Graduate Applicant FAQs

Where can I find more information about the TESOL MA or Linguistics MA program?

You can visit our website’s graduate section here: http://linguistics.byu.edu/graduate-programs/ for more specific information. Also, Graduate Studies has a website at www.gradstudies.byu.edu where you can go to find more information about our programs including admission statistics.

Feel free to contact our department directly at 801-422-2937 or ling-elang@byu.edu for more specific questions.

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I am interested in your TESOL MA or Linguistics MA program. Can you direct me to an advisor that I can talk with to answer some questions?

Our Graduate Secretary is available to answer questions. Her name is LoriAnne Spear and her contact information is below:

LoriAnne Spear, lorianne_spear@byu.edu, 801-422-9010

or our Graduate Coordinators are available for admissions advisement. We have one coordinator for each program, and their contact information is below:

TESOL MA – Dr. Dee Gardner, dee_gardner@byu.edu, 801-422-1219

Linguistics MA – Dr. William Eggington, william_eggington@byu.edu, 801-422-3483

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When is the application deadline?

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

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When does the program start?

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.

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Can I defer my enrollment once I am admitted?

No. You must attend the fall semester you are admitted.</>

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Will I receive a scholarship?

We give all of our graduate students scholarship funding each semester. Although we never know how much money we will give each semester, we usually give between a 40-60% of tuition scholarship to each student.

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How much is tuition?

Tuition usually increases every year at BYU. Here is the link to the tuition rates: https://finserve.byu.edu/content/tuition-and-general-fees#t.

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How many credits do I have to take to be a full-time graduate student?

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

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When should I take the GRE?

You should take the GRE no later than December the year before the application is due. (Ex. If you are applying Jan. 15, 2018, you should take the GRE no later than Dec. 2017).

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What is a good GRE score?

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.

More info about the GRE scoring go to: https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/scores/.

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Can I take the GRE more than once?

Yes, it is just like the SAT. You can take it as many times as you want and we will take the highest score.

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Is it worth it to take the GRE more than once?

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 re-take it, then it might be in your best interest to re-take the exam.

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What is a good TOEFL score?

For our program you need to score a 90 or above on the TOEFL to be admitted. It would be best to get 100 or above.

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What is the TOEFL like?

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.

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I took the TOEFL 3 years ago. Are my scores still valid?

No, 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).

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I took the TOEFL a long time ago and I have been working in the field for years. I think I am very proficient in the English Language. Do I really need to re-take the TOEFL?

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

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I graduated from an English-speaking university, do I need to take the TOEFL?

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.

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How do I apply?

When you apply to any BYU graduate program, you must fist apply to BYU Graduate Studies.

Here is the link to the application instructions page through Graduate Studies: http://graduatestudies.byu.edu/content/application-instructions.

You will need to go to the Graduate Studies website to apply (http://gradstudies.byu.edu/).

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Can I still apply for your program if I have had no previous linguistics experience?

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 pre-requisite course, that gives a brief overview and introduction to linguistics, the summer semester before you start the program and you will have to fulfill the language requirement during your program.

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Do I have to take the prerequisite course?

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, TESOL majors, TESOL minors, or linguistics minors. These students do not have to take the prerequisite because they have had linguistics courses before. In order to see if a student is exempt from the prerequisite or not, contact Dr. Dee Gardner (for TESOL applicants) and Dr. William Eggington (for Ling applicants). They are the graduate area coordinators. These may change, so you can contact the correct area coordinators and ask for their opinion.

TESOL MA – Dr. Dee Gardner, dee_gardner@byu.edu, 801-422-1219

Linguistics MA – Dr. William Eggington, william_eggington@byu.edu, 801-422-3483

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What if my schedule does not permit me to come in and take the summer prerequisite course?

You must be available to take that course in the summer. Talk to LoriAnne Spear and the graduate coordinators.

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What is the difference between a Linguistics MA and a TESOL MA?

The purpose of the Linguistics MA program is closely related to the department’s definition of linguistics, which is the scientific study of a language. The program aims to prepare students to become a language professional, go onto a PhD program, or go into the world as a competent practitioner of the skills expected as a linguist. Linguistics develops skills to analyze language in its sound, structure, and meaning.

– It is also popular to do a track that combines linguistics with computer skills.

– Related fields – anthropological linguistics, information design, sociolinguistics, and language-oriented computing.

The purpose of the TESOL MA program is to prepare students with linguistic, instructional, and cultural-awareness skills for professional careers as teachers, materials developers, curriculum designers, supervisors, administrators, and assessment specialists in the international field of TESOL.

– Also prepares students who desire to pursue PhD studies in TESOL, applied linguistics, language education, instructional design, language assessment, or related fields.

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What is the difference between a TESOL master’s thesis and a TESOL master’s project?

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.

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When will I be notified of the admission decision?

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

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How do I create a BYU Net ID?

