Frequently asked questions

Graduate Program

The answers to most questions can be found at "ISU Undergraduate Express" or "ISU Graduate Express".  Information there supersedes information given below. 

How can I apply?

Application materials are available through the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, which has both U.S. (including Puerto Rico) and international student applications that you can either fill out online or download.

Be sure to indicate if you are applying for the Master's program in TESL or for the TESL Certificate Program. The form on the Graduate School website is clear about this, but if you are using an outdated form and if it is unclear what to mark, write out "M.A. in TESL/Linguistics" or "Graduate TESL Certificate Program" and mail the form to the Graduate School. Then the Graduate School should process your application appropriately.

Can I begin my graduate studies during the summer?

Beginning one's graduate studies during the summer is not generally recommended, especially since summer course offerings are all on-line, and the program is designed for Fall semester being the normal entry semester. Students may also not end their studies during the summer, since the Master's Exam is given only in Fall and Spring semesters. A better option for incoming international students is to take advantage of the Interlink English Language Center program. Not only does Interlink offer advanced courses in English, culture and academic preparation, but they also offer "homestays" with American families. Although you cannot earn graduate credit for courses you take at Interlink, students have found it to be an excellent way to become acclimated to ISU and Terre Haute.

Do YOU require the GRE? TOEFL?

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics does not require the GRE. If you apply for the CIMT-Language Education Ph.D. program you DO have to take it.

International applications must submit the Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), with a minimum score of 550 of the regular paper-based examination, a 213 on the computer-based examination, or 80 on the new iBT version. It should be noted that international applicants from English-speaking countries or former British colonies may be exempted from the above TOEFL requirements. Please see the College of Graduate and Professional Studies Page to view a detailed listing of Exempt Countries. The information below also comes from that site and is superseded by any updates to that site:

You may substitute the TOEFL requirements by fulfilling one of the following:

How do I apply to take the TOEFL?

Follow the instructions at the TOEFL website. When you apply to take the TOEFL, you will need Indiana State University's Institution Code, which is 1322, and the Department Code for Linguistics, which is 04. 

How many letters of recommendations are required?

Applicants to the Master's or Certificate program must provide three (3) letters of recommendation. There is no special form

How much does tuition cost at ISU?

See the information at "ISU Graduate Express" or "ISU Undergraduate Express".

Do Graduate Assistantship cover fees?

No. Graduate assistantships come with a tuition waiver (not always for the total amount of tuition), but the student is responsible for paying his or her own fees. Students are personally responsible for building facilities and student services fees, as well as any other required university fees, for the period of the contract.

Are residence halls and apartments are available at ISU?

We recommend that new students apply for housing in Mills Residence Hall, which remains open during the University breaks (Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break, and Spring Break). The greatest benefit of a residence hall, however, is that you may ask for an American roommate, which usually works out well, helps your English improve dramatically, and often results in a close friendship. There are also University Apartments, however. To view the different options, see Residential Life.

Who issues the I-20 for international students? How current does financial support information have to be?

The International Programs and Services issues the I-20, unless you are attending INTERLINK Language Center during the summer before enrolling. In that case, INTERLINK issues the I-20. You will need to provide current evidence (more more than 6 months old) of sufficient financial support to receive your I-20

When is the application deadline?

Graduate applications may not be ensured full consideration if they are received after April 1.

For undergraduate admission deadline, please contact the Undergraduate Admission Office.

Applications for Spring or Summer enrollment are considered only under exceptional circumstances for highly qualified applicants. The Department reviews applications as soon as they arrive in our office, but delays sometimes occur in the International Programs and Services and/or the Graduate School, both of whom review applications and hold them until they are complete before sending them to the Department. If you have not received a response to your application within six weeks, contact those offices to determine the status of your application. If they indicate that it has been sent to the LLL Department over a week before, then let us know so that we can determine why you have not yet received a response.

How long does it take to complete the Graduate TESL/TEFL Certificate?

The number of semesters required to complete the certificate depends upon which courses are offered during the semesters in which you are enrolled and how they fit into your schedule. Typically, students who are not enrolled in the Master's program complete the certificate in 1 year by taking two courses each semester. Courses leading to the certificate are also offered online during the summer. It is a rare student who can manage to finish all 4 courses during one summer, however; to find out which courses are being offered, consult the ISU schedule of classes at the Registrar Office.

