Linguistics Deadline: Dec 15 | Philosophy Deadline: Jan 2
Terms of Enrollment:
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
- General test not required for Philosophy program during 2020-2021 cycle, not required for Linguistics program
- Institute code: 3514
- Department code: 2804
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Minimum score required: 6.5
- Electronic scores send to: MIT Graduate Admissions
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- Minimum score required: 90 (iBT) 577 (PBT)
- Institute code: 3514
- Department code: 04 or 20
Waiver of TOEFL/IELTS may be available.
Areas of Research:
Applicants to the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy are required to submit a writing sample as part of their application.
Applicants to the Linguistics Program should include copies of one or more research papers or other written work relevant to their application. These papers need not necessarily be about linguistics, but they should demonstrate an applicant’s ability to pursue serious scholarly inquiry. Submitting more than one piece of work is especially appropriate for applicants with research experience in multiple relevant areas. Papers, research reports, theses, or insightful solutions to problem sets are all helpful in assessing an application. At least one of the writing samples should be written in English, but submissions in other languages can sometimes also be reviewed. Please try to limit your writing sample to a maximum of 100 pages in total (less is fully acceptable). If this is impossible (for example, because you wish to include a lengthy undergraduate thesis), please indicate particular sections that you consider especially interesting or representative.
Sample research summary (maximum length: 3 pages): In addition to the information about your goals and accomplishments that we can learn from your statement of purpose and writing sample, the Linguistics Program would like to learn more about how you approach scientific questions and puzzles. To this end, your application should also include a short summary of one of the research projects or problems discussed in your writing sample. The summary may take the form of a 1-3 pages conference abstract but, in any event, should cover the following points in a compact and logically transparent way:
- What questions does your project attempt to answer?
- Why do you find these questions interesting?
- How does the project try to answer these questions?
- What questions remain open (or are likely to remain open) at the conclusion of the project? What might you do next, and why?
As an alternative, you may also propose a project that you have not undertaken, if you have thought about it with enough depth and care to answer the questions listed above.
The summary should be understandable and engaging to an educated reader who is not necessarily a specialist in the area of the project. The described project does not need to reflect actual goals or plans for doctoral research (and need not be a project in linguistics).
Applicants to the Philosophy Program should submit a writing sample in philosophy, ideally of 15–25 pages in length. The writing sample should allow us to assess the applicant’s understanding of a philosophical problem, and ability to evaluate philosophical arguments. This assessment is usually easier if the writing sample explicitly engages with some of the contemporary philosophical literature.