The Department of Linguistics is looking for students who share our interests in empirically-driven approaches to language and who have the background training, talent, and eagerness to participate actively in the research life of our department.  On this page you will find information regarding Admission Requirements, Formal Applications, Statement of Interest, Test Scores and Deadlines

    General information about admission to the University of Alberta can be found at Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

    Admission Requirements

    The Department's minimum admission requirements are an undergraduate degree with an average of 3.3 in the last two years of undergraduate work (or graduate work) at the University of Alberta, or equivalent qualifications from a recognized institution.   As part of the application, we ordinarily require evidence of separate undergraduate-level courses in at least 5 of the following 6 areas:

    • general linguistics
    • phonetics
    • phonology
    • morphology
    • syntax
    • semantics

    The Department does not normally consider courses in TESOL or courses taken as part of an English-language degree from an international institution as meeting these requirements.

    Candidates for the MSc must have completed, to the satisfaction of the Department, certain core courses in linguistics, or their equivalents. Candidates who lack this preparation may be required to undertake a year of qualifying studies before being admitted to the degree program.

    Candidates for the PhD must normally hold the equivalent of the MSc in Linguistics at the University of Alberta.

    Formal Applications

    Formal application is made through the University's on-line application system. Please note that a formal application comes with an on-line fee of CAD$100.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL APPLICATION DOCUMENTS ARE TO BE UPLOADED INTO THE FGSR APPLICATION SYSTEM (that includes reference letters) - no hard copies of documents need to mailed to the department.

    The required application documents that need to be uploaded to your graduate application are (Please also read the "Application Requirements for Academic Documents"):

    • official copies of your transcripts for all previous post-secondary schooling showing marks obtained (submitted in the original language, accompanied by a certified English translation)
    • Curriculum Vitae (use the form provided as part of the online application or upload your own)
    • three letters of reference (referees submit their letters directly to your online application)
    • statement of research interests
    • English Language proficiency
    • GRE scores (optional)
    • a sample of academic writing (a short report or paper)

    You will be able to check on the progress of your application by returning to the on-line system, which will provide a listing of documents required and whether or not they have been received by the Department. Incomplete applications may not receive full consideration.

    A supervisory is not required at the time of application.

    Statement of Interest

    One of the most important parts of your application package is the statement of research interests. This statement gives us an idea of what you are interested in studying, how these interests fit into ongoing departmental research, and whether or not we are the right place for you to pursue your academic goals. The statement is also used to identify potential supervisors and may be helpful in identifying potential sources of RAships and other types of funding.

    A good statement of interest should include:

    • a clear description of the topic or sub-disciplinary area you wish to pursue in your studies and why you think this is interesting
    • the language or speaker population you wish to investigate as well as the methodology you wish to pursue
    • the reasons why you think that our Department is the right place for you to do this work
    • an indication of the academic background you have for undertaking research in this area, including titles of your most relevant courses  and a sketch of other experience relevant to your research

    A good statement of interest is concise (no more than a couple of pages long) and is the Department's first real introduction to prospective students. A well thought-out statement is often the key element of a successful application package. Of course, the nature of the statement will be different for students applying to the MSc vs. the PhD degree programs. The statement does not bind you in terms of your eventual Master's or doctoral research project. However, it gives the Department a rough idea of your readiness to undertake graduate-level research.

    Test Scores

    Proof of English Language Proficiency

    English is the primary language of instruction and communication at the University of Alberta (except for Campus Saint-Jean).The minimum acceptable scores are:

    • Test of English as a Foreign language (TOEFL) IS 600 (paper-based) or 100 (internet-based);
    • Michigan Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) it is 85.
    • IELTS is an overall band score of 6.5 with a score of at least 5 on each test band.
    • CAEL is no less than 60 with at least 60 on each sub-test.

    All applicants who are required to write an English language examination are advised to do so at an early date because a satisfactory score is required before the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research will issue an official admission approval letter. 

    Please note that all applicants who make it to the final round of the selection process will be interviewed by members of the Admissions Committee and potential supervisors. For non-native speakers of English, this interview will become a part of the assessment of the applicant's English-language proficiency, in addition to the requirements specified by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.


    Completed Formal Applications and all supporting documentation must be received by January 10 of the coming year. Applications arriving after this deadline may be accepted but may not receive full consideration for Departmental Funding.

    For further information about admission to our program, contact: