Applying to the Graduate Program

  • Application deadline: Thursday, December 1st, 2022, 8:59pm PST. (strict)
  • Use the On-line application form - available ~September 15, 2021.
  • Application materials - (upload with application)
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Transcripts of courses taken
    • Writing sample
    • Admissions essays - particularly the "Statement of Purpose"
    • GRE is not required (please do not submit GRE scores)
  • International students
    • Take the TOEFL or IELTS English Proficiency test by November 2020.
    • Translate application materials documents (particularly the transcripts)
  • What we look for -- Our main question is, "Will you be successful at Berkeley?" We look for evidence in:
    • Letters of recommendation - from people who know both you and us - predicting that you will be successful in this program.
    • Good grades in hard courses and in relevant courses
    • A well-focussed, mature statement of purpose that answers "why linguistics?" and "why Berkeley?"
    • A strong writing sample, preferably relevant to your aims in our program.
    • A BA in Linguistics or a relevant allied discipline

Some Details

Additional instructions for completing the on-line "Graduate Application for Admissions and Fellowships" can be found at the Graduate Division's admissions website. Note: applicants are responsible for reading and complying with all application guidelines. Below are further details about a few important aspects of the admissions application.

Admissions Essays: Your statement of purpose should: 1. Include the names of the faculty members whose research seems to match your own interests, and briefly discuss the connections you see. Please also provide this information where requested on the on-line application. 2. Describe your relevant research experience, and note any publications you have authored or co-authored. Here is some helpful advice about writing the statement of purpose and the personal statement.

Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required. You will be asked to submit the names of your recommenders and valid email addresses as part of the on-line application. The admissions system will contact them directly, and you will be able to check whether their letters have been added to the application. Please give your recommenders plenty of advanced notification for submitting their letters so that they may be submitted by the deadline.

Transcripts: Copies of all relevant official transcripts from all university/college level institutions attended (this requirement applies to both domestic and international applicants) must be submitted/uploaded with your on-line Graduate Application for Admissions and Fellowships. Transcripts in a language other than English must be accompanied by official English translations, as described in the "International Applicants" section of the Graduate Division's Admissions Requirements. Note: Submission of official/sealed transcripts will only be required if you are admitted to the program and you accept the offer of admission.

English Proficiency: All applicants from countries in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. See the admissions requirements web page for details.

Writing Sample: A writing sample is required of all applicants. Ideally, this sample would be a research paper on a linguistic topic, but it should in any event demonstrate the applicant's competence in writing analytic expository prose. The writing sample is to be submitted/uploaded with your on-line application.