Requirements for admission are flexible. Preference is normally given to candidates with a previous background in linguistics, but students with a mature interest in the field and a strong language background are encouraged to apply as well.
GRE scores are required of all applicants, and are valid if taken within the last five years.
Months of entry
Our students and faculty come from many different backgrounds and represent a wide range of interests, from purely theoretical to typological, historical, and experimental. What we share is a commitment to empirically grounded research and a respect for the rich traditions of the field.
The study of linguistics at Harvard draws much of its strength from the unique range and depth of the University's offerings in related fields, especially ancient and modern languages and the growing Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative. This is an interdisciplinary community of faculty from across the University to engage in research and other academic activities aimed at elucidating the structure, function, evolution, development, aging, and pathology of the brain in the context of human behavior, genetics, and society.
While all PhD candidates are expected to acquire a solid background in contemporary linguistic theory, the department places great emphasis on the inseparability of good theoretical work and detailed empirical research, and on the interrelatedness of diachronic and synchronic approaches to the study of linguistic phenomena.
Fees and funding
5 years’ funding is guaranteed to all Harvard PhD students.
Both of these awards offer full tuition and health insurance coverage and a generous stipend towards living expenses. They are offered annually in competition. A Frank Knox Fellowship can be particularly welcomed during the early stages of a doctoral degree and both awards offer considerable personal support from their networks.
Please note that you will need to submit your application to either or both awards ahead of the deadline for your Harvard application. Kennedy Scholarship and Frank Knox Fellowship applications are to be made online via their websites between mid-August and late-October in the same application season as you will submit your application to Harvard. Please also note they are totally separate from, and independent of, admission to the program. Awards made at interview in London in January are provisional, pending confirmation of a place on the course.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- GSAS Admissions