Carnegie Mellon University

Admission and Application Information

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

To be considered for fall admission, please complete an online application by January 5.

All applications must include the following:

  • Current GRE scores (within two years)
  • Current TOEFL or IELTS score if you speak English as an additional language
  • Transcripts from undergraduate and previous graduate study
  • Three letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic and professional work
  • A statement of research area interest and career goals
  • A sample of thoughtful analytic work or a research paper
  • Evidence of proficiency in a second language, sufficient enough to be able to teach one of the languages offered in the department (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish).
  • 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 this address. Do NOT send cash. Your application is not considered complete until the fee has been received.

After submitting the application, those candidates who make it past the first round will be interviewed via telephone by a program faculty member.

Admission is based on evaluation of qualifications and on the interview with a program faculty member. 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 to serve as research assistants for additional remuneration.

Prospective students should review information on Graduate Tuition & Fees, financial aidstudent health insurance, and campus dining.