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MIT Linguistics: Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Graduate Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Are GRE scores required for admission to the linguistics doctoral program?

No, GRE scores are not required.

I am an international applicant. Am I still eligible for financial support from MIT?

Yes. All admitted students (both US and international citizens) are eligible for support. However, the department has limited funds for the support of graduate students, and is committed to distributing this support as equitably as possible to students in good standing who are in need of financial assistance. Consequently, applicants are strongly urged to make extensive efforts to find some outside source of support.

Is the TOEFL or IELTS exam required?

MIT requires international applicants whose native language is not English to submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). However, the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy does grant waivers.

In general, we grant waivers to students who have received a degree from an American or English-speaking university, or who show an extensive background in English. We ask that students who request a TOEFL or IELTS waiver have their recommenders comment in depth on their English speaking, reading and writing skills as a part of the recommendation. We also strongly suggest that they submit a writing sample in English.

TOEFL Score Requirements and Reporting Codes:
Minimum score required: 577 (233 for computer-based) (90 for internet-based)
Department code: 04 (Linguistics)
Institute code: 3514 (MIT)

IELTS: Minimum score required: 6.5

Is a Master’s degree required to apply to the PhD program?

A Master's degree is not required. Prospective students may apply to the PhD program direct from their undergraduate studies.

What is the application fee for MIT?

The application fee is $75.00 in US funds. Major credit cards are the accepted form of payment.

Can I earn a doctoral degree through distance learning?

No, the program does not offer classes through distance learning.

I am currently working on my PhD in linguistics. Can I apply to the program?

The department discourages applications for admission to our graduate program from students with extensive experience in linguistics beyond the Masters level. Applicants who are far advanced in their post-graduate education or who already hold a PhD in linguistics would be better advised to apply as a Visiting Scholar.

Are interviews required as part of the application process?

Formal interviews are not required. If you wish to meet with a faculty member, you can e-mail him/her to inquire about setting up an appointment. Faculty interests and contact information can be found in the Faculty section of this website.

Can you evaluate my chances of admission before I apply?

We do not offer pre-application screening.

I uploaded a transcript to the application system. Do I have to mail an official transcript?

Yes. Applicants are required to upload an unofficial scanned transcript to the on-line application system and mail an official copy to the department. Please send it to:

MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 32-D808
Cambridge, MA 02139

The official transcript will be accepted after the deadline as long as we have a scanned copy by January 2.

Is there a required page length for the Statement of Purpose?

There is no required page length.