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The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BA, as well as a MA and a PhD in Linguistics. Linguistics provides a basic understanding of human language and communication by examining features of language that underlie the human capacity to express concepts, communicate ideas, and address the connections between language, brain, mind, and history. It is a basic understanding of the human capacity to acquire, perceive, and produce language and of language's role in contemporary society.

Department of Linguistics website

Sample of Related Skills

  • Grasp the complexity of language as a communication system shaped by cognitive, biological, cultural, and social factors 
  • Demonstrate understanding of the concepts theories, and methodologies used by linguists in qualitative and quantitative analysis of linguistic structure, patterns of language use 
  • Demonstrate understanding of processes of language change and variation, the role of language in reflecting and constructing social identities, and the distinctive properties of human language 
  • Collect, organize, and analyze linguistic data from diverse languages, to form hypotheses about language structure/use and test those hypotheses against new data 
  • Acquire the technical vocabulary and theoretical tools of the field, necessary to read published linguistic research 
  • Effectively utilize a standard scientific research methodology appropriate to linguistic analysis 

Popular Career Paths

Computational Linguistics: Involves combining language and computer programming to create technology that responds to voice commands, produces speech, and converts speech into typed text.

Foreign Language Teachers: Embodies knowledge of linguistics to help students grasp the grammar and pronunciation of new languages.

Historical Linguistics: Entails the study of how the diverse languages of the world come into being and how they have progressed.

Phonology: Involves the study of the how the sound systems of a language behave and how sound patterns differ between languages.

Speech Pathology: Includes working with individuals who have speech, reading, and/or writing difficulties.

Explore More Career Paths

Jobs to Consider

Applied Linguist


Child Language Acquisitionist

Cross-Cultural Communicator


ESOL Teacher

Forensic Linguist





Speech Therapist

Theoretical Linguist


Voice and Dialect Coach

Places to Seek Employment

Central Intelligence Agency

Corporate Businesses

e-Commerce Firms 

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Foreign Affairs

Government Agencies


Immigration & Nationalization

Language Laboratories


National Endowment for the Humanities

Peace Corps


Elementary & Secondary Schools

The United States Armed Forces

The United States Department of State



View specific employers by state.

Employment Strategies

  1. Identify areas of interest in linguistics so you can focus your academics and experiences toward these fields.
  2. Become familiar with the required professional qualifications associated with careers that interest you (i.e. advanced degrees, licensure and/or certifications).
  3. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
  4. Register for and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
  5. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest in linguistics, and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
  6. Earn a minor or take additional coursework outside your major when relevant.
  7. Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional education.
  8. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your area of interest: KU Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, English Club ESL, Speech-Language & Hearing & Child Language Program GSO, and Students Tutoring for Literacy.
  9. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf).

Job and Internship Search Resources

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