Admission to the Graduate Program is based on the following criteria:
1. Availability of supervisor
Admission to our MA and PhD program is dependent on suitable faculty availability and ability to supervise incoming graduate students. Applicants are not expected to have secured a suitable supervisor prior to application; however, the online application provides applicants the opportunity to indicate up to 3 faculty members with whom they share research interests. Faculty identified through this process will be asked to review the application for suitability and determine availability for supervision.
2. Linguistic background
For admission to the MA program, students must be able to demonstrate an adequate background in linguistics. Applicants having little or no academic preparation in linguistics will not be admitted to the program. In most cases, we require applicants to have completed significant course work covering core areas in linguistics. These requirements include an introductory course in linguistics, courses in phonetics, phonology, syntax, morphology and semantics.
In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to admit students who do not meet the above requirements. We understand that courses like the above may not be available at all universities. In this case, the admissions committee may stipulate a number of courses that must be taken by the student beyond the basic requirements for the degree. Students admitted under such circumstances should expect to take an additional year or two to complete their programs.
Admission to the PhD program presupposes the above plus an MA degree in linguistics. Applicants are expected to have taken graduate-level courses in phonology and syntax as well as to have developed an area of specialization as demonstrated by a thesis, project, or extended course work.
For the university admissions guidelines, please visit Applying to Grad Studies, prepared by the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office.
3. GPA - see Graduate General Regulations 1.3.6a and 1.3.7a.
4. Strength of references
- We require at least three (3) references, submitted electronically through the online application system.
- Referees should include a combination of academic and professional references.
- Referees are to indicate the applicant's ability to undertake advanced study in Linguistics.
Guidelines for References (send to referees):
- A frank appraisal of the ability of the applicant to undertake a rigorous program of graduate study.
- Comment on the applicant’s scholarly competence and academic ability to undertake advanced studies in Linguistics.
- Personal qualities that relevant to the applicant’s ability to engage in graduate work.
- Length of time and the context of the relationship to the applicant.
5. Quality of writing sample
This should preferably be a thesis, project, or paper written for a Linguistics course. Applicants should not submit co-authored papers.
The writing sample must illustrate an applicant’s ability to:
- Express ideas in clear and appropriate language
- Sustain an argument and develop a logical conclusion.
6. Quality and appropriateness of statement of research interests
Applicants must upload to the online application system a brief statement (one to two pages), stating their background, motivation, research interests and career goals. The proposal does not have to be specific, but it does have to show a general direction for research, which can be refined later on.
7. Availability of funding
How To Apply
Download the Application Process document for detailed information about the required supporting documents.
The deadline to apply for the Fall 2023 programs has now closed. Please look back for further updates regrading the next admissions cycle deadline.
See the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office webpage for general instructions for the online application process.
An application fee of $90 CAN (applicants with Canadian transcripts) or $125 CAN (applicants with international transcripts) is required. Applicants will not be able to proceed to the document uploading or referee entry process until the application fee is paid and processed. Note: international payments can take up to 3 business days to process.
Applicants with credentials from institutions in countries where the primary language is not English must also submit English Language Proficiency Test scores meeting the university requirements. This test must include a writing component.
- Official test results must be sent directly to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office from the original source.
- Processing of submitted test results can take up to 3-4 weeks.
- Test scores are valid for two years from test date.
See more about submitting English language proficiency test scores in the Application Process document.