Graduate Admissions

The Department of Linguistics accepts electronic applications, submitted via email.  However, applicants must also submit a separate application to the University of Hawaii, Office of Graduate Education, which may require submission of hard copies of some documents, e.g. official transcripts.

Application Deadlines

  • For admission in the Fall semester, the deadline for receipt of all application materials is January 10th. Applications received after this date will be considered as space permits.
  • For admission in the Spring semester, the deadline for receipt of all application materials is the preceding September 1st. Applications received after this date will be considered as space permits.


How to apply for admission

The application process consists of two components: (I) an application to Office of Graduate Education, and (II) an application to the Department of Linguistics. Be sure to complete both components fully.

  1. Apply for admission to the Office of Graduate Education
    General Information about the Office of Graduate Education's requirements can be found on their Website for Prospective Students. You may apply to the Office of Graduate Education either online or by paper application.

    1. You will need to provide the following set of documents to the Office of Graduate Education:
      1. Application form and Appropriate fee;
      2. One official transcript from each postsecondary institution attended, sent directly from the institution to the Office of Graduate Education;
      3. Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report is required (for international applicants, as well as some immigrant and US applicants).  Our program requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 (internet)/250 (computer)/600 (paper) for admissibility and for waiver of English Language Institute (ELI) placement tests.  We also accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of seven in place of the TOEFL 100/250/600.  TOEFL or IELTS scores cannot be more than two years old;
      4. Verification of financial status (for international applicants).
      Contact Information for the Office of Graduate Education
      Graduate Student Services
      University of Hawaii at Manoa
      2540 Maile Way
      Spalding 354
      Honolulu, HI 96822
      Phone: (808) 956-8544

  2. Apply for admission to the Department of Linguistics.
    1. Collect the following separate set of documents, to be sent to the Linguistics Department:

      1. Department of Linguistics Application form
      2. Three (3) letters of recommendation (Department of Linguistics letter of recommendation form)
        1. Send each referee the PDF waiver file, filled out and (electronically) signed by you beforehand.  Please cc when you send this waiver so we have a copy.
        2. Ask your referee to submit letters in PDF format, using a naming convention such as the following: APPLICANTLASTNAME_LOR.pdf, e.g., SAPIR_LOR.pdf.
      3. GRE scores (no more than 5 years old);If you have a PDF of these results, you may rename this file using the following naming convention: LASTNAME_GRE.pdf., e.g., SAPIR_GRE.pdf.
      4. A sample of your academic writing, such as a seminar paper. This must be in English.  Please name this as follows: LASTNAME_Writingsample.pdf, e.g., SAPIR_Writingsample.pdf.  If you submit two writing samples, consider using an informative naming convention, e.g., SAPIR_THESIS.pdf and SAPIR_BUCLDPROCEEDINGS.pdf.
      5. Statement of Objectives.  Name this as follows:  LASTNAME_SoP.pdf, e.g., SAPIR_SoP.pdf.
    2. Send these documents to the Linguistics Department:

Be sure to submit everything in PDF format, as separate documents, using the naming conventions described above.  You may either place all the individual PDF documents into a single zip file and attach it to your email, or attach all the documents individually.


If you prefer, you may mail your printed documents, but this may result in a delay in our decision.  So be sure to mail things well before the application deadline.  You may submit material to the following address:

Linguistics Department

University of Hawaii at Manoa

1890  East-West Road, Moore 569

Honolulu, HI  96822


NOTE: If you are interested in working primarily on second language acquisition with Professor Bley-Vroman and/or Professor Schwartz, please direct your application to the Department of Second Language Studies, where they are also members of the Graduate Faculty.

Department Updates

NEW The Graduate Chair holds office hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. To sign up for appointment times, log in to either a gmail account or your UH email account and then click here.

The Bilinski Educational Foundation board of members recently visited the campus to meet the fellows who have been supported by their generous gifts. Here is a video of some of the students talking about the impact of the Bilinski Fellowships.

Roshan Institute Fellowship is now available. Click for more information.

Professors Andrea Berez and Victoria Anderson receive NSF grant for the 4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation.

Amy Schafer awarded large NSF grant

Research team discovers existence of Hawai'i Sign Language, the last of America's undiscovered languages

Click here to view University of Hawaii at Manoa press release about Hawai'i sign language discovery.

Click here to view Hawai'i sign language demonstration.

Google Partners with UH Mānoa Linguistics on Endangered Languages Project

Bilinski Fellowships in Linguistics - Pre-dissertation fellowship added to the dissertation fellowships. Click here for information. Click here to view the 2011 Bilinski Dissertation Fellowship video.

Financial Aid for Graduate Students

Wait List for Ling 102 Unit Mastery. Write to

General Ed in Linguistics -
  • Click here for a list of linguistics courses that fulfill General Education requirements.

Unit Mastery LING 150B and LING 102 as well as classroom formats.
Want to know more?
Check out this short video.

Spring 2015 course schedule and descriptions.

List of potential committee members

Language Documentation Training Center

Language Documentation & Conservation