Admission Requirements-Modern Languages - Carnegie Mellon University

Second Language Acquisition PhD. Program Admission Requirements


Applicants are generally expected to have an M.A. in a related field (e.g. foreign language, teaching, cognitive science, linguistics, etc.). However, students have been accepted without a Master's degree provided they have a strong undergraduate education.

Applicants are expected to:

  • Complete the online application by January 5th of the year you wish to apply
  • Current GRE scores (within two years)
  • Current TOEFL score if one speaks English as an additional language
  • Transcripts from undergraduate and previous graduate study
  • Three letters of recommendation from people familiar with the applicants academic and professional work
  • A statement of area of research interest and career goals
  • A sample of thoughtful analytic work or research paper
  • Evidence of proficiency in a second language to be able to teach one of the languages offered in the Department of Modern Languages (i.e. Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish).
  • Have a telephone interview with a program faculty (after submitting the application, those candidates who pass the first round of selection will be interviewed at the request of the program)
  • Application Fee: The application fee for the Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition program is $50.00.  You may pay the fee by credit card, check, or money order. Credit card instructions will be given when you submit your application. If you do not want to pay by credit card, you may pay by a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and made payable to Carnegie Mellon University. Please include your User ID on the check or money order and mail to Vera Lampley, Graduate Programs Coordinator at the address given above. Do NOT send cash. Your application is not considered complete until the fee has been received.
Admission is based on evaluation of qualifications and on the interview with faculty. Since the program is organized around an apprentice model, the fit between student and faculty research interests is important.

Graduate Assistantships

All students who apply will be considered for financial aid covering tuition and a stipend. During the summer, students have the opportunity to teach or be research assistants for additional remuneration.

Prospective students should visit Enrollment Services and follow the link to Graduate Cost of Attendance information. The Enrollment Services page also includes other student costs such as health care, financial aid, campus dining, etc.