Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who do I contact about applying?

All the information you need is available here online. If you have a question not answered on these pages, you may email Erin Esch Pereira, our Graduate Program Coordinator.

2. When do I need to visit?

You don’t need to visit to be considered.

3. Do I need a Master’s degree to be eligible to apply for admission to the PhD program?

No, applicants to the PhD program are not required to have a Master’s degree.

4. What are the pre-requisite courses to apply for the program?

We have no explicit pre-requisite courses.

5. My background is not in Linguistics; can I still apply to a graduate program?

Yes, we receive applications from applicants with many different backgrounds.  Formal background in Linguistics might strengthen one’s application, but formal background is not required to apply.

6. Does the writing sample need to be on a linguistic topic?  

From the application page:  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.

7. Are GRE scores required?

GRE scores are not required for admission to the 2023-2024 academic year.

8. I’ve been out of school for a number of years.  Can my work supervisor write me a recommendation?

Applicants may submit professional references.  We recommend at least two references be academic references.

9. I completed my BA or MA from a US institution; do I need to send TOEFL scores?

No, completion of a degree program from a US institution satisfies the English requirement.

10. What is the minimum TOEFL score?

100 overall.

11. What is the minimum IELTS score?

7.5 overall.

12. I see proficiency in a foreign language is required for the program; do I need to demonstrate it during the application process?

No, this requirement is satisfied once enrolled in the program.

13. Can I edit my application once it is submitted?

No, once an application is submitted it cannot be edited.

14. Do I need to submit official transcripts with my application?

Effective with the Fall 2020 admission cycle, the Graduate Admissions Office requires applicants to upload unofficial transcripts to their applications. From the Graduate School Admissions page:

Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. We consider these uploaded transcripts to be “unofficial” as they are submitted by the applicant. Transcripts from both degree and non-degree coursework provide the admissions committee with a more complete picture of academic preparation for graduate study. Only 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 final transcripts (transcripts that have been submitted directly to Georgetown University by the institution) for verification prior to enrolling. Do not send electronic or paper copies of your official transcripts before receiving an offer of admission.

An acceptable transcript is a copy of an official transcript produced by the institution. This includes:

We do not accept screenshots or photos, and we do not accept downloads of the “student’s view” from your institution’s website. 

15. Do I really need to submit a WES evaluation of my (non-US institution) transcript?

While not required, we do recommend WES evaluations from non-US institutions.  Applicants will upload the WES evaluation to the application following the same process referenced in FAP #14. All transcripts must be either issued in English by the university or be accompanied by a translator notarization if not translated directly by the university.

16. Can I be offered conditional admission?

No, we do not offer conditional admission.

17. I am a non-US citizen; can I still apply to a graduate program?

Yes, we welcome applications from all applicants irrespective of citizenship status.  The application requirements are the same for all applicants. 

18. I am a non-US citizen who has been admitted to a graduate program, what next?

The Office of Global Services administers visa and immigration documents to students.  For more information, please visit the office’s website.

19. I am applying to concentration X. Should I contact the concentration head to let them know?

No, you do not need to contact the concentration head unless you have a question that is not answered on these web pages and cannot be answered by the Graduate Program Coordinator.

20. Are applicants required to establish a relationship with their desired future mentor before submitting their application?

No, applicants are not required to contact faculty ahead of time, and faculty members may not pre-review application materials sent prior to the application itself.  Applicants are welcome to contact individual faculty members whose research and teaching areas match their own while realizing that faculty members’ schedules before admission season are full and do not always expect timely answers.  

21. Are Accelerated Master’s students required to take the GRE?

No, Accelerated Master’s students are not required to take the GRE.