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About Us

The Department of Linguistics

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, and linguistics courses are a great way for majors in other departments to broaden their academic experience.

Graduates of our program have been admitted to some of the top graduate programs in linguistics and other fields (such as law) and found careers in ESL instruction, language analysis, and computational linguistics. 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.

Undergraduate Program

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. 

Graduate Program

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.

Areas of Linguistics:

There are several areas of linguistics. Faculty at the Department of Linguistics specialize in the following areas (in alphabetical order):

 Historical linguistics

 Philosophy of language


 Second language acquisition

 Second language pedagogy




Last Updated: 8/26/16