistics may increase the chance of funding.
Multiple concentrations are permitted as long as students complete the requirements for each concentration.

Concentrations are generally declared during the first Fall semester, although changes are possible later.

In the department, we fund some of our students through Teaching Assistantships in Linguistics, ESOL, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese. In order to apply for a TAship, you should check the relevant box on the application and describe in your personal statement which area you would be able to teach. TAs for languages should be native or near native speakers of the languages they teach. TAships are awarded principally on academic merit, though teaching experience may be taken into consideration. Other general funding opportunities may be found at http://www.syr.edu/financialaid/index.html.

Applicants must apply through the Graduate School, not through the Department. Go directly to http://gradsch.syr.edu/admissions.html.

We offer an MA degree in Linguistic Studies with an optional concentration in Language Teaching (TESOL/FLT), and not an MA in TESOL. All MA students begin with general foundational courses in Linguistics and then move on to more advanced Linguistics courses as well as courses in their concentration areas. A strength of our program with respect to TESOL preparation is the focus on Linguistics, which can give future teachers more credibility in their content area.