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About the Department of Linguistics

Linguistics is an ideal major for today's university student

Linguistics provides the intellectual satisfaction of learning how human language works, while at the same time developing the analytical skills necessary to be highly competitive on the job market.  Students in linguistics learn how to analyze languages and develop crucial skills for today’s job market: reasoning, critical thinking, rigorous analysis, and written and verbal communication.  Graduates of our program have been admitted to some of the top graduate programs in linguistics and other fields and found careers in ESL instruction, language analysis, and computational linguistics.  

Get Involved in Linguistics!

There are lots of great opportunities to get involved while you're a student in linguistics, including events, clubs, collaboration research projects with faculty, study abroad and career-building opportunities, and more! 


About the Department 

The Department of Linguistics is a small department that offers close interaction with faculty. Almost all of our courses have small enrollments. As linguists, we put language under the microscope in order to provide insight into various aspects of this uniquely human ability. We offer courses that examine language and languages from diverse angles including their sounds (phonetics and phonology), their ways of forming words (morphology), their sentence structures (syntax), their systems of expressing meaning (semantics), how they are acquired by children and adults, and language variation in different social and cultural contexts.

Consequently, linguistics is closely connected to many other fields, such as philosophy, psychology, biology, and English. Linguistics courses are a great way for majors in other departments to broaden their academic experience.

Department Statements

Antiracism Statement | Diversity and Inclusion Statements
Indigenous Land Acknowledgement | Syllabus Policy Statements

Areas of Linguistics

There are several areas of linguistics. Our faculty specialize in the following areas:

  • Historical linguistics
  • Phonology
  • Second language acquisition
  • Second language pedagogy
  • Semantics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Syntax

Undergraduate Program Information

The department offers a Linguistics Major and Minor, and a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate. The department offers a strong humanistic and scientific education in the nature of language. Students study the structural and more abstract properties of a variety of languages, including the sounds of languages and meaning. They also explore how languages can vary, how they are used in different contexts, and how they are acquired. Students learn to apply the results of their studies to real-world issues, and they achieve a greater understanding of the human mind. In the TESOL certificate courses, students take what they learn from language analysis and apply it to the domain of teaching and learning languages. With a strong theoretical and practical basis, students are prepared to be effective teachers. 

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Graduate Program Information

The Department of Linguistics offers an MA and a PhD in Linguistics. Both degrees provide students with a broad foundation in the field of Linguistics via coursework and colloquia, and provide for specialist training in one or more subfields of Linguistics via opportunities to conduct individual and collaborative research.

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Last Updated: 5/31/22