Application Instructions for Current UW-Madison Graduate Students

Applicants to the SLA program who are currently in UW-Madison graduate programs submit application materials directly to the program rather than applying through the Graduate School’s online application.  


The following materials should be submitted in PDF format to Wendy Johnson (, SLA program coordinator, by December 15:


  • Statement of Reasons for Graduate Study, which clearly identifies your topical or methodological interest within the field. Your statement of purpose should describe in concrete terms how you see the relationship between our specific program, your research interests, and your professional goals. It is also useful to hear which sorts of (typically, language or ESL) courses you feel qualified to teach, with a view to potential graduate-student financial support. You may but need not refer to specific faculty members who you think share your research interests or specific courses which seem to contribute to your educational needs. In that vein, you might also choose to contact specific faculty members on your own (please see their respective departmental websites), to explore whether/how you might work together. If you have been in touch with specific faculty members, please mention it briefly in your statement of purpose. Last, a succinct review of your preparation, both in terms of research/academic work and work (e.g., teaching) experience is useful, though we really would like to emphasize that the statement of purpose should generally be oriented toward the future and not the past. There are no maximum or minimum word or page requirements. Two pages (double-spaced) may be a suitable goal to start with although particular circumstances may justify less or more.


  • Curriculum vitae (summary of academic program and related work, especially teaching)


  • Statement of whether funding is needed and what type of work is requested (teaching assistantship in a foreign language or ESL, project assistantship). International students who wish funding by teaching ESL must take the Test of Spoken English (TSE) and receive the top score.


  • An academic writing sample: You are required to provide evidence of your writing ability (master’s thesis, academic paper from a graduate course, or a journal article which you believe can be used to judge your writing ability). If your prefered writing sample is in a language other than English, please contact Wendy Johnson for instruction.


  • Three letters of recommendation from persons who can judge your academic qualifications with respect to this particular program, as well as your potential for employment in an academic setting, such as a research, project, or teaching assistantships. Applicants should solicit letters of recommendation using the recommendation form


  • Scanned PDF of your unofficial transcripts of each post secondary institution attended.