How to Apply

(Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

Requirements for Admission

The graduate program in Linguistics admits only students whose goal is the Ph.D. degree. We do not offer a stand alone M.A. program.

Students are admitted with a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, typically in Linguistics or a related cognitive science. A Master’s degree is not required for admission to the program.

Admission to the Ph.D. program is based on:

  • Your statement of purpose*
  • A writing sample, which should be a sample of your academic writing in linguistics or a related field
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores if applicable (See the Graduate School’s requirement page to check if English proficiency tests are required for your situation)
  • Academic transcripts

*The statement of purpose is considered carefully to ensure that the applicant’s goals are compatible with the strengths of our program. See Preparing for Graduate Study for more information about preparing your dossier, including tips for writing your statement of purpose.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with our faculty and areas of research expertise, and state clearly who you want to work with at UW-Madison and why.

Note that as of the Fall 2022 admission cycle, GRE scores are no longer required as part of the application to the Linguistics PhD program.

How to Apply

New students are admitted for Fall term only. The deadline for receipt of all materials is December 23. The admission portal usually opens each year in October.

Application materials are submitted online directly to the Graduate School. For links to start the application process, see the Graduate School’s Admission page.

Application fee waivers are available for U.S. residents from minority backgrounds. Please note that international applicants are not eligible for fee waivers. Email for more information about applying for a fee waiver.

International Students

Please note that international applicants are required to have sufficient funds to cover expenses completely while attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison. International applicants are not eligible for application fee waivers. For more information specific to international applicants, see the Graduate School’s International Students page.

Additional Questions? Contact Graduate Coordinator Rebecca Shields.