Completed applications for admission and aid, along with all supporting materials, are due December 15th. Four parts of the application are critically important:

  • The student's academic record. 
  • Letters of recommendation submitted by persons able to describe the student's achievements and promise. 
  • The student's statement of purpose, which describes the intellectual issues and subjects that they hope to explore at Chicago
  • sample of pertinent written work that demonstrates the applicant's research interests or capabilities. The sample may consist of published essays, class term papers, or an MA thesis.

Applicants are not required to submit GRE scores.

Students whose first language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test (iBT) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). UChicagoGRAD has more information about these tests and the University's English language proficiency requirement and waivers. Applications and all supporting materials should be submitted online. We no longer accept materials sent on paper.

Applicants to Linguistics should also prepare and upload a document that lists all courses the applicant has taken or will have taken by the time of enrollment which have relevance to graduate study in linguistics (in particular, language courses and courses in linguistics, mathematics/statistics, computer science, psychology, anthropology, and language of philosophy). This list should include the complete title of each course, the instructor's full name, the grade earned (if available), and a brief (at most a paragraph) description of the contents of the course (a list of topics covered, for example), along with the titles and authors of any texts used or papers read.

When completing the application form, it is of benefit to the applicant to be as specific as possible in describing their research interests. General comments are of relatively little use. Applicants are encouraged to discuss specific linguistic subject matters that they are interested in. We have received in years past interesting discussions of, for instance, the relationship of signed languages to spoken languages; the status of the Specified Subject Condition; evidence that English is creole-like with a Celtic substratum; grammatical tone in Twi; and the semantics of idiomatic expressions. The department looks forward to broadening the list of topics of interest to our applicants.

If an applicant knows faculty members with whom they might work, the latter's names should be given as well. The faculty of the Linguistics Department would be happy to answer any questions that prospective students may have. Please contact them individually regarding their research or classes, or contact the Chair for more general and/or administrative questions.

In keeping with its long-standing traditions and policies, the University of Chicago, in admission, employment, and access to programs, considers students on the basis of individual merit and without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, handicap, or other factors irrelevant to fruitful participation in the programs of the University.