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: for more specific information. Also, Graduate Studies has a website at 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 for more specific questions. Back to top

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 Mary Beth Wald and her contact information is below: Mary Beth Wald,, 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. Troy Cox,, 801-422-5755 Linguistics MA – Dr. Earl Brown,, 801-422- 3970 Back to top

When is the application deadline?

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

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. Back to top

Can I defer my enrollment once I am admitted?

No. You must attend the fall semester you are admitted. Back to top

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. Back to top

How much is tuition?

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

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. Back to top

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). Back to top

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: Back to top

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. Back to top

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. Back to top

For non-native English speaking applicants, what English proficiency tests do you accept?

BYU accepts test scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, CAE, and E3PT. Please see the Graduate Studies website ( 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. Back to top

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. Back to top

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. Back to top

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). Back to top

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, 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, 801-422-9010, and she will be able to help you. Back to top

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. Back to top

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: You will need to go to the Graduate Studies website to apply ( Back to top

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. Back to top

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. Troy Cox (for TESOL applicants) and Dr. Earl Brown (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. Troy Cox,, 801-422-5755 Linguistics MA – Dr. Earl Brown,, 801-422-3970 Back to top

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 Mary Beth Wald and the graduate coordinators. Back to top

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. Back to top

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. Back to top

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. Back to top

How do I create a BYU Net ID?

Go to the BYU homepage at 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. Back to top

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. Back to top

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: Registration always opens at midnight. Back to top

How do I register for classes?

1. Go to the BYU homepage at 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. Back to top

How do I apply for scholarships?

1.       Go to the Linguistics and English Language Department homepage at

2.       Follow this path to the scholarship application: àGraduate Students àFinancialàGraduate Scholarship

3.       Once you arrive at the application, click “Log In” and type in your BYU netID and your   regular BYU password.  Once you do this, you will be kicked back out to the home page.  Just   follow the same path as listed in step 2 to get back to the application.

4.       Fill out the information asked of you in the survey. You will need to submit an application for each semester/term during which you wish to receive scholarship funding.

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.

6.       When you are filling out the “Course Info” – please put the course abbreviation 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”

8.       If there are any changes that need to be made after the application is submitted, simply fill out the form once more with your complete, corrected registration.  Please note that each submission is timestamped and we will only use your most recent submission. Although you do have the option to resubmit if you make a mistake, please do your best to keep your submissions to a minimum so the secretaries won’t have so many applications to sort through.  *If for some reason you need to change your registration after the scholarship application deadline, please submit a new application immediately. Otherwise your scholarship award will not reflect what you registered for.

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 the Ben at

10.   REMEMBER: You will only receive scholarship for classes included on your program of study (with the exceptions of Ling 401, Ling 501, and required foreign language courses).  This means that TESOL MA students will only receive scholarship for the 37 credits that are included on their program of study (excluding the exceptions mentioned before). Linguistics MA students will only receive scholarship for the 33 credits that are included on their program of study (excluding the exceptions mentioned before).

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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. Back to top

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. Back to top

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 Back to top

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. – BYU scholarship website – FAFSA website Back to top

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 Back to top

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

•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 • 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: • here is the link for more info on the application process and how to submit transcripts etc. • this is the IERF website to begin the application process. Back to top

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. Back to top

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), 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. Back to top

It says that I need to be competent in one language other than English at the 200 level for the TESOL MA. How do I prove my competency in that language?

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. Back to top

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. Back to top

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. Back to top

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. Back to top

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. Back to top

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. Back to top

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. Back to top

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 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. Back to top

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. Back to top