Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition
When is the application deadline?
Please view details about the Ph.D. program in Second Language Acquisition, including application deadline, on our website.
*All transcripts and supporting material are due by the application deadline. All information will be posted to your file once you submit your online application. Please note that official transcripts and test scores are not updated as received until you submit your application.
*All letters of recommendation are due by the application deadline.
*All official GRE, IELTS and TOEFL score reports are due by the application deadline.
It is strongly suggested that you plan to take all required tests before November for the Ph.D. program.
Where should all documents be sent?
All application materials will be submitted online.
How many students are admitted each year?
The total number of students may vary between five and ten each year.
Are there additional financial aid forms to complete?
Graduate students are permitted to apply for any financial aid for which they are eligible. For more information and financial aid application forms, contact The HUB.
Do students receive a tuition waiver?
Students in the Ph.D. program are eligible to receive a partial to full tuition scholarship, as well as a living stipend.
I used my email address and password, but I cannot access the online application. What is the problem?
If your browser accepts cookies, and your computer is not behind a firewall, then you should be able to log in successfully. Also, please make sure you are using the same website and email address to log in that you used to register. If you continue to have problems, please contact us.
What if all my supporting documents do not arrive by the deadline?
Supporting materials that arrive after the deadline may cause a delay in your application being reviewed. Your information will be updated as materials are received.
Can I make changes to my online application after it has been submitted?
Prior to submitting, you may return and make any changes to your application. Once you submit your application, you may make changes to select sections: CV, Publication, Statement of Purpose, and Letters of Recommendation.
If I applied last year and was not admitted, can I reapply this year?
Yes. You must create an entirely new application. It is possible to request that official test score reports and transcripts from the previous year be used if no changes have been made to them.
How do I obtain an I-20 form?
Please refer to the Office of International Education page. This page contains a wealth of information for international students accepted to Carnegie Mellon University.
I do not currently have a visa, but will need to apply for one. What do I select under visa status?
Select the one that will most closely match your status when you arrive on campus. Most likely you will need an F1 visa; however, you should carefully review the information on the Office of International Education page.
What should I give as my current address?
Use the address where you will be available to receive mail through April. You may enter a permanent address if it differs from your current address. Do NOT enter a PO Box. The acceptance packets are sent by express mail (e.g. FedEx, UPS), and cannot be delivered to a PO Box address.
What do I do if my email address or current address changes before the end of the semester?
You may change your current address, email address and password in your submitted application until the application deadline. If there is any change after this date, please send an email to ModernLangGradmail@andrew.cmu.edu, and the Graduate Program Coordinator will make the necessary updates. It is very important that you maintain a valid email address in your submitted application.
What are the GRE and TOEFL institution and department codes?
GRE: Institution code, 2074; Department code not needed
TOEFL: Institution code, 2074; Department code not needed
Please refer to the GRE testing schedule to determine test dates. No application will be considered complete until we have received these scores. GRE scores will not be accepted if more than two years old.
Am I required to submit a TOEFL score?
I have requested my transcripts and test scores be sent, but my application has not been updated.
You must first SUBMIT your application before receipt of test scores or transcripts will be updated. They must be matched and updated manually, which may take several days once you submit your application.
Submit official transcripts. This can be done electronically through your university’s electronic transcript service or via sealed hard copy.
How many transcripts should I send?
Please mail only ONE official copy of your transcript from each college or university attended, whether or not you received a degree. Only electronic transcripts sent via the University (or University service provider) with verification that the transcript is an official version will be recognized as an official transcript.
What happens if my transcripts or test scores arrive before my application?
All supporting documents that arrive before you submit your application will be kept on file. Please note that transcripts will not be marked as received in your online application until you have actually submitted your application. They must be matched and updated manually.
Where do I mail my transcripts?
If your College or University issues only hard copies of your transcript, please use the address below.
Department of Modern Languages Carnegie Mellon University
Posner Hall 341
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3891 USA
Attention: Vera Lampley, Graduate Programs
Send official electronic copies of your transcript to ModernLangGradmail@andrew.cmu.edu. If your transcript is not in English please provide a translated copy with the original.
My recommenders have not received the email requests or the reminder emails that were sent. What should I do?
First, make sure that you typed the correct email address, and then ask them to check their spam filters.
If the email cannot be found, please ask them to send their letters in pdf format to ModernLangGradmail@andrew.cmu.edu with the subject line "Upload recommendation letter for [your name]". Uploads will not be completed here until early January.
Can the same person serve as a recommender for language proficiency and an academic recommender?
Yes. However, they must fill out both forms and submit them separately.
What should I do if the deadline is approaching or has passed and one or more of my recommenders has not submitted their recommendation?
You may send a reminder notification to your recommender via your Application Status Page from your submitted application. It is your responsibility to make certain that the letters are submitted by the application deadline. Applications without three letters of recommendation not received by the deadline may not be considered.
Can I submit more than three letters of recommendation?
Three letters of recommendation are required; however, space is provided for you to submit up to five. At least two should be from faculty or recent employers. Recommenders should know you relatively well and be able to evaluate the quality of your previous work.
Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation for me?
The admissions committee wants to know about your ability to do independent research. You should select letter writers who can best speak to that point. Professors who interacted with you extensively in smaller classes are also a good choice. Employers are sometimes appropriate, but letters that are simply character references will not provide good support for your application.
My recommenders have not submitted their letters. Can I submit my application before they submit?
Yes. Do not wait for the letters before submitting your application. Recommenders have a longer period of time to submit their letters.
How and when will I be notified if I am admitted?
Our Admission Committee reviews applications during the months of January and February. You will be notified directly not later than March 15 as to whether or not you have been admitted. We realize that waiting is very difficult. However, we request that you do not call our offices to inquire about the status of your application.
How do I track the status of my application?
Use your email address and password to access the Application Status Portal. Receipt of the required
documents (score reports, transcripts, and letters of recommendation) will be indicated in the corresponding section. Please allow two to three weeks past the deadline for all documents to be recorded. We receive a large volume of mail, and it does take time to process each application. Our offices are closed during the Christmas and New Year holidays, which may further delay processing.
Please do not send an email to ask the status of your application.