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Graduate Student FAQ

Application
Scholarship & Financial Aid
Course Work
Thesis
  • Our Graduate Secretary is available to answer questions. Her name is Mary Beth Wald and her contact information is marybeth_wald@byu.edu or 801-422-9010. Our Graduate Coordinators are also available for admissions advisement. We have one coordinator for each program, and their contact information is below: TESOL MA—Dr. Troy Cox, troy_cox@byu.edu, 801-422-5755 Linguistics MA—Dr. Earl Brown, ekbrown@byu.edu, 801-422- 3970.

  • When you apply to any BYU graduate program, you must apply through BYU Graduate Studies. Here is the link to the application instructions page through Graduate Studies:

  • Our application deadline for both programs is on January 15th each year.

  • The university requires that we let students know by June 1st, but it is likely that you will know before then.

  • Both of our programs start in the fall. We do have some students start in the summer, if they have no previous experience with linguistics, to take an introductory linguistics course.

  • You may defer for a mission, medical, or military reasons. Other than that, you must attend the fall semester you are admitted.

  • Yes, we welcome all majors to apply for both of our programs. If you have not had any previous experience with linguistics, then we will have you take a prerequisite course that gives a brief overview and introduction to linguistics the summer semester before you start the program. You will have to fulfill the language requirement during your program.

  • You only have to take the course if you have not had sufficient experience with linguistics. For example, some of our students are linguistics majors, linguistics minors, TESOL majors, or TESOL minors. These students do not have to take the prerequisite because they have had linguistics courses before. To verify if a student is exempt from the prerequisite, contact Dr. Troy Cox (for TESOL applicants) and Dr. Earl Brown (for linguistics applicants); they are the graduate area coordinators. TESOL MA—Dr. Troy Cox, troy_cox@byu.edu, 801-422-5755; Linguistics MA—Dr. Earl Brown, earl_brown@byu.edu, 801-422-3970

  • You must be available to take that course in the summer. Talk to Mary Beth Wald and the graduate coordinators.

  • Tuition usually increases every year at BYU. Here is the link to the tuition rates:

  • 8.5 or more credits is considered full time for graduate students for fall and winter semesters. 4.5 or more credits is full time for spring and summer terms.

  • You should take the GRE no later than December the year before the application is due. (Ex. If you are applying Jan. 15, 2022, you should take the GRE no later than Dec. 2021).

  • We are looking for a cumulative score of 300 or above. Most of the students that are admitted and successful in our programs get around a 300 or more on the quantitative and verbal together (Each of them are out of 170 points). You should get a 4 or above on the writing portion (the writing portion is out of 6 points). This total score of 300 does not include the writing portion. For more info about the GRE scoring, visit the link below:

  • Yes, you can take it as many times as you want and we will take the highest score.

  • It depends on your score and how much time you have before the application deadline. If your scores are below a 300 and you have time and money before the deadline to retake it, then it might be in your best interest to retake the exam.

  • BYU accepts test scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, CAE, and E3PT. Please see the Graduate Studies website (gradstudies.byu.edu/page/english-proficiency) for more information about minimum score requirements. *Please note that for the TOEFL iBT, our department requires a minimum score of 90 (min. 23 in Speaking and min. 22 in Listening, Reading, and Writing). This differs from the University requirement.

  • There is a reading section, a listening section, a speaking section, and a writing section. Each section is out of 30 total points. The test is out of 120 total points.

  • Your TOEFL scores can be no more than 2 years old from the start of the program (So if you are applying for Fall 2017 the latest acceptable scores would be from Fall 2015).

  • This is a special case that is addressed by the graduate coordinators and the graduate program manager, Mary Beth Wald. If you feel that you do not need to take the TOEFL, or have a special circumstance, please contact Mary Beth at marybeth_wald@byu.edu, 801-422-9010, and she will be able to help you.

  • Yes, our department still requires that you take the TOEFL if your first language is not English even if you graduated from an English-speaking university. There are exceptions to this, but you will have to contact the department directly so they can evaluate your case.

  • Yes; you will have to let us know and we will use your previous letters.

