The Department of Linguistics has no admission prerequisites or requirements before declaring a major or a minor. In order to declare as a Linguistics major or minor, students should schedule an appointment with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Robert Fiorentino.
We encourage all students to plan early and carefully! All new and current Linguistics majors and minors are encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor every semester. Meeting with an advisor early on and regularly during your academic career will ensure you are on the right track for a timely graduation and that you are taking the necessary courses. Our department is continuously growing and evolving to meet our student needs, so regular advisory meetings will give you early insight into upcoming opportunities and changes!
Prospective KU students should review the KU Admissions website. If you are interested in visiting the department, the Visitors Center can help you plan a visit, including an appointment with a Linguistics faculty advisor.
REMINDER! To declare your Linguistics major or minor contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Robert Fiorentino and set-up an appointment.
Dr. Robert Fiorentino
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Linguistics
Office: 420E Blake Hall
Admission to the Graduate Program
Applications to the master's and Ph.D. programs in Linguistics may only be submitted electronically. The deadline of application for Fall admission is December 1.
In addition to the online application form, applicants must also provide the following material on a form that can be uploaded to the application.
- Résumé or Vita (upload to online application)
- A statement of purpose, outlining your educational and career goals. This very important part of your application helps the faculty to decide whether our program is appropriate for you. In the statement, you should explain why you want to study linguistics and what you intend to do with the knowledge you would gain from studying here. You should also note any special circumstances concerning your application, your prior training or experience, and anything else you wish the faculty to take into account in evaluating your application. (upload to online application)
- A writing sample on a linguistically related topic is ideal, but one that showcases your general academic abilities in logic reasoning and argumentation is also welcome. (upload to online application -under other/additional documents)
- Transcripts from the baccalaureate granting institution, and any transcripts from institutions attended post-baccalaureate. If your transcript was issued in a language other than English, a certified translation in English should be attached to each official copy. (upload to online application)
- Three (3) letters of recommendation. If possible, these people should include faculty members who have supervised your earlier work. You will need to provide the names, titles, and contact information of the individuals you are requesting recommendations from on the online application . If the person recommending you is unable to complete the LOR online they can send a hardcopy directly to the department at firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Non-native speakers of English must meet English proficiency requirements as described here http://graduate.ku.edu/english-proficiency-requirements.
- Due to the challenges in-person English testing presented during the pandemic, the online Duolingo English test may temporarily be considered as a form of alternative documentation of English proficiency, as determined by KU’s Applied English Center, the Executive Council of Graduate Faculty and the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies. Students who take the Duolingo exam must obtain a minimum score of 115 on the exam, and should work with the department to which they have applied to submit their Duolingo score to Graduate Admissions for consideration as alternative documentation of English proficiency. Applicants are highly encouraged to take the practice test, as the Duolingo test is somewhat different from other English proficiency exams. Test takers should ask that their results be made visible on KU’s Duolingo dashboard.
- The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test/results requirement is temporarily waived for the Fall 2022 admissions cycle.
Note to all applicants: We must receive all mandatory materials for your application to be considered for admissions. In particular, we cannot offer any admission status, conditional or otherwise. Requests to waive admission requirements are routinely not granted and will slow down the process of your application. Consult the online application checklist for updates on the status of your application.
The deadline of application for Fall admission is December 1. We do not offer Spring admission. Complete applications are reviewed in January and admission decisions are typically communicated in February. Consult the online application checklist for updates on the status of your application.
Non-Degree Seeking Admissions
Students with a completed Bachelor’s degree who have demonstrated academic competence and wish to take an upcoming graduate-level course in LING may apply as a non-degree seeking (NDS) student.
Please note undergraduate prerequisite course completion is typically necessary to succeed in graduate-level coursework. If you intend to enroll in coursework via NDS status for non-graduate study pursuits and personal interests, please specify what courses you would like to complete in the department. Not all courses may be open to NDS students; please contact our graduate academic advisor before applying to receive a list of courses closed to NDS students.
Any applicant seeking to be admitted as a non-degree seeking student must submit an application at. Applicants must include the materials below in their application.
Copy of Official Transcript(s)
Applicants must provide a copy of an official transcript from all post-secondary institutions they’ve attended. Copies of official transcript(s) can be uploaded directly into the online application. If admitted, applicants must have an official, sealed transcript sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Applicants must provide evidence of a completed bachelor's degree. A qualifying bachelor's degree must be conferred by a regionally-accredited university or a foreign university with substantially equivalent degree requirements. A bachelor's degree may or may not be accepted by a department if it contains credit awarded for work experience that was not directly supervised by faculty members (e.g., life experience) or which was not evaluated in units that identify the academic content (e.g., if the work was graded on a P/F or S/U basis). For more information about what constitutes a completed bachelor's degree and about procedures used to provide and evaluate transcripts, see the procedures governing Graduate Admissions.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in their post-secondary courses.
Proof of English Proficiency
Non-native speakers of English must meet English proficiency requirements as described here.
Note to all applicants: The deadline of application for Fall admission is December 1. We do not offer Spring admission. Complete applications are reviewed in January and admission decisions are typically communicated in February. Consult the online application checklist for updates on the status of your application. Non-degree-seeking applicants are not required to meet the other standards for Regular or Provisional admission.