Linguistics

What Is It?:

Language is central to our being human and represents perhaps the most worthy subject for intellectual investigation. Linguists are interested in many aspects of language: phonology, syntax, semantics, morphology, phonetics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, and historical linguistics.

Linguistics courses focus on empirical and theoretical issues connected with how languages are structured, how they are used, and how they change through time. These courses are of interest not only to linguistics majors, but to students in any field where the analysis of languages is important: anthropology, speech and hearing science, psychology, philosophy, computer science, foreign languages, and others. 

For more information, please visit the Department of Linguistics

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • LING 100—Intro to Language Science
  • LING 105—Language in Daily Life
  • LING 210—Language History

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:

Business and Industry
  • Bank administrator
  • Information systems manager
  • Intelligence systems designer
  • Market research analyst
  • Overseas trade representative
  • Publisher representative
  • Salesperson
  • Speech synthesis specialist
  • Technical writer
  • Travel agent

Education and Research

  • Editor
  • International student advisor
  • Lexicographer
  • Marketing researcher
  • Museum educational program coordinator
  • Professor
  • School Psychologist
  • Teacher of English as a second language (TESL)
  • University research scientist
Government and Public Sector
  • City manager
  • Cryptographic specialist
  • Policy analyst
  • Speech writer/press liaison
  • State reference librarian
  • U.S. Agency for International Development officer
  • US Census Bureau researcher

Human Services

  • Advocate
  • Agency program manager
  • Caseworker, Protective Services
  • Child development specialist
  • Human resources manager
  • Job counselor
  • Physician
  • Speech pathologist

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • Advertising Account Executive
  • Attorney
  • Business Manager
  • Campaign Manager
  • Claims Examiner
  • Community Relations Director
  • Copy Writer
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Critic
  • Customer Relations Rep.
  • Editor
  • Education Director
  • Government Agency
  • Historian
  • Human Resources Spec
  • Information Systems Manager
  • Insurance Underwriter
  • Intelligence Systems Designer
  • Journalist
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Lexicographer
  • Lobbyist
  • Management Trainee
  • Marketing or Sales Manager
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Media Buyer
  • Non-profit Administrator
  • Overseas Trade Representative
  • Personnel Trainee
  • Policy Analyst
  • Production Assistant
  • Professor
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Public Administrator
  • Publicity Assistant
  • Research Assistant
  • Researcher or Writer
  • Sales Representative
  • School Psychologist
  • Special Events Coordinator
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Speech Synthesis Specialist
  • Speech Writer
  • Teacher
  • Technical Writer
  • Television Producer
  • Underwriter
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Writer or Author

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • Linguistics Student Organization: fosters academic and social interaction among the undergraduate and graduate students in the Linguistics department and related disciplines, as well as to enrich the discipline through invited speakers and linguist-related events.

Related Skills:

Analysis and Research

  • Comparing interpretations
  • Evaluating evidence
  • Identifying patterns
  • Reading critically

Communication

  • Applying knowledge about language
  • Identifying patterns
  • Presenting information effectively
  • Understanding historical language change

Cross-Cultural

  • Adapting to/functioning in other cultures Emphasizing a global perspective
  • Identifying relationships between language groups
  • Relating language to social context

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Linguistics, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Linguistics.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Linguistics.  These organizations include Linguistic Society of America and Modern Language Association.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Linguistics, visit Undergraduate Programs.