Linguistics Courses and Degrees

Learn about linguistics courses and degrees. Get additional information about the field of linguistics, common classes, available degree programs and relevant specializations. Schools offering Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As a student of linguistics, you'll study the structure, sound and history of language, as well as word meanings and how the mind processes language. Linguistics degrees are widely available, especially at the master's level.

Degrees Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate
Courses Phonology, Syntax, Comparative and Historical Linguistics, Intercultural Communication
Specializations Formal linguistics, experimental linguistics, language documentation and description

What Courses Will I Take?

Linguistics has many sub-disciplines, so the courses you'll take will depend somewhat on your interests and career goals. The core of a linguistics program comprises courses in phonology (the study of sound), semantics (the study of meaning), syntax (sentence form) and morphology (word form). Additional linguistics courses may include the following:

  • Comparative and historical linguistics
  • English grammar
  • History of the English language
  • Intercultural communication
  • Language acquisition and teaching
  • Linguistics field methods
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Sociolinguistics

Which Undergraduate Degree Programs Are Available to Me?

Students looking to study linguistics at the associate's degree level may decide to enroll in an Associate in Arts in Linguistics. This type of program may focus on the various elements of language, including social and psychological studies. Intercultural communication and language acquisition may also be covered. A Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics is an option for students who are interested in engaging in a four-year program. This degree program might also offer students the chance to study two or more languages within their required coursework. Consider these undergraduate course topics:

  • Reasoning and argumentation
  • French linguistics
  • Prosody
  • Language, race and gender
  • Bilingualism
  • Intermediate pragmatics

What Graduate Degrees Are Available?

Master of Arts in Linguistics programs are often research-oriented. Proficiency in a language or languages other than English and a written research paper may be required, so if you're considering graduate school, it's a good idea to study foreign languages while earning a bachelor's degree in a linguistics-related field. Specific areas of study like theoretical, empirical and field methods in linguistics are often a part of a master's degree program.

Ph.D. programs allow students to complete advanced, independent research and to choose a specialization, such as computational linguistics or Spanish in the United States. A Doctor of Philosophy program might allow students the opportunity to minor in another area of interest, such as Latin American Studies or Cognitive Science. Doctoral programs typically culminate in a dissertation on a linguistic topic of the student's choosing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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