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Graduate Study


The Department of Linguistics admits students to two degree programs: Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Applications must satisfy both the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies as well as the requirements of the Department of Linguistics for each type of degree as detailed below. Please read the requirements carefully, as only applicants who meet the minimum requirements and whose research interests are consistent with research areas in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Toronto will be considered by the Admissions Committee.

International applicants: Please refer to the International Degree Equivalencies Tool to confirm that your degree meets the minimum admission requirements prior to applying for admission.

Admission to both programs is highly competitive and selective. Successful applicants usually exceed the minimum requirements for admission.

The School of Graduate Studies Admissions FAQs provide answers to frequently asked questions about admission to graduate programs at the University of Toronto.

Application deadlines:

There is one application period to be considered for admission in the following September:

Online application system opens: 1st October.
Application and document submission deadline: 15th January.

Please do not send original documents to the department unless you are requested to do so. Regulations do not allow us to return documents to applicants.

Applicants are responsible for checking the status of their applications, and ensuring that all of the necessary components of the application package have been submitted. You can check the status of your documents by logging into the Online Application and viewing the details of your application.

Offers of Admission: The Admissions Committee begins considering applications in late January. This is an on-going process. Offers of admission begin in February, and continue until all available places are filled. All applicants will be advised of the result of their application by mid-June.

Tuition Fees: The department does not set tuition fees. For information about fees, please refer to the following link:

Master of Arts

Admission requirements

Admission to the MA program in Linguistics requires a four-year bachelor's degree in Linguistics (or equivalent) from a recognized university. Applicants must have at least a B+ average in the final year of their BA program. The MA program is intended for those seeking a more comprehensive and concentrated training in linguistics than undergraduate study permits, and especially for those seeking preparation for a PhD program. The MA program also provides an excellent way of developing critical thinking skills, analytical thought, and argumentation strategies. Students enrolled in the MA program who wish to continue must submit a complete application for admission to the PhD program, which will be considered on a par with those originating from outside the University of Toronto.

The specific admission requirements for our MA programs are as follows (please see our course calendar for course descriptions):

1-year MA - introductory-level courses in phonetics, phonology, syntax and semantics (equivalent to our LIN228H1, 229H1, 232H1, and 241H1; without these four courses students cannot be admitted to a graduate program. Several other courses in linguistics are needed; courses in current phonology and syntax equivalent to LIN322H1 and LIN333H1 are recommended.

2-year MA - introductory-level courses in phonetics, phonology, semantics, and syntax (minimum)

Program completion requirements

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission requirements

Admission to the PhD program in Linguistics requires a Master's degree in linguistics from a recognized university (or similar qualifications). A student must have an average grade of at least an A- in that program. The PhD program is intended primarily for those interested in teaching linguistics and doing advanced linguistic research. Applicants must satisfy the Admissions Committee that they are capable of independent research in linguistics at an advanced level.

Program completion requirements

Application Procedure

There is a non-refundable application fee of $120.00 (click the link to the Application Form below for details). Applications to graduate programs in the Department of Linguistics are now self-administered, which means that the student is responsible for assembling all the relevant documents together with the required application forms from the links below, completing these forms, and submitting these documents. Submission of these forms to the School of Graduate Studies site automatically allows access from the department, so it is not necessary to submit forms to the department directly unless specifically requested.

Please follow these instructions carefully. The link to the online application form is below these instructions.

Applications to graduate programs in the Department of Linguistics must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies through the online admissions application, which is housed on a secure server at the University of Toronto. The department will consider your application only after you have entered your personal and academic information in the online application and submitted the application fee.
As above noted, international applicants should pay special attention to the International Degree Equivalencies to confirm that their degree is equivalent to the minimum admission requirements.

Once you access the SGS online admissions application and enter your contact information, an applicant identification number and a password will be e-mailed to you. You can leave and return to your application at any point until you move to the payment stage. At that point, you can return to check on the status of this application, including whether we have received your supporting documents.

A complete application consists of the following documents:
  1. A statement of interest of one page indicating the applicant's areas of interest in linguistics at the graduate level.

  2. Transcripts from each university attended, complete to the time of application. These may be unofficial transcripts. If they are in a language other than English they must be translated into English. An official transcript must be provided upon receipt of a letter of offer for admission.

  3. Three letters of reference from linguistics instructors. The link to the reference letter form will be provided to the referees through a secure link on the SGS application website. The applicant should fill out the referee information form and submit it with their documentation.

  4. For applicants to the PhD program only: one sample of your written work in linguistics (in English or French), e.g., a term paper. This document should not exceed 20 pages. It should be as recent as possible and should provide evidence of your ability to do linguistics at an advanced level.
Applicants whose primary language is not English and who are not graduates of a university whose language of instruction is English must also submit a TOEFL score of at least 600 and a TWE score of at least 5, or equivalent results in some other recognized test of English language facility. More information about recognized tests can be found at the SGS English Proficiency Requirement webpage. Note that the Department of Linguistics requirements are higher than the minimum required by the School of Graduate Studies.

≈ Payment of your application fee must be received by the School of Graduate Studies before we will consider your application. You may pay online by VISA or Mastercard. This payment method is secure as the transaction is handled by Mirapay, a third party authorized by VISA and Mastercard. Mirapay provides the School of Graduate Studies with payment confirmation only; SGS and the University of Toronto will not have access to your credit card information. Please note that the process requires that pop up blockers on your web browser be disabled. You must be able to receive pop-ups.

If you are unable to pay by credit card, you may print an invoice from the application and mail it with a certified cheque to the School of Graduate Studies.

Proceed to the SGS online admissions application.

The online admissions application replaces previous .pdf and printed application forms. If you have copies of those forms, please discard them and use the online application process only. If for some reason you cannot use the online admission application, please contact the department ( linguistics AT ) for alternatives.

For technical support with the online application process, please contact the School of Graduate Studies directly by Email:, or Phone: (416) 978-6614. (Please be sure to include your name and 12-digit Applicant Number in any emails or phone messages.)

Late applications will be considered only if there is space remaining in the programs.