United States Masters in Linguistics
If you're interested in languages and how they work, you may want to pursue a masters in linguistics. These degree programs focus on the application, research, documentation and descriptions of various languages and cultures.
Why Pursue a Master’s Degree in Linguistics?
At the heart of every enterprise, regardless of field or industry, is communication. Even the best and most efficient ideas need to be conveyed, whether it's to a board of directors, a group of students or a panel of lobbyists.
One thing that stands true about our communication is that it's not static. Even recent years have seen fairly significant updates to modern lexicon, accounting for things such as common usage, vernacular and even online communication. Linguistics students strive to understand which factors influence our language and how.
Linguistics Master’s Degree Program Curriculum
The study of linguistics is typically broken up into parts - students not only study the structural and mechanical side of language, but also the social, political and anthropological impacts on how language develops. This means that many linguistics programs provide courses covering both of these facets. Structural linguistics is a fairly unique discipline, and it comprises a series of specialized topics ranging from semantics, semiotics, phonetics and syntax. All of these subjects come together to form the broader picture of how language works.
If structural linguistics is the "how" side of language, than social, anthropological and psycholinguistics make up the "why." Linguistics is by nature a research-heavy field, but students in the latter portion of their studies may wish to move away from semantic theory and apply their structural knowledge to more practical settings. Students may find themselves exposed to more humanities-based subjects, such as psychology, anthropology and
sociology. It's not uncommon for a graduate degree in linguistics to culminate with a dissertation or other major research paper.
Potential Career Paths for Individuals with a Master’s Degree in Linguistics
The dual nature of linguistics studies - encompassing both theory-heavy and humanities-focused skills - may lend itself to a wide range of possible career paths for students who can creatively apply their skills. Many graduates may wish to reenter academia and pursue careers as post-secondary language teachers. At the post-secondary level, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that post-secondary teachers earned a 2012 median annual salary of $68,970, with jobs expected to grow by 19 percent through 2022.1
A linguistics education may be effectively applied to a therapeutic and clinical context as well. The BLS reported that speech-language pathologists earned a 2012 median annual salary of $69,870, and jobs in this field are expected to grow by 19 percent through 2022.2
Interestingly, the heavy focus on semantics and semiotics could be applied to a different career path as well, namely, pure mathematics and cryptology. The BLS reported that mathematicians earned a 2012 median annual salary of $101,360, with an expected 23 percent job growth through 2022.3
Is Earning a Master’s Degree in Linguistics Right for You?
Linguistics may hold a broad appeal thanks to its dual focus on both theory and practice. As interaction and, by extension, language continues to develop moving forward, a keen understanding of the social factors that affect, and that are affected by, linguistic development may be key to an enterprise.
University of Colorado - Boulder
Requires 32 hours of approved graduate study, including a 2-hour Capstone course focused on a publishable research project, potentially during a summer internship.
- Grand Forks, NDGrand Forks, ND
University of North Dakota
The Graduate Program in Linguistics provides intensive graduate instruction, integrating linguistic theory with practical application, in the areas of language research, documentation, description, and development of linguistic resources such as writin...
- Muncie, INMuncie, IN
Ball State University
If you could choose the ideal college -- one that provided you powerful resources (world class faculty, facilities, technology, and academics) for personal learning (small classes, with extensive faculty interaction and contact) -- you would choose B...
- Northridge, CANorthridge, CA
California State University, Northridge
- Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton, FL
Florida Atlantic University
FAU’s interdisciplinary program in Linguistics offers a Master of Arts degrees in Linguistics.
- Louisville, KYLouisville, KY
University of Louisville
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania
The M.S.Ed. specialization in Intercultural Communication (ICC), housed within the Educational Linguistics Division, provides...
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
- Norfolk, VANorfolk, VA
Old Dominion University
- La Mirada, CALa Mirada, CA
- Flushing, NYFlushing, NY
Queens College - City University Of New York
- Houston, TXHouston, TX
The basic orientation of the Linguistics Department at Rice is towards viewing language in its cognitive, social and physical context.
- Rochester, MIRochester, MI
This degree in linguistics provides post-baccalaureate instruction in current linguistic theory and in applied linguistics.
- Ames, IAAmes, IA
Iowa State University
The TESL/Applied Linguistics faculty is internationally recognized in the field and has extensive experience in instruction and teacher education both...
- Stillwater, OKStillwater, OK
Oklahoma State University
The Department of English at Oklahoma State University offers a comprehensive program leading to both an M.A. in English with an option in Teaching En...
- Dekalb, ILDekalb, IL
Northern Illinois University
- Chestnut Hill, MAChestnut Hill, MA
Master of Arts in Linguistics...
- Hempstead, NYHempstead, NY
The Hofstra Graduate Program is the only degree program in Forensic Linguistics in the United States.
- Fullerton, CAFullerton, CA
California State University, Fullerton
- Stony Brook, NYStony Brook, NY
Stony Brook University (S.U.N.Y.)
- Newark, DENewark, DE
University of Delaware
- Storrs Mansfield, CTStorrs Mansfield, CT
University of Connecticut
- Santa Barbara, CASanta Barbara, CA
University of California - Santa Barbara
The graduate program of the UC Santa Barbara Department of Linguistics focuses on the discovery ofgeneral, theoretically significant explanations of why languages contain the structures they do, whythey change as they do, and in what ways linguistic str...
- San Diego, CASan Diego, CA
San Diego State University
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
The program in Applied Linguistics prepares students to deal with the planning, implementation, and evaluation of language instruction in a variety of educational settings.