Linguists explore all things to do with language: its structure and mechanics, how language and the mind interact, and the tie between language and socio-cultural factors. Linguistics is an ideal major for today’s university student. First and foremost, it provides the intellectual satisfaction of learning how human language works. At the same time, linguistics develops the analytical skills necessary to be highly competitive in the job market. Students in this program can choose to work in one of two areas of linguistics: the theoretical track or the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) track. The theoretical track covers phonetics (the study and classification of speech sounds), morphology (the study of word forms), syntax (how words and phrases are arranged), and semantics (the meaning of a word or phrase). The TESOL track prepares students to teach English to non-native speakers nationally or internationally.
The Student Experience
The department offers a number of involvement and enrichment opportunities for students. Join the Linguistics Club for Undergrads to meet fellow linguistics majors, or get research experience and academic credit by becoming a Linguistics Undergraduate Student Scholar. For a hands-on learning experience, participate in a Speech Acquisition Lab experiment. The program also offers volunteer, tutor, and mentoring opportunities to ensure that students gain varied knowledge, skills, and experience.
A BA in Linguistics will prepare you for careers in research, higher education, teaching, and translation. Linguists are also excellent candidates for jobs in technical fields, such as creating language interfaces for computers or developing artificial intelligence. If you decide to continue your education at the graduate level, you could become a speech pathologist, professor, or lawyer. Government work as an interpreter is available, or you can even go to Hollywood to train actors in dialects or pronunciation.