How to Apply

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Applying to the MA Program

An applicant for the MA degree should hold a bachelor’s degree. The undergraduate degree may be in any field, but the student must have completed the equivalent of one of Boston University’s introductory classes in linguistics, for example CAS LX 250. Students who have not previously had an introductory linguistics course must pass an examination or make up the credits through coursework prior to entry or during the first semester. Introductory linguistics courses will not be counted toward the master’s degree requirements.

All applicants must submit the following credentials:

  1. Official transcripts or records of each college or university attended
  2. Letters of recommendation in English from three faculty members in the proposed field of graduate study who are familiar with American higher education
  3. Results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants whose native language is not English must also submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination.
  4. Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose
  5. Scholarly Writing Sample (optional)


Applying to the PhD Program

The Program in Applied Linguistics admits only a very few PhD students in any given year. Normally, only applicants with a Masters-level degree in Linguistics, and with a particularly good fit to the strengths and interests of our faculty, are accepted. Students wishing to apply to the PhD program in Applied Linguistics should contact the program director for additional details, before applying: Professor Jonathan Barnes (, 617-353-6222).