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Next step towards PhD?


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I want to pursue a PhD in linguistics. Due to family matters, I am unable to apply this cycle, but I am looking towards next steps. I graduated from undergrad last year with a dual degree in linguistics and Romance languages, and this year I am a Fulbright ETA.  My interests are historical linguistics and Indo-European languages (esp. Latin, Romance languages, and Eastern Romance in the Balkans). I believe that my academic performance is strong, and my time as a Fulbright Scholar is also a plus. However, my weakness is a lack of independent research experience. I served as a research assistant in undergrad, but I did not have an independent thesis or conference papers.

It seems more common for people to apply to a PhD program without a MA. Is this the new norm or is it better to have further study before jumping into a PhD? What do you think would be the best next step?

1) Post-Bacc studies

PRO: bolster up ancient language skills, gain research experience

CON: $$$, Does it make me look underprepared? Is it superfluous? 

2) MA in Linguistics

PRO: More research experience

CON: $$$

3) Apply directly to PhD

PRO: a faster route to my ultimate goal; you get your MA along the way

CON: Am I under-prepared? A non-competitive applicant?


Any advice is appreciated!! 

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