In light of the Covid-19 situation,  all UC Davis Fall 2020 courses will move to virtual instruction.  As a result, the department’s administrative functions have moved to remote work conditions until further notice.  At this time, the preferred method of contact for departmental staff members is e-mail; please visit our administrative staff contact page for further information.


Applications for the Department of Linguistics doctoral and master's degree programs are accepted from September until December 15.

We applaud your interest in an advanced degree in linguistics, and welcome your application. The admission application process is conducted entirely online, through the Office of Graduate Studies website. The window for submission is from early September until the DEADLINE of December 15. Applications are accepted for fall quarter only.



Download and study the Degree Requirements in detail.

Your application must be accompanied by these supporting materials:

  • Three "Letters of Recommendation," preferably from instructors with whom you have taken courses. Your letter writers must upload their statements through the online application system; no paper letters will be accepted. Your recommenders will receive instructions for submitting their recommendations online.
  • General GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores. These scores must be current (taken within the past five years) and should be sent electronically directly from ETS to UC Davis. The ETS code for UC Davis is 4834, and the Department of Linguistics program code is 2903. GRE scores are not required for applications for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores if you have not studied at an institution and received a degree where the language of instruction is English. These scores must be current (taken within the past two years). TOEFL should be sent electronically directly from ETS to UC Davis. IELTS scores should be sent to the Graduate Studies Office. More information, including alternatives if neither test is available to an applicant, can be found here:
  • A writing sample, such as a term paper or academic essay, must be submitted electronically as part of the online application for the Ph.D. program.
  • Statement of purpose, describing your academic preparation and motivation; interests, specializations and career goals; and rationale for choosing UC Davis for graduate study. The statement should identify your academic and research experiences that prepare you for this graduate program; your research interests and intended area(s) of specialization; and the ways in which your preparation, experiences and interests match the specific resources and characteristics of the graduate program in the UC Davis Department of Linguistics. Consider indicating specific faculty members with whom you would like to work, and explain how their interests match yours.
  • Personal history and diversity statement, in which you describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. You may refer to any educational, familial, cultural, economic or social experiences, challenges, community service, outreach activities, residency and citizenship, first-generation college status, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field; or how you might serve educationally underrepresented and underserved segments of society with your graduate education.
  • Transcripts, as PDF files, for all institutions of higher learning that you have attended. Paper transcripts are not acceptable. Consult the Graduate Studies website for instructions about uploading transcripts.

International Applicants

International applicants must submit scores from an approved test of English as a foreign language, unless their native language or their language of instruction is English. One of the following minimum scores is required:

  • 100 on the TOEFL iBT
  • 7 on the IELTS (overall band score)
  • 250 on the TOEFL computer-based test
  • 600 on the TOEFL paper test

To be eligible for all funding opportunities, applicants must report general GRE scores and file a FAFSA and a fellowship application available from the Office of Graduate Studies.

Because of the increased costs associated with supporting international students, the Graduate Group in Linguistics encourages international applicants to apply for independent funding before submitting an application. Note that funding alone does not guarantee admission. Please consider these facts carefully before you commit to the application process.

For more information, contact the Graduate Coordinator.

Application fee

The application fee must be paid by credit card or e-check before the application will be considered as complete, and the fee must be paid for each application submitted. Consult the Graduate Studies website for fee information.