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Apply to the Ph.D. Program

We encourage you to get acquainted with our faculty and their research interests by exploring our faculty webpages.  We also suggest that you periodically check our front page to learn about the sorts of talks, courses and other activities you would be participating in here as a student.  You can also follow us on Facebook to get a sense of some of the social activities in the department.  If your research interests overlap with ours, and you see yourself working productively with our faculty, then check out our program requirements and make an application.  Admission is for the fall semester only .


Requirements for Admission

  • A non-refundable application fee  of $100 paid online by credit card. Applications will not be processed without this fee.
  • Baccalaureate Degree : A baccalaureate degree is required and the student must present evidence that such a degree will be awarded by the time he or she begins graduate work. A final transcript is also required at the time of registration.
  • Official Transcripts : Two official copies of all previous college transcripts. Transcripts of both undergraduate and graduate work must be submitted. If a student attended a junior college and these credits are not listed on the senior college transcript with grades, a separate junior college transcript is required. If transcripts are in a foreign language, certified English translations are required, in addition to the original documents.  Review the Graduate School's guidelines on what constitutes an official final transcript.
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average : A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (or its foreign equivalent). If you have attended graduate school and obtained a master’s degree, and the GPA is over 3.00, then the GPA of the undergraduate school can be below 3.00 for regular admission.
  • Letters of Recommendation : Three letters of recommendation from former instructors are required.
  • Graduate Record Examination : There is no subject test for linguistics, the general test is all that is required. Please have the testing service send a copy of your score to the department. Your official GRE score sheet is required before an offer of admission can be made. (for additional information regarding the GRE exam,   visit the GRE website.)
  • Foreign Language Requirement : Proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to two years of college work.
  • Writing Sample : The writing sample should be a short paper written for a previous course taken.
  • Curriculum Vita or Resume : A current CV or resume.
  • English Language Proficiency : See requirements of English proficiency at the end of this packet.

In addition, foreign students must have the following:

  • TOEFL Score : A minimum score of 600 paper based, 250 computer based or 100 Internet-based on the TOEFL test is required for admission to the Linguistics Department.
  • Financial Affidavit : A completed financial affidavit will be processed through Visa and Immigrations Services online portal (accessVIS). If  we do not have the financial information that is necessary it will delay the processing of your I-20.

Admission to all programs is competitive and no single factor (GRE scores, letters, grades, etc.) will exclude anyone from being admitted. Similarly, no single factor will ensure admission to the graduate programs leading to the Ph.D. or M.A. degrees. For best consideration, the online application should be completed, and back-up documentation should reach the department by the appropriate deadline. 

Send all back-up documentation to:
Attention: Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Linguistics S201
Social & Behavioral Sciences
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4376


Financial Aid

Financial aid is awarded in the form of assistantships, fellowships, and tuition scholarships (these sources of financial support are primarily offered only to Ph.D. students). There are special opportunities for students of African-American, Hispanic, or Native American background (M.A. students within this program are generally only considered for these types of financial support). Applicants are also encouraged to explore opportunities for external funding independent of departmental and university resources.


Application Procedure

Submit online application via Apply Yourself
What to submit via Apply Yourself:
  • Statement of purpose
  • One research paper as a writing sample
  • Names (and email addresses) of three recommenders for letters of recommendation
Request test scores be sent to Stony Brook
    • GRE and TOEFL scores as required. See English proficiency guidelines here.
Request that transcripts from all previous colleges and universities be sent to Stony Brook
  • Send to the following address:

Michelle Carbone
Department of Linguistics 
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4376

For questions about the application process, contact the Graduate Secretary:
For questions about degree requirements or financial support, contact the Doctoral Director
  • John Bailyn
  • Email:
  • If any material is missing from your application, you will be notified by email. Be sure we have the correct email address for you.

Application and Admission Timeline

  • January 15 – All application materials, including letters of recommendation, are due.
  • Late January – Offers for university wide fellowships are made and all applications are screened. During the screening period, we may contact some applicants for additional information. However, if you have not been contacted, you should NOT conclude that you are not still under serious consideration.
  • Late-February-Early March – Most offer letters are sent by this time. If additional spaces become available, offers may be made in mid to late March.
  • April 15 – Admitted students are required to accept or decline their offers by this date.
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