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.
- Chestnut Hill, MAChestnut Hill, MA
Master of Arts in Linguistics...
- Fresno, CAFresno, CA
California State University, Fresno
The Master of Arts degree in Linguistics is designed to increase the student's knowledge and understanding of linguistics and its application to the teaching of English and other languages. The department provides two options: General Linguistics and Te...
- Carbondale, ILCarbondale, IL
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
- El Paso, TXEl Paso, TX
University of Texas at El Paso
The department offers two graduate degrees: (1) the MA in Linguistics with options in Applied Linguistics and in Hispanic Linguistics, (2) the MA in S...
- Columbia, SCColumbia, SC
University of South Carolina
The Graduate Program in Linguistics at USC is comprehensive in its scope. Its mission is to train students to pursue research and teach in a wide range of linguistic sub disciplines. The program strives to develop students' analytical skills and to enco...
- Boston, MABoston, MA
The Program in Applied Linguistics Program at Boston University provides a solid foundation in linguistic theory combined with an applied orientation. Faculty and graduate student research spans a wide variety of interests in linguistic theory and pract...
- Arlington, TXArlington, TX
University of Texas at Arlington
The program in linguistics at The University of Texas at Arlington provides comprehensive training in methods of linguistic analysis, as informed by current linguistic theory and data from a variety of languages. Students receive instruction in the anal...
- Bloomington, INBloomington, IN
The Study of Language.
- Columbus, OHColumbus, OH
Ohio State University
M.A. program is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in linguistics. The Ph.D. program, on the other hand, provides the opportunity for considerable specialization, the areas of which can include the history or structure of specific lan...
- Gainesville, FLGainesville, FL
The University of Florida
The University of Florida Linguistics Program provides instruction in the core areas of phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics, and semantics, as well as sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, and psycho/neurolinguistics.
- Tampa, FLTampa, FL
University of South Florida
Linguistics is primarily an upper-level and graduate discipline with strong interdisciplinary concerns. Students interested in graduate study in linguistics are urged to acquire a language background in their undergraduate programs, regardless of their...
- West Lafayette, INWest Lafayette, IN
The Purdue University Linguistics Program prepares students in the scholarly study of language as the most important human faculty. The Program awards the master?s and doctoral degrees in Linguistics to students who successfully complete the requirement...
- Baton Rouge, LABaton Rouge, LA
Louisiana State University
- Newark, DENewark, DE
University of Delaware
- 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...
- Athens, GAAthens, GA
University of Georgia
Our graduate program is comprised of five tracks of study: Second Language Acquisition, Language Theory, Historical Linguistics, Language Variation and Sociolinguistics, and (at the M.A. level only) Humanities Computing.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Northeastern Illinois University
The M.A. in Latin American Literatures and Cultures offers the opportunity to engage in exploration of Latin American culture.
- Chicago, IL
- 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...
- Norfolk, VANorfolk, VA
Old Dominion University
- Dekalb, ILDekalb, IL
Northern Illinois University
- 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...
- 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...
- Rochester, MIRochester, MI
This degree in linguistics provides post-baccalaureate instruction in current linguistic theory and in applied linguistics.