Find out how much more you can accomplish by enrolling in one of these top linguistics programs.
One of the most fascinating fields of study available at the university level is linguistics (the scientific study of language). Since language is so pervasive, a linguistics degree program will inevitably expose you to many different fields.
Furthermore, as one of the most multifaceted fields of study, linguistics offers a wide range of possible specializations and areas of emphasis for study.
Successful professionals, however, choose low-cost language courses that provide excellent instruction and materials.
Therefore, to help you in your search, we have compiled a list of the best schools for linguistics around the world, including those that specialize in language acquisition, historical linguistics, language documentation, and computational linguistics.
Best schools for linguistics in the world
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is widely regarded as one of the best undergraduate and graduate linguistics programs in the world. The Linguistics Group there has been working to decipher language structure since the 1950s, exploring areas as diverse as phonetics and phonology.
Undergraduates can choose from three distinct types of coursework: a major, a minor, or a HASS concentration. In the meantime, the graduate degree offers four distinct concentrations.
University of Oxford
There are two linguistics-related joint degrees available at Oxford University: Modern Languages & Linguistics and Psychology, Philosophy, and Linguistics, both offered by the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics. Language, its function, and the specific issues that arise from its structure are the theoretical focus of the Modern Languages & Linguistics program. The Psychology, Philosophy, and Linguistics major, meanwhile, encourages students to investigate the mind-language connection from both a theoretical and an experimental vantage point.
The University of Oxford has a Doctor of Philosophy (D. Phil.) program in addition to two taught Masters courses (M. St. and M. Phil.). If you want to hone your skills in General Linguistics, Historical and Comparative Philology, or the linguistics of a particular language, this master’s program is for you. This is a great place to pursue a doctorate in linguistics if you want to further your education and write a thesis.
Stanford University’s Department of Linguistics is widely recognized as having some of the world’s finest linguistics programs. There are linguistics major and minor options for college students. The undergraduate concentration emphasizes the value of studying human language. The linguistics minor at the undergraduate level provides students with a strong foundation in the field.
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The university offers a Coterminal Master’s program for those who wish to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in linguistics at the same time. Students’ linguistics knowledge is honed in this program, preparing them for professional work or graduate study. A limited number of applicants are chosen to participate in the program.
In addition to the Coterminal MA, Stanford also provides an MA in Linguistics. In addition, there is a doctoral program that places an emphasis on theoretical work based on empirical, language-data. It is possible for other Ph.D. candidates to benefit from a linguistics minor by gaining a foundational understanding of the field.
We now present Yale University as the number three best linguistics school in the world.
The Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut is a highly regarded private institution of higher learning. With around 5,743 first-year students, it is a reasonably sized school. With an acceptance rate of roughly 7%, getting into Yale is no easy feat.
Majors in economics, politics, and history also tend to be quite popular. Ninety-seven percent of Yale students succeed in completing the program, and those who do earn an average starting salary of $56,600.
The Department of Linguistics at Yale University is home to both undergraduate and graduate degree programs that cover a wide range of linguistics specializations, from phonetics and phonology to syntax and history of language.
Students working toward a bachelor’s degree in linguistics frequently collaborate with faculty through paid positions, independent study, and assistantships.
Ph.D. candidates are supported financially and academically by the university throughout the five-year duration of the program.
On our ranking of the top universities for linguistics, this one comes in at #5. Providence, Rhode Island is home to Brown University, a prestigious private institution. About 6,666 first-year students give this school a medium size. The admissions process at Brown is extremely competitive due to the low acceptance rate of around 8%.
It’s also common for students to major in computer science, economics, and biology. The average starting salary for a Brown University grad is $52,500, and 95% of students graduate.
Linguistics is offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Brown University through the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences. These courses feature extensive cross-disciplinary research.
Research participation, including independent research, is open to students at all academic levels. Honors students in linguistics are encouraged to pursue their own lines of inquiry within the framework of the department’s honors program. The department’s seminars and events provide additional networking and professional development opportunities.
Dartmouth College is ranked #7 among the best universities worldwide for linguistics.
Dartmouth College, located in Hanover, New Hampshire, is a highly regarded private institution. There are only around 4,360 undergraduates enrolled at this relatively small university. The admissions process at Dartmouth is extremely competitive due to its low 10% acceptance rate.
Popular fields of study include Economics, Political Science/Government, and Computer Science. The average starting salary for a Dartmouth graduate is $58,900, and 96% of students graduate.
Located in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth is a highly regarded private university. The undergraduate enrollment at this school is 4,360, making it a relatively small institution. With only a 10% acceptance rate, getting into Dartmouth is no easy feat.
Popular fields of study include Economics, Political Science/Government, and Computer Science. 96% of Dartmouth students graduate, and those who do have an average starting salary of $58,900.
New York University
In our ranking of the best universities for linguistics, this one comes in at number two. New York University (NYU) is a one-of-a-kind private institution located in Manhattan, New York, within the New York City metropolitan area. More than 25,347 first-year students are enrolled at this institution. The acceptance rate at New York University is low, at only 28%.