How long does it take to complete the Master's Program?

The M.A. is designed to take 4 semesters, with students entering in the Fall and graduating the Spring semester of their second year. Students may take summer classes in order to graduate in December of their second year. Note that the M.A. Comprehensive exams are not given in the summer and only exceptionally qualified students are allowed to take more than 3 courses per semester, so it is impossible to finish the M.A. in less than a year and a half.

Can I transfer credits from another university?

Graduate students who want to receive transfer credits from courses taken at other universities (up to 9 credits) should send to the LLL Chairperson, the name of each course being considered for transfer credit, the catalog description of the course, the course syllabus, and the grade received in the course. The student's transcript from that university should be sent to the Graduate School, along with the Application for Transfer of Graduate Credit from Other Institutions. If the Chairperson deems that the course content is appropriate for transfer, he/she will make a recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School, who will make the final decision, including how many hours of credit will transfer. Other information about Transfer Credit is available in the Graduate Catalog

What are the admission requirements for the Graduate TESL/TEFL Certificate?

The Departmental admission requirements for the graduate certificate are the same as those for the master's program, since you will be taking courses alongside master's students. See the requirements set forth in the Graduate Catalog. Applicants for the Certificate must submit to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies a fully completed Non-Degree Admission Application form with a non-refundable admission application fee of $35.00 payable by cash, credit card, money order or check payable to Indiana State University.

I want to start taking classes, but I don't have time to go through regular admission process. What can I do?

Students who find themselves in this situation sometimes take classes their first semester as an "unclassified student."During that semester, they finish the regular admission process. The category of "unclassified student" is intended for applicants who wish to take a limited number (maximum 12 credit hours) of graduate courses for various reasons but are not seeking admission to pursue a degree, educational licensure or an ISU certificate. Upon the approval of an academic unit [such as the LLL Department] applicants may be permitted to take certain graduate courses on a semester-to-semester basis, depending on availability of space and applicant's academic performance. To be considered for admission in an unclassified status, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements: (1) Possess an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution; (2) Submit to the School of Graduate Studies a fully completed Non-Degree Admission Application Form with a non-refundable admission application fee of $35.00 payable by cash, credit card, money order or check payable to Indiana State University. Note that this option is not appropriate for most international students.

Are Graduate Assistantship Available?

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available on a competitive basis to qualified graduate students enrolled in one of the master's degree programs in the Department. In the past, assistantships have been awarded predominantly to graduate students who were able to teach one of the languages of instruction in the Department, in particular Spanish or Japanese. We would like to award more assistantships, but the growth of our program has outpaced the number of assistantships which we are allotted. Given the current condition of the state and university budget, we do not anticipate the situation changing soon and we find we cannot offer assistantships to many of our students who are very deserving.

I am graduating with a B.A. from an American university. Do I have to submit a transcript from my earlier university/universities?

Yes, you must submit one official transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended. Transcripts will be accepted as official only when they are sent directly to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies from the registrar of the institution.

My university will send the transcript only to me. How can I get the Graduate School to accept it?

If a college or university refuses to send your transcript to anyone but you, have them sign or stamp the envelope containing the transcript so that their signature or stamp is over the sealed portion of the envelope. Then mail the envelope, unopened, inside a larger envelope addressed to the Graduate School. In the past, the Graduate School has accepted such transcripts.

What health coverage is available?

All international students at Indiana State University must purchase health insurance. In the United States, the cost of health care is extremely high. There is no national health care program. The University's Student Health Center provides daytime out-patient care, but severe illnesses and injuries must be treated by an off-campus facility and medical personnel, with these costs being the responsibility of the student. Therefore, international students are advised, in accordance with their obligation to prove financial responsibility, that they must purchase health insurance. The University has a group policy with a private company which provides basic medical care for a student and dependents. Students may also continue a family policy from their home country provided that it has international coverage. Everyone must enroll at or before registration. Details regarding this coverage are available through the International Programs and Services or at the Student Health Center.