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MA Linguistics Frequently Asked Questions


Application procedures and requirements

  • Is an MA in Linguistics a prerequisite for admission to the Stony Brook doctoral program in Linguistics?  Does successful completion of the MA guarantee admission to the PhD program?

The MA program is designed to give students an opportunity to carry out graduate work in linguistics without making the long-term commitment required for a doctoral degree, and is neither a prerequisite for admission to the doctoral program nor a guarantee of admission to that program. The Stony Brook doctoral program in linguistics (like the majority of US Linguistics doctoral programs) does consider applications from students who hold only a bachelor’s degree, along with those who have completed a master’s program.  If you decide to apply for the Stony Brook PhD program after completing the MA, your application will be considered as part of the larger pool of applicants.

  • Are GRE scores required? Is there a minimum GRE score for admission?

You cannot be admitted without GRE scores. In making admissions decisions we consider the entire application package, which includes transcripts, personal statement, letters of recommendation, test scores, etc. There is no minimum cutoff for GRE scores.

  • How do I submit GRE scores?   Can I submit my application before I have received my GRE scores?

Submit scores electronically using SBU program code 2548 and Linguistics Department code 2903. You may submit your application before you receive your scores, although your application will not be considered complete until we have received your GRE scores.

  • How do I know if my application materials have been received before the application deadline?   How will I be notified of the admissions decision?

Apply Yourself will show you the status of your application and indicate which materials have been received. You can log on at any time, using the username and password you established when you submitted the application. All correspondence regarding the application process will be communicated via e-mail. You should regularly check your e-mail for any new notifications from the Graduate Program Coordinator. If you need to contact the Graduate Program Coordinator by phone, you can do so at 631-632-7774. 

  • I am an international applicant. Where should I send my financial documentation?

Once you are admitted, you will receive email instructions for submitting your Affidavit of Support, Financial Documents, Passport Information, or any bank statement documentation. Please do NOT send these documents to the Department of Linguistics. Effective Fall 2012, if original financial documents are submitted they will NOT be returned to the student.

  • Can I apply for financial support?

Assistantships, fellowships, and tuition scholarships are normally not available for MA students, although there may be special opportunities for US citizens of African-American, Hispanic, or Native American background.  Students are encouraged to explore opportunities for funding from other sources.

Program requirements

  • How is the requirement of a ‘substantial research paper in linguistics’ fulfilled?

Students will typically fulfill this requirement by revising and developing a paper that they have written for one of the courses taken in the program, with feedback from the faculty member to whom the paper was submitted.  The student and faculty supervisor together choose an addition faculty member to serve as second reader of the paper. 


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