Applications for PhD program admissions are due by December 1 for entry in the following fall semester. Master’s program applications are due by January 15 for entry in the fall semester of the same year.

All applications and materials must be submitted to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences through the Georgetown GRAD application portal. Read more about the application process on the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences admissions page.

If you have administrative or general questions about the application process, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator Erin Esch Pereira. Please understand that application materials sent to individual faculty members cannot be considered.

Go to: Application Checklist l Concentrations l Additional Advice

Application Checklist

Application Form
– Statement of Purpose (500 word limit)
– Writing sample 
– Official Recommendations (3)
– Indication of concentration (for M.S. and Ph.D. applicants)
– Non-refundable Application Fee
– Official Transcripts (all prior institutions)
TOEFL/IELTS required for all non-native English speakers, (ETS test code number is 5244)


Students applying to the M.S. or Ph.D. programs should indicate on their application form (and written statement of purpose) which of our 4 concentrations best matches their interests. Click each concentration below for more information. Ph.D. applicants may also apply for an additional, optional concentration in Cognitive Science after selecting their main concentration.

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Cognitive Science program for Ph.D. applicants

Students applying to a concentration in our PhD program can apply simultaneously to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Cognitive Science program (new window). This program is designed to enable PhD students in Psychology, Linguistics, Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Computer Science to pursue a concentration in Cognitive Science. Students accepted to the Cognitive Science concentration take courses and create an advisory committee of faculty members from multiple departments at the University, which can include the Departments of Psychology, Linguistics, Computer Science, Philosophy, Neurology, Biology, and/or Spanish and Portuguese. Students will graduate with a Ph.D. from their home department with a Concentration in Cognitive Science. To apply for admission, select “yes” in response to the Cognitive Science question in the application portal and submit a short (1 page) essay describing your interest in cognitive science.

Additional Advice

The application form, statement of purpose, writing sample, unofficial transcripts and three recommendations should be submitted electronically as part of the application to the Graduate School. Materials should NOT be sent to the Department of Linguistics.

Applicants are required to upload to the application system unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Do not send electronic or paper copies of your transcripts before receiving an offer of admission. Review the unofficial transcript requirements (new window) for additional details and FAQs.

Only unofficial transcripts that have been uploaded to the application by the student are required for the application review. Applicants who receive an offer of admission will be required at that time to submit official transcripts for verification prior to enrolling.
Do not send electronic or paper copies of your official transcripts before receiving an offer of admission.

Each applicant must submit an appropriate academic or professional writing sample in English, e.g., a term paper, thesis, or professional article that demonstrates writing and analytical skills. We have no length requirement, but recommend that submissions be between 15 and 40 pages. Doctoral applicants should submit a research paper that demonstrates their ability to conduct original research in Linguistics or a closely related discipline.

Admissions to the doctoral program are limited and highly competitive. In their statement of purpose, doctoral applicants should outline a research program and explain their qualifications to pursue advanced research in their chosen area. It is often useful for prospective students to indicate the faculty member(s) with whom they would be interested in working.

All entering students who are not native speakers of English must demonstrate a satisfactory level of proficiency prior to registration, as outlined in the exam score section below.


GRE scores are not required for admission.

All applicants who are not native English speakers are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language sufficient to meet the admission requirement of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Proficiency can be demonstrated in the following ways:
Bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction.
Minimum score on either the TOEFL or IELTS test.

Minimum scores:
TOEFL: A minimum score of 600 (paper-based test) or 250 (computer-based tests) or 100 (iBT test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
IELTS: A minimum score of 7.5 from the International English Language Testing System.

Admitted applicants with a TOEFL writing score of less than 28 (iBT) or an IELTS writing score of less than 7.5 that intend to matriculate are required to take the Department of English as a Foreign Language Writing Placement Exam prior to enrolling in Fall courses. Students who score less than 5 on the written exam will be required to enroll in ENFL-111: Expository Writing for Foreign Students. More detailed information will be sent the summer prior to matriculation.

Test scores must be received by the application deadline date. Applicants should allow six to eight weeks from the test date for the reporting of scores to the institution. Applications will not be considered without appropriate test scores.