Graduate Overview

Graduate linguistics students meet on North Campus.

Graduate linguistics students meet on North Campus

The overall mission of the Department of Linguistics graduate programs is to train students to succeed in careers related to the descriptive and theoretical study of language in academia, government or industry. To help students achieve their professional goals, the department provides training in all aspects of linguistic research, as well as a comprehensive grounding in the properties of languages, research methodologies, contemporary linguistic theories, and skills such as academic writing and the effective dissemination of research results.

To fulfill its mission, the department offers a PhD in Linguistics, an MA in Linguistics with several foci, and a MS in Computational Linguistics

Learn More About Linguistics

Before applying, we invite you to learn more about our degree requirements:

Application Deadlines

December 15: applications are due for all prospective PhD students wishing to be considered for funding.

Prospective PhD students wishing to be considered for funding are encouraged to consult the faculty listing to see which faculty have research interests that overlap with theirs and to contact them before applying to get feedback on their plans to pursue a PhD in the Department of Linguistics.

Please see here for information regarding funding changes during the 2019-2020 application cycle (which is for candidates seeking admission in 2020-2021).

March 1: applications are due for all international MA/MS applicants and international PhD applicants with external funding.

Review of other graduate program applications will continue until processing in time for Fall admission becomes unfeasible.

Required Application Documents
The GRE requirement has been waived for the current admission cycle (applications submitted in 2020/21 for Fall 2021 admission)

  1. Copies of all B.A. and Graduate Transcripts (and certified English translations, if applicable)
  2. Personal Statement
  3. Three Letters of Recommendation (requests will automatically be sent to the professors listed in the recommendation section)
  4. Writing Sample (required for the Ph.D.; requirement can be waived for the M.A. in case of strong alternative credentials. Sample should primarily provide evidence of research aptitude; writing skills are a secondary concern)
  5. C.V. (required for Ph.D. program and Computational Linguistics M.S. program; recommended for M.A. programs)
  6. TOEFL or IELTS Scores (applies to international applicants only; please request ETS to forward your TOEFL or IELTS scores to SUNY University at Buffalo, institution code 2925 and attach a copy of your TOEFL/IELTS scores to your application. Please note that all international applicants must also take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE test within two years of the date they plan to enroll at U.B. except for those who are citizens of:  Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland).  International applicants who have obtained a U.S. degree or have studied in the U.S. for 2 years or more, had a minimum GPA of 2.0, and have had a break of less than 3 years from obtaining their U.S. degree are also automatically exempt from having to take the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE test. 
  7. $75 Application Fee

*Typically, only our PhD applicants will be considered for departmental financial support. MA/MS applicants are encouraged to seek funding through UB's Office of Financial Aid

A Cross-Disciplinary Approach

Our graduate courses focus on breadth and empirical/experimental methodologies. Students receive training in traditional disciplines, such as syntax, semantics, pragmatics, phonetics, and phonology, in addition to substantial training in other areas, such as language typology, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, and historical and contact linguistics. All students are required to take at least two semesters of Methods classes that include courses in Field Methods, Quantitative Methods and Statistics, Corpus Linguistics, and Computational Linguistics. 

We encourage our students to explore interdisciplinary research within the Center for Cognitive Science, and many of our students receive extensive training in Cognitive Science through collaborations with the Department of Psychology or Computer Science and Engineering programs.

Welcoming Diversity

In recent years, sixty students have graduated with Linguistics Master's and Doctoral degrees. Of these, roughly half the population joined us from overseas, including students from Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe. We believe a diverse student body contributes to a wide range of perspectives and lively cross-cultural exchange, both of which serve to strengthen our department and our discipline. 

Register for Courses

Registration for the Fall 2017 semester is now closed. Please check back for information on Spring 2018 registration. 

Graduate Linguistics Association

Graduate students in the Linguistics Department are automatically members of the Graduate Linguistics Association. The GLA coordinates events (both academic and social), assists students with disputes against faculty, and tries to better our department through constant dedication to helping fellow students.

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