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Prospective students
Ph.D. in Linguistics and Applied Language Studies (LALS)


Applying for Admission

Applying for admission can take a surprisingly long time. The actual application document is not very long, but the other documents can be very time consuming. You are encouraged to plan your admissions packet with careful attention. Your packet represents you to the Linguistics Faculty Admissions Committee, so be sure that it reflects the quality of work that you intend to give your graduate studies. If you have any questions, please e-mail the graduate director. In the application process, it is also a good idea to make contact with the graduate director via e-mail so that she is aware of your intent to apply.

Deadline for applying for admission

A deadline date means date of receipt by the Graduate Admissions office or International Admissions office. The deadline date presumes a completed application packet.

Application deadline

      • January 15

Note: Our program deadline January 15 precedes the University's application deadline.  In order to be considered for admission to LALS, we must receive ALL of your information on or before January 15

If you do not see our program listed in the drop-down menu of the application website, please contact the graduate director, Dr. Camilla Vasquez, Do NOT choose a different program (such as English Education). Thank you, and we look forward to receiving your application.

Note: International students may have earlier university deadline requirements. Please inquire with the Office of Graduate Studies: .

How to apply
Please upload all documents (statement of purpose, CV, the three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and test scores [GRE for everyone, TOEFL for those with an L1 other than English]) to the application website:

To view our program in the Graduate Catalog:

Required Documents and Standards for Admission

  • Official transcript (Note: For international applicants, a certified English translation must be provided if the university cannot provide an English copy.)
  • GRE scores (taken within the last five years): Verbal reasoning: 153 (500, approximately 60% percentile); Quantitative reasoning: 144 (500, approximately 20% percentile); Analytical writing: 4.0.
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher in their MA degree
  • Statement of research interest
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • A writing sample that shows evidence of research skill. This can be published or unpublished, such as an article, an MA thesis, or an MA course paper.
  • 3 academic references
  • MA in Applied Linguistics, Linguistics, TESOL, Second Language Studies, Foreign Languages, or a related field
  • Experience with an additional language(s)
  • Interview with program faculty

Additional admissions requirements for International Applicants:

  • TOEFL scores: 100 ibt (or 7.5 on IELTS – note that IELTS scores cannot be used for the TA language requirement)

  • For admissions purposes, the TOEFL exam is  not required if  applicants have earned a college degree in an English-medium  university  in an English-speaking country. Please note that taking ESL courses does not exempt applicants from taking the TOEFL. Also note that  students who  are exempt from the TOEFL admissions requirement will still need to English proficiency to be eligible for a TA position.  As all of our funding is in the form of TA positions, English language mastery must be demonstrated through the TOEFL and/or TOEIC for all international applicants.  While we  accept the IELTS for admission purposes (although the TOEFL is  preferred), this test is not accepted by USF to be hired  as a TA. 

  • The TOEFL is not required for a TA position for international students who come from an English-speaking country. See the Office of Graduate Studies website for a list of these countries:

  • Please note that TOEFL scores are valid for two years for admission, according to the ETS website: (5 years for GA positions, per USF policy).  If a TOEFL scores is more than two years old, the applicant will need to re-take the TOEFL or satisfy the English proficiency requirement in one of the other ways:

A Note about International Student Applications:

For international applicants, procedures are more complicated. Fortunately, the staff at International Admissions are experts and very helpful people. More information about the process, including the online application, may be found at:

For additional information, contact the Ph.D. Director:

    • Dr. Camilla Vasquez, Ph.D.
    • Office: Cooper Hall 438
    • Email:
    • Phone: 813-974-2548