Go to the BYU homepage at http://www.byu.edu. 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, then follow the instructions to set up your Net ID.

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I applied last year and want to use my same letters of recommendation. Is that okay?

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

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When can I register for classes?

Graduate students always have priority registration over all other students. The date may change each semester, but here is the website to look it up: https://registrar.byu.edu/registering-classes#WhentoRegister.

Registration always opens at midnight.

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How do I register for classes?

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.

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How do I apply for scholarships?

1.Go to the Linguistics and English Language Department homepage at http://linguistics.byu.edu/.

2. Click on the “Graduate Resources” link on the horizontal menu bar.

3. Under the Applications title, click the “Graduate Scholarship Application” link.

4. Enter your BYU ID number, select which semester you are applying for, and click on “Begin Application Process.”

Note: The deadline for scholarships changes each year, so ask LoriAnne what she wants it to be and tell the graduate students when you know the day.

5. Fill in the pertinent information. For credit hours, please list the number of credit hours you are taking that count towards your program of study. If you plan on taking courses that do not count towards your program of study, do not count those courses in your scholarship application. If you do not list all the personal information that is okay. However, your email address is extremely important – please enter a current email address that you can check frequently.

6. When you are filling out the “Course Info” – please put the course abbreviate and number – not the full course name (for example – Ling 601).

7. Before submitting the application, take one last look over all the information to make sure it is correct. After verifying that the information you have entered is correct, click “Submit Application.”

8. If there are any changes that need to be made after the application is submitted, you can still go onto your application and change it to reflect any changes you may have made to your program of study, or if you are not going to be taking a certain class that semester. *After the scholarship deadline, if you make any changes, please email a student secretary at ling-elang@byu.edu immediately. Otherwise your scholarship award will not reflect what you registered for. We still have to change the award amount in the system after a change is made on the scholarship application, but we can’t keep track of who changed their application unless you tell us.

9. If there are any questions regarding the scholarship application process, please call the Linguistics and English Language Department at (801) 422-2937 or email a student secretary at ling-elang@byu.edu or LoriAnne spear at lorianne_spear@byu.edu.

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What classes count towards a scholarship?

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.

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Do I need to be a full-time student to receive a scholarship?

Full time for a graduate student is 8.5 credits.  You do not have to be full time for a scholarship.  The scholarship will just be based on the courses that go towards your program.

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What if my scholarship is wrong?

You can always re-submit a scholarship application 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 ling-elang@byu.edu.

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Is there any other scholarship I can apply for or financial assistance I can receive?

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

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Do I need to have my official transcripts sent in with my application?

No. You can attach unofficial transcripts to your application and then once you are admitted, you will need to send your official transcripts to:

 

Graduate Studies

Brigham Young University

105 FPH

Provo, Utah 84602

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My transcripts are in a different language other than English. Do I need to get them translated?

•Yes. 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/.

• 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.

• Be sure to start the IERF credential evaluation 8-10 weeks before your admission deadline (so our deadline is January 15, they should start the process in October of the previous year, at the latest). 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/.

http://graduatestudies.byu.edu/content/admission-information here is the link for more info on the application process and how to submit transcripts etc.

http://www.ierf.org/ this is the IERF website to begin the application process.

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What address should I send my IERF evaluations to?

IERF evaluations will be directly sent 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.

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I notice that I need to be competent in two languages other than English as a prerequisite for the Linguistics program. How do I prove my competency in those languages?

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) in one of your languages and then write a paper in that language to show your proficiency, 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.

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It says that I need to be competent in one other language other than my native language for the TESOL MA. How do I prove my competency in that language?

Yes, you do need to get to have competency in one language other than English at the 200 level. You can prove competency in the language by 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.

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Do I need to have all my letters of recommendation completed before I submit my application?

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

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I am an international student and I am wondering how to get housing at BYU?

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.

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How I can get in contact with any current graduate students?

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

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How do I accept or decline my admission to the program once I have been admitted?

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 (AY).

Within that letter, there is another link – the word “here” is linked – to take you to the enrollment screen. That link then allows you to accept or deny your admission.

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I was just admitted into your program and would like to meet with an advisor about the program. Who do I talk to and how do I make an appointment?

On the letter we send out to our new admits, it gives them each an advisor and their email address. Newly admitted graduate students should contact their advisors by email to schedule an appointment since we do not schedule appointments for them.

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I am trying to register for fall classes, but for some reason it says I need a prerequisite course. How do I register for the class?

There will be some graduate classes that will have a prerequisite on them for fall. This is a mistake, but we will not be able to fix it until 2017 or 2018, so if a student cannot register for a class they can email us at ling-elang@byu.edu and we will get them a permission-to-add code for the course.

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How do I add a course with a permission-to-add code?

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.

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I am trying to add classes and I am an international student. I do not have a SSN (social security number), but it is asking for one. What do I do? How do I register for classes?

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.

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Can I work on campus as a graduate student?

• 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.

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