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 students. It provides the intellectual satisfaction of learning how human language works, while at the same time developing the analytical and cross-cultural communication skills necessary to be highly competitive in the job market. Students in linguistics learn how to analyze languages and develop crucial skills for today’s job market: Reasoning, critical thinking, rigorous analysis, and written and verbal communication. Students may also simultaneously pursue a TESOL and/or Computational Linguistics certificate.
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, participate in an experiment or conduct research in the Speech Acquisition Lab, gain research experience under the mentorship of linguistics faculty in departmental lab groups or as a participant in the UROP program, or present your work at the University of Utah Student Conference in Linguistics (UUSCIL). Students are also encouraged to attend departmental events, such as colloquia and thesis defenses. 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, and teaching. 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, translator, or lawyer. Government work as an interpreter is available, or you can even go to Hollywood to train actors in dialects or pronunciation. Recent graduates of our program have been admitted to some of the top graduate programs in linguistics and other fields and have found careers in ESL instruction, language analysis, data science, and computational linguistics.