Online Linguistics Degree: Distance Learning Program Overviews

Dec 03, 2019

Essential Information

Master's degree programs in linguistics can be completed fully online as well as in hybrid format. Many graduates of these programs go on to earn a doctorate in the subject, while others go into research or teaching. It is important to note that if one wants to teach in a public school at the K-12 level, state licensure is required. To qualify for licensure, aspiring teachers must also complete an approved teacher preparation program and accumulate supervised teaching experience. An internship or campus residency may be required.

Master's Degree in Linguistics

Students completing online master's degrees in linguistics learn the principles of oral communication, and they study how various languages have formed over time. Through this program, students learn techniques for teaching others English, learning another language and understanding cultural influence upon languages.

Each student must have at least a bachelor's degree to complete this program, and most programs prefer that students have a degree in a related field, such as English, a foreign language, anthropology or political science. Although there are dozens of master's programs available in linguistics in the United States, only a few are available online.

Information and Requirements

An online master's degree program in applied linguistics or computational linguistics typically takes a year or two to complete, depending on the school and the program. Students can take courses completely online, although they may be required to complete a residency or an internship, which must be done in person. Typically, linguistics lectures are pre-recorded, and students can access and listen to them at their discretion by logging onto the school's web-based server. There, they can interact with other students, complete assignments and take exams.

In addition to a computer and reliable internet, students may also need computer software programs like Microsoft Word, Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader. They might also need a media player and a webcam to participate in certain assignments, such as group projects.

Course Topics

An online master's degree program in linguistics doesn't have any general education course requirements, but students do need to complete certain core courses in linguistics. Students may also have the option of choosing from elective courses.


This course covers the origins, histories and theories of language and language acquisition. Students examine the structures of many different languages. They also discuss basic language principles, including syntax, morphology and phonology.

Linguistic Typology and Computational Linguistics

Students taking this course examine the relationship between linguistic typology and computational linguistics. They study how one could be beneficial to the other and ways to make each more accurate.

Principles and Theories of Teaching Foreign Language

Through this course, students explore language and linguistics from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. They then apply what they've learned to pedagogical study, learning how to teach language and linguistics to students.

Second Language Acquisition

Students compare the way people learn their native tongues and the way they learn second languages. They examine linguistics patterns common among several languages as well as studying how people learn their target languages in different situations.

Career Information

Upon completion of a master's degree in linguistics, students have a number of career opportunities, including teaching English as a second language, teaching a foreign language and becoming an interpreter or a translator. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary of foreign language professors working at junior colleges was $98,000 as of May 2018. The corresponding figure for those working at 4-year colleges or universities was $75,950 as of May 2018 ( The average annual salary for interpreters and translators was $55,230 at the same time. However, the BLS states that individuals with additional training and certification can make more.

Continuing Education Information

Individuals who want to continue their education can complete a doctoral degree in linguistics; however, none of these are available online. Individuals can also pursue additional licensure or certification from a professional organization, such as the American Translators Association.

Students wishing to earn a degree in linguistics fully online or in hybrid form can do so at the master's level. This degree is useful for those wishing to pursue a doctorate in this field or for those who would like to work as post-secondary professors or interpreters/translators.

Next: View Schools
Created with Sketch. Link to this page

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?