MA Admissions

Overview of Admissions Requirements – Master of Arts in Second Language Studies

Applicants need to apply for admittance to both (1) the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Office of Graduate Education (UHM Graduate Education) 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 due date falls on a weekend or a holiday, then the next working day is the due date.

Fall Admissions
Due Date
Spring Admissions
Due Date
UHM Graduate Education Online applications open September 1 Online applications open May 1
MA in SLS January 1 Priority*
March 1 Final**
September 1

*Complete applications received by January 1 will have priority consideration for departmental funding.
**Applications received by March 1 may also be considered for departmental funding, pending availability of funds.

Information regarding support can be found on the Financing Your Graduate Studies page.

Standardized Exams

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


The GRE is required for all MA 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, GRE scores cannot be more than five years old.


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 Education.

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 Education

For admission to UHM Graduate Education, see How to Apply. We encourage applicants to apply online. Please address all inquiries regarding admission to UHM Graduate Education 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 MA in Second Language Studies. Describe your experience with languages, language learning, and professional contexts that involved various forms of language expertise, and connect these to your long-term goals as a second language professional.

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 Education 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. Writing Sample

The writing sample is optional. It can be a research paper, thesis, or publication.

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 one reference 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 to your references. Letters of recommendation (preferably as PDF files) should be 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., “MA Program Letter of Recommendation for Firstname Lastname”).

Application Email

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:

MA 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
(OPTIONAL) 5_LastnameFirstname_WritingSample.pdf

MA Application Checklist

Submitted to:
UHM Graduate Education
Address questions to:
Submitted to:
Second Language Studies
Address questions to:

Standardized Exam Score Report Sent Directly from ETS (UHM Code: 4867)

Graduate Admissions Application

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 Transcript(s) – official or unofficial


OPTIONAL Writing Sample

Letters of Recommendation (sent by references with UHM DSLS Waiver Form)



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