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College of Arts & Sciences
Linguistics Program


How to apply

If you have any inquiries about how to apply to graduate program in Linguistics, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Materials required
Deadlines
Admissions criteria
Tuition and fees
Funding
Advice
Contact


Materials required for the application 

All of the following items must be submitted electronically to the Graduate School:

 

PhD or MA/PhD applicants
MA applicants
TESOL applicants

An official application, including the application fee, through the Graduate School application portal.

Required

Required

Required

Academic transcripts for all prior undergraduate  and graduate study.

Required

Required

Required

Two letters of recommendation

Required

Required

Required

Personal statement

Required

Required

Required

GRE scores (The Program does not accept Miller Analogies Test (MAT) in place of GRE.)

Required

Required

-

TOEFL or IELTS scores

Required for non-native speakers of English only

Required for non-native speakers of English only

Required for non-native speakers of English only

Résumé/CV

Required

-

-

Writing Sample

Required

-

-

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Deadlines

Students are normally admitted to the program in the fall semester. To receive full consideration for financial assistance, applications should be completed before the first round of selections (December 15). Applicants who do not meet this deadline may still be awarded support, but opportunities become increasingly limited after January 15. The absolute deadline for applying is May 1

Applications submitted outside of the fall admissions cycle are rarely considered, and only possible if the student has taken a graduate survey in linguistics. Graduate assistantships are awarded only to students entering in the fall semester on a highly competitive merit basis.

Prospective students who do not have prior coursework in linguistics, or whose coursework in the discipline is at the undergraduate level only, should apply for admission with a start date in the summer session of respective year.

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Admissions criteria 

Because students interested in Linguistics often come from diverse backgrounds and may not have had the opportunity to major in Linguistics as undergraduates, each applicant is considered on an individual basis.

Concurrent MA/PhD track in Linguistics. Prospective students who have the PhD as their goal, but do not have an MA in linguistics should apply for the concurrent MA/PhD track. Applicants should apply for the MA and specify in the personal statement that they wish to be considered for the MA/PhD. Students applying for the concurrent track must otherwise meet the minimum requirements for the PhD. Concurrent admission is determined on a case by case basis by the Admissions Committee; expressing a desire to be considered for it does not guarantee placement in it.

Concurrent MA/PhD track in Linguistics and another program. Students admitted to the concurrent track typically earn their MA in Linguistics, although in some cases they may earn it in a cooperating graduate MA program. Currently, the Linguistics Program has such a cooperative agreement with the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Applicants for the concurrent track in the Linguistics Program and another program must submit separate applications to each academic unit. The personal statement to each program should specify that they are applying for the concurrent track in both programs. 

Transcripts of prior undergraduate and graduate work must show sufficient promise of ability to do graduate work. The undergraduate and graduate GPA for successful applicants is typically 3.5 or higher. Please follow the Graduate School guidelines for sending original transcripts.

Letters of recommendation should come from persons familiar with the applicant's academic achievement and potential and should specifically address the applicant's potential for success in a graduate degree program.

Your personal statement should describe (1) previous academic work related to linguistics, (2) relevant practical experience, (3) intended specialization and/or probable research interest, and (4) career goals. It should be one to two pages in length.

The Program’s admissions standards regarding GRE test scores follow the guidelines of the Graduate School. Currently, 300 is the minimum combined Verbal and Quantitative GRE score, and 3.5 is the minimum required analytical writing for admission to any USC graduate degree program. The Linguistics Program typically expects successful applicants to score at least 150 each on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the test (with the exception of non-native speakers of English, whose high Quantitative scores might offset a somewhat lower Verbal score). The program expects higher scores from native English speakers than from non-native English speakers on the Verbal portion, and higher scores overall from PhD (and concurrent MA/PhD) applicants than from MA applicants. The Program also follows the guidelines of the Graduate School of University of South Carolina regarding the minimum TOEFL/IELTS scores. Currently, the minimum acceptable TOEFL IBT score is 80. Please follow the Graduate School guidelines for sending test scores.

In all cases, minimally acceptable scores and grades are no guarantee of admission. At the same time, evidence of high potential from several parts of an applicant's file may occasionally outweigh a low test score or GPA.

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Tuition and fees

The 2016-17 in-state tuition for full-time graduate students at the University of South Carolina is $533.25/credit hour; out-of-state tuition is $1,142/credit hour. 

A research or teaching assistantship normally carries with it a tuition reduction. 

For current information about additional fees, consult the USC Fee Schedule through the Bursar's office. Note that international students are charged a one-time matriculation fee of $500.

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Funding

The Linguistics Program offers funding opportunities.

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Advice for applying to graduate school

Dos and Don'ts in Graduate-School Essays

On applying to graduate school

Finishing a Humanities Dissertation in Six Years (or Less), by Mark Braude (Chronicle of Higher Education, November 12) 

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You may get in touch with the Program Director if you have any inquiries

Phone: 803-777-8312
Fax: 803-777-0454
Email linguistics@sc.edu

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