What follows is an overview of the requirements for graduate degrees in the Linguistics Program. These requirements are laid out in full in the program's handbook. Please address email inquiries concerning admission to the graduate program to either the director of the graduate program, Suzanne Wagner, or to the program’s graduate secretary.
Admission to the M.A. program. Applicants should have completed at least an introductory course in linguistics. Students with an otherwise appropriate background may be provisionally admitted without this, but they must then enroll in LIN 401.
Admission to the Ph.D. program. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree (or a foreign equivalent) in linguistics or related field.
Admission and B.A.-M.A. dual enrollment. If you are currently a linguistics major at MSU, you may be eligible for dual enrollment in the undergraduate and M.A. programs. This makes it possible for certain courses to be counted toward satisfying the minimum credit requirements for both degrees. Further information can be found in the Academic Programs Catalog.
Application form. Complete the online application form. In the process, you will be asked to submit an ‘personal statement’ and a distinct ‘academic statement’. You can fill these in on the form or submit them as a separate document. (If you do the latter, please indicate on the form that you will submit your statements separately.) These statements should reflect the following information:
It is typically difficult to disentangle your background and personal intellectual history from your plans and goals, so the two statements may partly overlap. For applicants to the M.A. program, each of these statements should be 500–700 words; for applicants to the Ph.D. program, 700–1,000 words.
The official deadline for admission for fall semester is December 15. However, you will be eligible for additional funding opportunities if you submit your application before November 30.
Although students normally begin their course of study in the fall semester, it is technically possible to start in the spring semester as well. This is strongly discouraged except in truly exceptional circumstances. If you think you might need to pursue this possibility, email the graduate program director to discuss it BEFORE submitting an application. The deadline for spring admission is September 15.
A few fellowships, scholarships, and other funding opportunities are available for incoming students (including notably teaching assistantships in Asian languages). Applicants should indicate in their applications if they wish to be considered for such appointments. However, they are encouraged to seek outside funding for their graduate studies as well. Internal funding is frequently available for incoming Ph.D. students but cannot be presupposed.
 There is no fixed minimum score you must achieve on the GRE, but scoring below the 50th percentile would significantly reduce the probability of your admission. All portions of the test—including the analytical and quantitative—are taken into account. It may help to know that MSU’s ‘institution code’ is 1465, and our ‘department code’ is 2903.