  • No. You can submit your application before all your letters come in. We can re-notify your professors by email to send them in.

  • No. You can attach unofficial transcripts to your application. Once you are admitted, you will need to send your official transcripts to the address below:
    Graduate Studies
    Brigham Young University
    105 FPH
    Provo, Utah 84602

    • If you are admitted, you will need get them translated and then sent through BYU’s evaluation system. This goes through a company called the IERF (International Education Research Foundation). Here is the site for more information: http://www.ierf.org/byu-graduatestudies/.
    • Admitted applicants with international degrees and transcripts need to go to the IERF website and start an application and request a “Detailed Report” so that they can upload a scanned copy of their completed IERF credential evaluation report. Note: Non-legible scans will not be accepted. This report will provide us with information that includes your degree equivalency, GPA, and coursework. Documents should also include English translations.
    • You will need to submit all of your original documents to them (transcripts, mark sheets, examination certificates, academic records, original diplomas, degree certificates, etc.).
    • There is a fee of $165, and this does not include the translation. BYU has an agreement with the University Language Services to give discounts to applicants. Here is their website: https://www.universitylanguage.com/translations-for-ierf/.
      Here is the link for more info on the application process and how to submit transcripts etc.: http://graduatestudies.byu.edu/content/admission-information 
    • This is the IERF website to begin the application process: http://www.ierf.org/ 
  • IERF evaluations will be sent directly to BYU electronically. You should put your address down to get copies of the report for yourself and to get your original documents back from IERF.

  • We usually send out housing info shortly after the admission decisions have been made. Graduate students, much like married students, do not need to live in BYU-approved housing. They do need to accept and live the Honor Code, but they can live where they want.

  • There is a Facebook page called “BYU Linguistics/TESOL Graduate Student Society.” Students can like the page to get information and updates from our current graduate students. Students can also ask questions right on the page or private message our current students.

  • If a student has officially been admitted, they should get a decision email with a link that will take them to the decision letter in the application system. Within that letter, there is another link to take you to the enrollment screen. That link then allows you to accept or deny your admission.

  • The letter we send out to our new admits lists an advisor and their email address. Newly admitted graduate students should contact their advisors by email to schedule an appointment.

  • We give all of our graduate students scholarship funding each semester. Although we do not decide the exact amount until a few weeks before each semester, we usually scholarship 40-60% of tuition for each student.

  • You will apply for scholarships through our website. For more information and to access the application, visit:

  • Scholarships are awarded by credit hour, and the only classes that count towards your scholarship are your program classes. Any other extracurricular class or just any other class you want to take will not be counted towards your credit hours for your department scholarship.

  • You do not have to be full-time for a scholarship. The scholarship will just apply to the credits for classes within your program.

  • You can always re-submit a scholarship application or contact our office if you change classes but if the scholarship money you received looks wrong, please contact the Linguistics Department and we will try and fix it for you. You can call us at (801) 422-2937, or email us at lingoffice@byu.edu.

  • We only offer one scholarship to each student each semester or term. You can always apply for university scholarships or scholarships from other organizations. For further financial support you can always apply for FAFSA/financial aid and see if you qualify. https://financialaid.byu.edu/section/scholarships – BYU scholarship website https://fafsa.ed.gov/ – FAFSA website

  • US Citizens:

    Yes, you must be accepted into a graduate program and have at least 2 day-continuing credits hours during fall and winter semesters. For the spring and summer terms you must have either a combined total of 1 credit spring and summer, or a minimum of 2 credits for the following fall semester. Graduate students can work up to 28 hours a week in the fall and winter. During the spring and summer break you can work full time if your department has hours for you.

    International Students:

    Yes, but international students are a little different. You must be accepted into the graduate program and have at least 9 day-continuing credit hours fall and winter semesters, unless on an approved vacation break through International Student Services. International graduate students must have either a total of 4.5 credits each term for spring and summer, or be on an approved vacation and have a minimum of 9 credits for the following fall semester. International students need to be careful not to work over 20 hours a week or they will violate their regulations of their legal status which results in their loss of the right to work in the US. Only on a break can they work full time or more than 20 hours.

