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.
- Lancaster, United KingdomLancaster, United Kingdom
- Freiburg, GermanyFreiburg, Germany
Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg
We would like to announce a joint project of the Deutsches Seminar, Englisches Seminar, and Romanisches Seminar of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität...
- Norfolk, VANorfolk, VA
Old Dominion University
- Wales, United KingdomWales, United Kingdom
Opportunities exist to undertake research in different areas of Language Studies.
- Ottawa, ONOttawa, ON
University of Ottawa
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania
The M.S.Ed. specialization in Intercultural Communication (ICC), housed within the Educational Linguistics Division, provides...
- Louisville, KYLouisville, KY
University of Louisville
- Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton, FL
Florida Atlantic University
FAU’s interdisciplinary program in Linguistics offers a Master of Arts degrees in Linguistics.
- Northridge, CANorthridge, CA
California State University, Northridge
- 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...
- 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...
- La Mirada, CALa Mirada, CA
- Leeds, United KingdomLeeds, United Kingdom
Leeds Metropolitan University
- Flushing, NYFlushing, NY
Queens College - City University Of New York
- Montreal, QCMontreal, QC
The aim of the Graduate Program in Linguistics is to train researchers in theoretical linguistics and its applications, particularly the issue of language diversity, and how this diversity may be related to a universal underlying linguistic competence.
- Newark, DENewark, DE
University of Delaware
- Bayreuth, GermanyBayreuth, Germany
- Davis, CADavis, CA
University of California - Davis
he program offers two courses of study. The general linguistics track prepares students for advanced graduate work at the Ph.D. level and is a supplem...
- Stony Brook, NYStony Brook, NY
Stony Brook University (S.U.N.Y.)
- 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.