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Online Linguistics Degree Programs

Learn about degree options for aspiring linguists, and get information about online options. Find out the kinds of classes typically offered in these programs as well as career options and average salary data.

Can I Get an Online Degree in Linguistics?

Online linguistics programs are rare, although you can find undergraduate and graduate programs that offer some courses online. Bachelor's degree programs in linguistics typically issue a broad overview of the world's main languages and how they've developed over time. Graduate-level linguistics programs offer many sub-specializations, and these degrees tend to be offered by a combination of school departments. Linguistic concentration areas include:

  • Computational
  • Communication disorders
  • Sociolinguistics
  • World languages
  • Second languages

There are also linguistic graduate-level certificate programs. Often developed for teachers, these programs specialize in subjects such as English as a second language (ESL) or English language learner (ELL).

ConcentrationsComputational, communication disorders, sociolinguistics, world languages, second languages
Online CoursesMorphology, english language history, syntax, phonetics
Career PossibilitiesTranslator, interpreter, language researcher, ESL teacher
Mean Salary (2020)$58,140 for interpreters and translators, and $59,810 for adult basic/secondary education and literacy teachers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Online Courses Can I Take?

Undergraduate and graduate courses are offered online. Course formats vary; some programs allow you to access your coursework online and then mail your assignments to your professors, while others offer coursework entirely through the Internet. Some programs allow online students to connect to a real-time, on-campus classroom, where they can participate via chat and webcam. Online courses include such topics as:

  • Morphology
  • English language history
  • Syntax
  • Phonetics

What Can I Do With This Degree?

Linguistics is a multidisciplinary degree that you can utilize in a variety of careers. Common choices include:

  • Translator
  • Interpreter
  • Language researcher
  • ESL teacher

What Can I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual wage for translators and interpreters was $58,140 as of 2020 (www.bls.gov). Those working for the federal government earned $87,410 a year, while translators and interpreters working for non-profit agencies, such as those specializing in emergency food or housing relief, earned less than the annual average at $43,680.

The average salary for adult basic/secondary education and literacy teachers in 2020 was $59,810, according to figures released by the BLS. For the years 2019-2029, the agency projected 10% decline in employment for these professionals; due in part to an increase in non-English-speaking children entering the public school system.