  • Graduate students always have priority registration over all other students. Registration always opens at midnight but the date may change each semester. For the current dates, visit:

    1. Go to the BYU homepage at http://www.byu.edu.
    2. Log on to myBYU by clicking on “myBYU” at the top right side of the homepage. Then when it brings you to a “Sign In” page, enter your net ID and password. (If you do not have a Net ID, go to the BYU website as listed above and click on the “myBYU” tab. Then follow the instructions to set up your Net ID.
    3. Click on the “MyMap” link located under the “School” drop-down menu, on the right side of the page.
    4. Click on the “Register” link on the right side of the top bar on the page. It says “Student Summary”, “Plan Courses” and then “Register”. Clock on the “Register” tab.
    5. Click on the semester or term for which you are registering and then click on “Add a Class.”
    6. Select the correct term or semester if you did not do so already and click “GO.” Then select the teaching area of the class you would like to add (for example, select “LING – Linguistics” to add a Linguistics class) and then click “GO.”
    7. Select the course you would like to add, and again click “GO.”
    8. When the desired course has been found, click the “A” to the left side of the section you would like to add to your schedule. (If no “A” appears under the A column, there are not seats available in the class, so you may need to click “W” to waitlist. Otherwise, you might see a “P,” which means you need a permission-to-add code to enter the class. Email our office to get those codes).
    9. After adding a class, return to the main “Register” page of MyMap. Repeat steps 5-8 to add additional classes to your schedule.
  • Yes, you need to get up to the 200 level in one language and the 300 level in the other. So if you have that on your transcripts, that is great. Otherwise, you can take an OPI exam (Oral Proficiency Interview), or you can take one of the Challenge Exams on campus (we have them for a wide variety of languages). Note: This requirement can also be completed along with other course work, during the duration of your MA program, but it does not count towards the overall 33 credit program requirement.

  • If English is your second language, you have already met this requirement. If English is your native language, you will need to prove competency in another language the same ways you can with the Linguistics MA program (see above). This requirement may be fulfilled while taking program coursework, but those language credits do NOT count toward the total credits needed for the program.

  • When you go to the registration page and you are on the page to add a class, you will see a “P” instead of an “A” next to the class section. Click on the “P” and it will have you put in the code to add the class.

  • The hold on your account is a requirement the IRS made to all international students to provide their SSN or ITIN. You will have to clear the problem on your side. Here are the instructions: 1. Go to www.mybyu.edu 2. In the Quick URL box, type “persum” and hit enter 3. In the “identifiers” tab, you will be required to enter your SSN, if you don’t have one, check the box that has a message about not having a SSN. After doing that the hold will be cleared and you will be able to register for classes. Sometimes the system takes up to 5 minutes to clear a hold, so allow that time before you try registering again for classes.

  • The master’s thesis option involves the student actually writing and defending a thesis just as is traditionally done. The project option involves the student doing a project and then presenting their project to their committee rather than writing and defending a thesis.

  • ETD’s are uploaded in Grad Progress.  For detailed instructions on formatting and uploading your ETD go to “Resources” on your Grad Progress page.

  • Deadlines are posted on our website and in the Grad Handbooks. Additionally they are emailed out to all graduate students at the beginning of each semester/term. 

  • If you don’t get your ETD uploaded and approved by the deadline for the semester, you will not graduate and will have to enroll in an additional semester for at least 2 credits (usually thesis credits).  These additional credits are not covered by the department scholarship.

  • The link to apply is found on Grad Progress under Tools.

  • After your committee marks you as ready to defend in Grad Progress, contact them all to find a date and time that will work for everyone.  Email that information along with the full title of your thesis to Mary Beth at least 2 days prior to the time you want to defend and she will schedule a time and room for you.

  • You are required to take at least 2 credits the semester you defend.  The only exception to this is if you defend Spring term then you only have to take 1 credit.  These are usually thesis credits.  Any thesis credits above the 6 required for the program are not covered by the department scholarship.

  • If you are enrolled that semester in credits other than thesis credits that are on your program of study, you must pass those courses.  Other than that, there is nothing else you need to do to graduate after you have successfully defended your thesis and your ETD has passed all approvals.