AGC Admissions

Overview of Admissions Requirements – Advanced Graduate Certificate in Second Language Studies

Applicants need to apply for admittance to both (1) the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Graduate Division (UHM Graduate Division) and (2) the Department of Second Language Studies.

Please use the checklist provided at the bottom of this page to verify that you have submitted the required documents to the correct units. If the deadline falls on a weekend or a holiday, then the next working day is the deadline.

Fall Admissions
Spring Admissions
UHM Graduate Division Online applications open September 1 Online applications open May 1
AGC in SLS January 1
September 1

Applicants to the Advanced Graduate Certificate must have completed a master’s or doctorate degree in an appropriate field, or they must be a continuing student in an MA or PhD program in an appropriate field at the University of Hawai‘i by the time they begin study for the AGC. Appropriate fields include second language studies, applied linguistics, second language education, second language acquisition, TESOL, or a related field. Applications are also welcomed from students with specialization in such related disciplines as anthropology, education, modern languages and literature, linguistics, and psychology. Prospective applicants with specialized degrees from other educational systems (e.g., Examen d’État/Staatsexamen) should contact the Graduate Chair of Second Language Studies ( to discuss whether they are admissible.

Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty member(s) whom they might wish to work with.

Information regarding support can be found on the Financial Support for AGC Students and Funding pages.

AGC Concurrent with Another Degree at UHM

In order to be awarded the AGC in SLS, the student must have completed a master’s or doctorate in an appropriate field. A student who does not already have an appropriate master’s or doctorate degree at entry into the AGC program must study for such a degree at UHM concurrently. Such a student cannot be awarded the AGC in SLS until all requirements for the concurrent graduate degree have been fulfilled. No more than nine units of courses that are counted toward the AGC in SLS may be counted toward another degree. No research paper or thesis that has been used to fulfill the requirements for any other degree may be used to fulfill the Scholarly Paper requirement of the AGC in SLS.

Applicants currently enrolled as classified graduate students at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa are not required to submit new standardized test scores or transcripts. If GRE scores are more than five years old and/or TOEFL/IELTS scores are more than two years old, new test scores are required. Current UHM classified graduate applicants must complete and submit the Concurrent Graduate Certificate Program Application Form (NOT the Graduate Admissions Application) found on, along with the application fee, to the UHM Office of Graduate Division; and submit all application materials required by the Department of Second Language Studies.

Standardized Exams

Applicants should make arrangements to take the appropriate standardized exams several months prior to the admissions application deadline. Applicants may submit unofficial score reports while applying for admission. Official scores must be sent directly to UHM Graduate Division prior to the student’s enrollment. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) code for UHM is 4867.


The GRE is required for all AGC program applicants whose first language is English or who are exempt from taking the TOEFL or IELTS. There is no minimum score requirement for the GRE; however, the Department of Second Language Studies does set preferred minimum scores, shown in the following table. GRE scores cannot be more than five years old.


DSLS Preferred Minimum
Current Scale
(Tests Taken On or After 8/1/2011)

DSLS Preferred Minimum
Prior Scale
(Tests Taken Prior to 8/1/2011)

Analytical Writing



Quantitative Reasoning



Verbal Reasoning







Most applicants whose first language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or the IELTS. Please see the Standardized Exams policy set by UHM Graduate Division.

The Department of Second Language Studies has the following minimum score requirements for applicants taking the TOEFL or IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores cannot be more than two years old.

DSLS Minimum for Admissions

DSLS Preferred Minimum

TOEFL Paper-Based (PBT)



TOEFL Computer-Based (CBT)



TOEFL Internet-Based (iBT)






Application Materials for UHM Graduate Division

For admission to UHM Graduate Division, see How to Apply. We encourage applicants to apply online. Please address all inquiries regarding admission to UHM Graduate Division to:

Application Materials for the Department of Second Language Studies

For admission to the Department of Second Language Studies, please submit the following documents. Address any inquiries and questions regarding document requirements to the SLS Graduate Chair at:

1. Statement of Purpose

In a maximum of 1,000 words, outline your academic and professional objectives and reasons for applying to the AGC in Second Language Studies. Describe your research interests, which faculty member(s) you are interested in working with, courses of interest, and include a brief summary of relevant professional experience and language skills.

2. Supplemental Information Form

You may need to download this file in order to use the fillable/savable PDF feature available for Adobe Reader.

3. Resume or CV

4. Transcript(s)

UHM Graduate Division requirements for the submission of transcripts can be found on their website about Documentation Requirements.
For the Department of Second Language Studies, also include a PDF file of your official or unofficial transcript(s) at the time of application.

5. Research Paper(s)

Samples can include research papers, theses, or publications that show evidence of your ability to conduct independent scholarly research. Please submit 1–3 sample(s).

6. Three (3) Letters of Recommendation

Please request letters of recommendation from three individuals who know you in an academic setting. Generally, letters from employers in nonacademic settings do not provide perspectives on your academic abilities. Ideally, at least two references should be from your stated area of interest, and all letters should be recent.
When you request your letters of recommendation, please email the signed UHM DSLS Waiver Form AGC to your references and ask them to include the form with the letter. Letters of recommendation (preferably as PDF files) should be addressed to the Graduate Chair of Second Language Studies and emailed directly to with your signed waiver. Because we often receive letters of recommendation first, please ask your references to include the program name and your name in the subject line of the email (e.g., “AGC Program Letter of Recommendation for Firstname Lastname”).

Application Email

We are not yet using the UHM Graduate Division website for uploading supplemental materials.

Please attach the final version of your application materials as PDF files sent in one email to the Department of Second Language Studies Graduate Chair, at, with the following subject line:

AGC Application – LASTNAME, Firstname

Please use the following naming convention (including the numerals) for your application files:

3_LastnameFirstname_Resume.pdf or 3_LastnameFirstname_CV.pdf

AGC Application Checklist

Submitted to:
UHM Graduate Division
Address questions to:
Submitted to:
Second Language Studies
Note. See Application Email instructions.
Address questions to:
Standardized Exam Score Report Sent Directly from ETS (UHM Code: 4867)
Graduate Admissions Application
(OR Concurrent Graduate Certificate Program Application Form for current UHM classified graduate applicants)
Application Fee

Additional Documents:
__Residency Declaration Form
__Confidential Financial Statement Form for International Applicants

Statement of Purpose
Supplemental Information Form
Resume or CV
Transcript(s) – official or unofficial
Note. Be sure to also email your transcript(s) to, including your name and, if available, your UH applicant ID number.
Transcript(s) – official or unofficial
Research Paper(s)
Letters of Recommendation (sent by references with signed UHM DSLS Waiver Form AGC)