Master's Program in Computational Linguistics
The two-year Master of Science program in Computational Linguistics is designed for outstanding students with an undergraduate degree in linguistics, computer science, mathematics, the study of language, or a related field. This programming-intensive MS degree provides a solid foundation for professional work in computational linguistics/natural language processing, or pursuit of a PhD in computational linguistics or (with some additional coursework) theoretical linguistics or computer science. Visit our department’s prospective students page for more information. Application information can be found below.
How to Apply
Master’s: Priority deadline is January 15. Applications will be considered after this date on a space-available basis, but no later than April 1.
Five-Year Bachelor's/Master's Program: Current Brandeis undergraduates should be in touch with the CL MS advising faculty as early as possible in their undergraduate career to ensure that they meet all program prerequisites. Applications for the Bachelor's/Master's program are due during the senior year. Priority deadline is January 15 for entry the following fall term. Applications will be considered after this date on a space-available basis, but generally not later than April 1. Please check with the program if you are considering applying after the April 1st deadline to see if this is feasible.
Your application materials should demonstrate your quantitative and programming abilities as much as possible.
We frequently accept students with academic backgrounds outside of computer science or math. To be competitive candidates for admission, we strongly recommend that such students take at least one accredited, undergraduate-level foundational computer programming course as early as possible before beginning the program. For such students, if no math was taken beyond high school, we also recommend taking an accredited math course (preferably discrete math) before entering. If such courses are underway when the application is submitted, it is helpful to mention this in the Statement of Purpose.
Students who are admitted to our program and have not taken coursework related to computer programming and/or math may be required to take coursework prior to beginning their program at Brandeis. Details regarding any admission contingency coursework are included within a student's official letter of admission. Please consult the FAQ on our program's website for additional information.
To complete your application to the program, the following are required:
- An online application
- An application fee
- Transcripts from all universities and colleges attended must be uploaded to your application; do not mail official transcripts to our office. For more information, visit the GSAS Frequently Asked Questions page.
- Two letters of recommendation are required, submitted electronically. The Bachelor's/MS program requires only one letter of recommendation. Ideally, your letter writers will be faculty and/or employers who know you well and at least one of them can speak to your quantitative and/or programming abilities. Ideally, at least one letter will speak to your most recent study or employment, and at least one letter will be from a faculty member at an institution at which you studied or are studying towards a degree.
- A curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé
- Program-specific questions, including (1) listing any previous courses taken, or a major or minor completed, in any of the following subject areas: Computer Science, Linguistics, Mathematics, and/or sciences other than Computer Science. (2) listing any/all computer programming languages known and your level of knowledge (i.e. basic, moderate, advanced).
- A statement of purpose
- For the Master's: Please upload a statement of purpose in essay form indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. What has attracted you to the specific field of computational linguistics/natural language processing? How much knowledge do you have about the sort of work done within this field, and where did you pick up this knowledge? Please be as detailed and complete as possible.
- For the Bachelor's/MS: In addition to the same as above, you should also discuss how you plan to complete your bachelor's degree requirements along with the first year master's coursework.
- The Graduate Record Exam (GRE): is optional, but recommended for students with no record of strong performance (equivalent to a B+ or higher at a US university) in an accredited, undergraduate-level math course. We first recommend that students in this situation take a math course (preferably a discrete math course), if possible. If enrolling in a course is not an option, then we strongly recommend taking the GRE, since the quantitative score can be indicative of potential for success in CL and programming, which relies on strong mathematical ability. Our ETS institution code is 3092 (please note: this institution code only applies to GRE scores). MyBest™ scores from ETS will not be accepted.
- Additional Requirements for International Applicants: Score report from one of the following English language proficiency exams: TOEFL iBT, TOEFL Revised Paper-delivered Test, TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution, IELTS Academic, PTE Academic, or Duolingo English Test. You can arrange for the delivery of your TOEFL iBT or Revised Paper-delivered Test score report by providing ETS with our institution code, 3261 (no department code is necessary); please note that we do not accept TOEFL Essentials score reports or MyBest™ scores from ETS. Delivery of your TOEFL ITP Plus scores can be arranged via your Vericant account, delivery of your Duolingo scores can be arranged via your Duolingo account, and delivery of your PTE Academic scores can be arranged via your Pearson account. Further information about this requirement can be found on the International Students page.
For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for all GSAS programs, as well as the Computational Linguistics MS Frequently Asked Questions page.