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 career information. 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. You can apply a linguistics degree to a variety of career paths.

Degrees Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate
Courses Phonology, Syntax, Comparative and Historical Linguistics, Intercultural Communication
Future Career Options Language Teacher, Translator, Speech Pathologist, Translation Software Developer

Why Should I Study Linguistics?

Humans use language to interpret the world. Studying linguistics can help you better understand spoken and written messages, increase your cultural sensitivity and facilitate the study of foreign languages.

Whether you're interested in the humanities or the sciences, linguistics courses can complement your education. These courses are relevant to the studies of human physiology, cognitive psychology, communications, English and foreign languages. If you're interested in computer science, you might study computational linguistics, the branch that uses computer algorithms to model human languages.

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:

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

Which Degree Programs Are Available to Me?

You can earn a bachelor's degree or a graduate degree in linguistics. Associate's degree programs in linguistics are uncommon, but you can find associate's degree programs in anthropology or English that offer concentrations in linguistics.

Master of Arts in Linguistics programs are often research-oriented. Proficiency in a language or languages other than English may be required. It's a good idea to study foreign languages while earning a bachelor's degree in a linguistics-related field. Ph.D. programs allow students to complete advanced, independent research and to choose a specialization, such as computational linguistics or Spanish in the U.S.

What Careers Can I Pursue?

With a linguistics degree, you can teach modern foreign languages or English as a foreign language. Other career options include dictionary and glossary writing, literary translation or Biblical translation. Your linguistics background can be applied to editing, sociology, anthropology, speech pathology and some branches of neuroscience. It can also be helpful for careers in cross-cultural environments you might encounter working in international business or aid organizations. Careers in computational linguistics might include speech recognition software or translation software development.

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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