How to Apply

We have one application cycle per year, and all admitted MA and PhD students begin in September. Applications are submitted online to the School of Graduate Studies of the University of Toronto.

  • October 1, 2019: Online application system opens
  • January 8, 2020: Application and document submission deadline

Admission to both the MA and PhD Linguistics programs is highly competitive. Only applicants who meet at least the minimum requirements and whose research interests are consistent with our Department's areas of focus can be considered by the Admissions Committee.

To apply for our MA program, you will need to have completed, or be about to complete, a 4-year undergraduate degree in linguistics with at least a B+ average in your final year. You do not need to have a specialist degree in linguistics, but you should have completed the following coursework:

In exceptional cases, a student may be allowed to take one of these required courses during the one-year MA, provided that they do not plan to write a Forum paper in this area.

If you have at least introductory-level phonetics, phonology, syntax, and semantics, you may ask to be considered for admission to our two-year MA program. There is no separate application, but you may wish to indicate in your MA application that you are specifically interested in the two-year program. We offer the two-year MA to very exceptional students from universities whose programs we are familiar with, but who lack a strong background in linguistics due to a lack of courses at their home university. More often, however, we recommend that such a student take the courses required for admission to the one-year MA as a special student, either at the University of Toronto or elsewhere. Please note that a student in the first year of a two-year MA does not qualify for University of Toronto graduate funding.

To apply for our PhD program, you will need to have completed, or be about to complete, a Master's degree in linguistics from a recognized university with an overall average of at least A-. Our PhD program is primarily intended for people interested in teaching linguistics and conducting advanced research. Your application needs to show the admissions committee that you are capable of independent, high-level linguistics research.

We welcome applications from international students, though we have a limited number of places in our MA and PhD programs to offer to international applicants (that is to say, students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents).

The School of Graduate Studies sets minimum admission requirements for all graduate students. If you are unsure how your own educational background aligns with the SGS requirements, you can check the International Degree Equivalencies Tool. As part of your admission requirements, you may be expected to provide proof of English-language proficiency.

We have one application cycle per year, for admission in the following September. The online application system opens on 1st October. The application and document submission deadline is in January. The first round of admission decisions will be sent out in early February, and continue until all places are filled. You should expect a response by early May.

If you want to make a late application, please email the Graduate Administrator; if we have space remaining in your program of interest, you may be able to apply.

What's in an application?

Applications for our MA and PhD programs must be submitted electronically via the online Admissions Application, hosted by the School of Graduate Studies on a secure server. Once you have accessed the application and entered your contact information, an applicant identification number and password will be emailed to you. You can return to your application at any point. After completing the application and paying the application fee, you will be able to upload your supporting documents and check your application status.

When completing the online application form, please be sure to tell us your area of study! (e.g., syntax, phonology, sociolinguistics...)

Your application consists of the following documents, all uploaded to your online application:

  • Transcripts from each university you have attended, complete to the time of application. These can be unofficial transcripts. If they are in a language other than English or French, please include a translation into English.
  • Three letters of reference from linguistics instructors, who can speak specifically to your skills as a student linguist. The link to our reference form and instructions will be sent directly to your referees, and the form should be uploaded to the application site.
  • The completed referee information form, so you can tell us more about your choice of referees.
  • Your statement of interest, of approximately one page, outlining your research interests.  If you are interested in working with a specific faculty member, please let us know in your statement of interest.
  • Optional: One sample of your recent written work in linguistics, in English or French, of no more than 20 pages. This can be a term paper. It should provide evidence of your ability to conduct linguistics research.
  • English-language proficiency test results, if you are an applicant whose primary language is not English. More information about recognized English-language proficiency tests can be found on the School of Graduate Studies' website, including the list of exemption conditions. Please note that students admitted to our MA and PhD programs generally have scores that exceed the SGS minimum requirements.

When completing the online application form, please be sure to tell us your area of study! (e.g., syntax, phonology, sociolinguistics...)

Your application consists of the following documents, all uploaded to your online application:

  • Transcripts from each university you have attended, complete to the time of application. These can be unofficial transcripts. If they are in a language other than English or French, please include a translation into English.
  • Three letters of reference from linguistics instructors, who can speak specifically to your skills as a student linguist. The link to our reference form and instructions will be sent directly to your referees, and the form should be uploaded to the application site.
  • The completed referee information form, so you can tell us more about your choice of referees.
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV).
  • Your statement of interest, of approximately one page, outlining your research interests.  If you are interested in working with a specific faculty member, please let us know in your statement of interest.
  • One sample of your recent written work in linguistics, in English or French, of no more than 20 pages. This can be a term paper. It should provide evidence of your ability to conduct linguistics research at an advanced level.
  • English-language proficiency test results, if you are an applicant whose primary language is not English. More information about recognized English-language proficiency tests can be found on the School of Graduate Studies' website, including the list of exemption conditions. Please note that students admitted to our MA and PhD programs generally have scores that exceed the SGS minimum requirements.

We do not require the following:

  • Paper copies of your application documents, unless we specifically request them. Regulations do not allow us to return any documents (and official transcripts are expensive!).
  • Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores.

There is a non-refundable application fee of $120 CAD, which can be paid by credit card. Payment of your application fee must be received by the School of Graduate Studies before we can consider your application.

If you have questions about applying to the University of Toronto, the School of Graduate Studies hosts a comprehensive FAQ page. If you have technical difficulties with your application, please contact the School of Graduate Studies, including your name and applicant number. If you have other questions about your application, or need to change the email address for a referee, please contact the Graduate Administrator, also including your name and applicant number.

 

Proceed to the SGS Online Admissions Application