Graduate Admissions: FAQ


Can I do graduate studies in applied linguistics, second-language teaching, second-language acquisition, or English teaching in your department?

  • No. We do not offer any graduate courses or supervision in those areas. Consult the research page and list of permanent faculty to see which areas we focus on in research and graduate teaching.

Are non-Canadian applicants eligible for financial support?

  • Yes, all our departmental sources of funding are available to international students as well as Canadians. In fact, there is a high proportion of non-Canadians among our current graduate students, and we welcome applications from all countries and nationalities.

Do I have to find a research supervisor in the department before applying to the graduate program?

  • No. In our department, students choose their supervisor only when they start doing their thesis research. In the first year of their program, all students will be assigned an interim supervisor. (For more details on supervision, see the pages outlining the M.A. and Ph.D. program requirements.) That being said, if you are specifically interested in working with one or more particular faculty members in our department, we encourage you to get in touch with them. This will be especially relevant for Canadian students who are applying for SSHRC or NSERC fellowships in the year before entering the program.

Can I use the IELTS instead of the TOEFL to fulfill the English proficiency requirement?

  • Yes. Any of the tests mentioned on this page of the Faculty of Graduate Studies website is accepted. The same page specifies the minimum test scores required for admission (and the minimum required by the department is the same as that of the Faculty of Gradate Studies).

Do I need to do the GRE?

  • No, the Linguistics Department does not require the GRE. However, if you have done this test, we encourage you to submit your test score with your application.

Can reference letters be submitted online?

  • Yes. If you fill in e-mail addresses for your referees on the online application system, they will automatically be sent instructions for how to submit their reference letter electronically. But if they prefer they are also free to submit their letter in hardcopy by mail.

Do courses in English language or grammar count towards fulfilling your admission prerequisites?

  • Generally, no. Such courses usually do not have enough linguistic theory content (i.e., syntax, semantics, phonology, or phonetics) to fulfill our admissions requirements. However, if you took language courses with substantial linguistic content, you are encouraged to supply detailed information about them in your application.

I am interested in doing an M.A. or Ph.D. in linguistics, but so far I’ve only taken one or two introductory undergraduate courses in linguistics. Can I apply to the program?

  • You can, but your chance of being admitted would probably be small. You may want to consider taking our Diploma Program in Linguistics first. Please note though that completion of the Diploma Program is by no means a guarantee for admission to our graduate program. Diploma students are not eligible for financial assistance from the department.

Can I start the program in January?

  • No. The Linguistics Department only admits applicants for enrollment in September.

Where should I send supporting documents?

  • All hardcopy documents (reference letters, trancripts, etc.) should be sent directly to the Department of Linguistics (NOT to the Faculty of Graduate Studies). For our mailing address, see the contact page.