Popular undergraduate programs include those in the arts and humanities, business, and economics. Eighty-four percent of NYU students graduate, and those who do have an average starting salary of $48,900.
A wide range of resources and opportunities are made available to students studying linguistics at all levels at New York University. At NYU, students and faculty have access to state-of-the-art research facilities, such as those devoted to morphology, experimental phonology, and sociolinguistics.
Internships, study abroad opportunities, and other departmental activities are all available to students. The Honors Program is open to students with a strong background in languages and offers them the chance to pursue advanced coursework and independent research. It is undeniably one of the best linguistics departments in the world.
Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Boston, Harvard is widely regarded as one of the top private universities in the world. There are about 7,147 undergraduates enrolled, making it a moderately sized school.
The acceptance rate at Harvard is around 5%, so getting in is extremely difficult. Economics, computer science, and history are all popular choices for college students. Ninety-six percent of Harvard students graduate, and their average starting salary is $70,300.
The Harvard University Department of Linguistics is renowned for its extensive course offerings, modest size, and unique opportunities.
Students majoring in linguistics are encouraged to double-major in a related field or participate in the Mind/Brain/Behavior program, an interdisciplinary offering that provides access to specialized coursework, research opportunities, and extracurricular activities.
Workshops, seminars, and informal discussions between faculty and students are just a few examples of the many opportunities available outside of formal programs.
Houston, Texas is home to Rice University, a highly regarded private institution. There are only 3,916 undergraduates enrolled, making it a relatively small school. The acceptance rate at Rice is only 16%, so applying is difficult.
Economics, Computer Science, and Chemical Engineering are all very popular degrees to pursue. Rice University has a 91% graduation rate, and its graduates have an average starting salary of $56,600.
Rice University’s Department of Linguistics offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics.
Students in either of these two programs at one of the world’s top linguistics departments have a wide range of options for focusing their studies, including cognitive science, laboratory phonology, language, culture, and society.
Students can get involved with extracurricular activities such as departmental events and student groups when not in class. The Symposium on Language and Linguistics is held once every two years, and there are also weekly colloquiums.
Ithaca, New York is home to Cornell University, a highly regarded private institution. There are 14,898 undergraduates enrolled at this school, making it one of the largest and most prestigious in the world.
The acceptance rate at Cornell is only 13%, so getting in is difficult. Biology, Computer Science, and Business are all very popular majors. Cornell University has a 93% graduation rate, and graduates have a median starting salary of $64,800.
Students pursuing a degree in linguistics at Cornell, a large, specialized research university, have access to a wealth of excellent resources and exciting opportunities.
The Linguistics Department is relatively modest in size compared to the rest of the university. This gives them the advantages of a small college like a more intimate learning environment and the opportunities of a large university.
The linguistics research laboratories in the department include the Computational Linguistics Laboratory, the Phonetics Laboratory, and the Language Documentation Laboratory. In addition, it finances an annual colloquium, an honors program, and student groups.
University of Pennsylvania
Penn is a unique private institution that can be found in Philadelphia. There are 10,496 undergraduates enrolled at this university, making it one of the largest in the world. Penn is extremely selective, with only a 9% acceptance rate.
Popular fields of study include Business, Healthcare, and Economics. Penn has a high graduation rate (96% in 2015) and a high average starting salary ($71,600) for its graduates.
The Department of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, founded by Zellig Harris in 1947, is the nation’s oldest modern linguistics department.
Undergraduates can choose from a linguistics major, one of two available minors, or an accelerated master’s degree program that can be completed in four years.
The university’s Ph.D. program gives students a wide range of specialization options, including American Sign Language, Computational Linguistics, and Semantics.
The Linguistics Data Consortium and the Institute for Research in Cognitive Sciences are both located at UPenn.
Bucknell University is a highly selective private institution in nearby East Buffalo Township. There are only 3,585 undergraduates enrolled, making it a relatively small school. With a 31% acceptance rate, admission to Bucknell is competitive.
Economics, psychology, and political science and government are all very popular degrees to pursue. Ninety percent of Bucknell students graduate, and those who do have an average starting salary of $57,700.
Bucknell University’s linguistics degree program provides students with a rich and varied academic experience. At Bucknell, they value learning by doing.
This means that students in the program gain knowledge through means other than traditional classroom instruction, such as seminars, advanced courses, and independent study. Even in the more traditional courses, some teachers incorporate opportunities for practical training.
Bucknell’s learning communities are an intriguing feature. Affinity housing and residential colleges provide students with living arrangements based on their shared academic interests.
This facilitates informal learning and cross-disciplinary collaboration amongst students.
A solid education in linguistics can serve as a springboard into many fields.
The vast majority of colleges and universities offer this class.
However, there are a select few institutions that truly stand out from the rest in terms of the caliber of their academic offerings, the reputation of their faculty, the variety of resources available to students, and the breadth of the professional opportunities they present to graduates.
Other excellent options for a university education in linguistics are the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
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