Linguistics Majors: Information and Requirements

Oct 25, 2019

Linguistics majors study the social, physical and cognitive development of human language skills. Read more about the program requirements, coursework, and career options after graduation.

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Essential Information

In a linguistics bachelor's program, students gain knowledge of how language is used as a primary tool of human communication, and coursework includes breaking down words into their most basic parts to uncover how language is formed. Some programs offer concentrations in topics like sociolinguistics and language structure. Foreign language study is usually required. Other requirements may include capstone project. Students applying to a bachelor's degree program must possess a high school diploma or GED.

Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics

Coursework in linguistics may include interdisciplinary study in fields like psychology, education, and anthropology. Bachelor's candidates study fundamental linguistics theories and professional standards as well. A capstone experience may be required. Some course topics include:

  • Gender differences and language
  • Phonetics and phonology concepts
  • Syntax
  • Sound structure of language
  • Computational linguistics
  • Semantics

Popular Career Options

Graduates with a degree in linguistics may find employment in careers involving education and publishing, among many others. Some possible career options include:

  • Speech coach
  • Technical writer
  • Overseas English language teacher
  • Researcher

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth of 8% for technical writers from 2018-2028, which is faster than average. As of May 2018, the BLS reported, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $71,850.

The BLS did not publish statistics specifically for overseas teachers of English, but it projected job growth of 3% for middle school teachers and 4% high school teachers from 2018-2028. As of May 2018, middle school teachers earned a median annual salary of $58,600, and high school teachers earned a median of $60,320.

Continuing Education Information

Students can obtain a master's or doctoral degree in linguistics, which commonly involves continued coursework in fundamental linguistics concepts like phonetics, syntax, and semantics. Graduate programs in the field may offer concentrations in language teaching, as well as areas such as descriptive linguistics, applied linguistics, and theoretical linguistics. Linguistics majors are also well-prepared to pursue graduate study in a number of complementary fields requiring strong verbal and analytical skills, such as psychology, philosophy, law, computer science or education.

Linguistic majors help students acquire knowledge in the formation, importance and usage of language in human communication by studying the fundamental linguistic theories and professional standards. Graduates may find careers in the education and publishing fields, or they can opt to pursue a master's or doctoral degree in linguistics.

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