Linguistics Degree

Linguistics Courses in the USA

Introduction to studying a Linguistics course in the USA

Linguistics is the scientific study of language and its structure, including analysing language form, meaning, and context. The linguistics domain provides students with knowledge of the different components of language, such as phonetics, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. They also study language's historical and cultural aspects and the social and psychological factors that influence language use.

International students consider a linguistics degree in the United States because the USA boasts a wealth of top-tier universities renowned for academic excellence. The diversity of linguistics programs is noteworthy, offering specialisations in theoretical, computational, sociolinguistics, and applied linguistics, allowing students to tailor their studies to specific interests and career aspirations. Additionally, linguistics can be a valuable field for those interested in research and academia, as it offers opportunities to explore language-related topics and contribute to developing new knowledge.

Linguistics students in the USA benefit from immersion in an English-speaking environment, enhancing language skills through real-life experiences, and considering the quality of life, the USA provides a high standard of living and excellent infrastructure.

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Types of Degree

Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics

A Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, typically a 4-year program, equips students with a profound understanding of language and communication. Linguistics programs in the United States have been steadily growing in popularity. Coursework offers essential linguistic domains, including phonetics, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, and language acquisition. Students benefit from the flexibility to choose elective courses tailored to their specific interests within linguistics. The degree cultivates analytical and critical thinking skills, enhancing communication abilities in both written and verbal contexts. Graduates find diverse career opportunities in education, publishing, translation, and language technology. With the increasing demand for linguistic expertise in technology, pursuing a linguistics degree has become academically enriching and relevant to shaping the future of artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

Master's Degree in Linguistics

A master's degree in linguistics in the United States is a strategic investment that enables students to delve into specific linguistic areas, fostering specialisation in high-demand fields. The employment of postsecondary teachers in linguistics is projected to grow 13% from 2020 to 2030, indicating a rising demand for individuals with advanced degrees in linguistics.

Students are often presented with the opportunity to specialise in areas such as computational linguistics, psycholinguistics, or applied linguistics, aligning their education with market needs. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that jobs for interpreters and translators, roles closely related to applied linguistics, are projected to grow by 20% from 2020 to 2030, significantly faster than the average for all occupations.

PhD in Linguistics

A PhD in Linguistics equips students with advanced coursework and research opportunities, fostering a deep understanding of linguistic theories and methodologies. The number of doctoral degrees awarded in linguistics in the United States has steadily increased over the years, reaching a peak of over 500 degrees awarded annually. PhD candidates in linguistics undertake original research, contributing significantly to the field's knowledge. The job prospects for postsecondary teachers, including those in linguistics, are expected to grow faster than average, underscoring the importance of the PhD for those aspiring to academic careers.


Scholarship Name Provided by  Awarded value
Frank Knox Fellowship Harvard University 2024 Harvard University Tuition fee plus $32,000 + health insurance fee per annum
Global Citizen Scholarship 2023 All MPOWER supported Universities in the USA up to USD 10,000
NAU International Excellence Award Northern Arizona University (NAU) Only tuition fees
Education Future International Scholarship - USA & Non-USA 2024   $3,000 to $12,000

Jobs and Careers

Graduates with a Bachelor's in Linguistics can pursue entry-level positions in language education, translation, content creation, and communication analysis. Many find roles as language tutors, content writers, or research assistants. A Master's in Linguistics enhances career prospects by allowing graduates to delve deeper into their chosen specialisation. Graduates with a Master's degree often qualify for mid-level positions, such as language program coordinators, computational linguists, or language policy analysts. 

Moreover, a PhD degree positions individuals as experts in their subfield, equipping them for roles that demand high-level research and analytical skills. Many PhD holders pursue academic careers, becoming university professors or researchers. They may lead research projects, publish scholarly articles, and mentor future linguists. 


For individuals with a Bachelor's in Linguistics, entry-level positions like language tutors or research assistants offer salaries ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 annually. Students with a Master's degree often qualify for mid-level positions, such as language program coordinators or computational linguists, with salaries ranging from $50,000 to $80,000. PhD holders, especially those in academia or research-intensive roles, can command higher wages, often exceeding $80,000 and reaching six figures.

Top Universities for a Linguistics Degree in the USA

To learn more about the best linguistics colleges in the USA, find details on the top ranking linguistics universities in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 below:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  2. University of Massachusetts Amherst
  3. Stanford University
  4. Harvard University
  5. University of California, Berkeley
  6. University of California, Los Angeles
  7. University of Maryland, College Park
  8. University of Pennsylvania
  9. The Ohio State University
  10. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Study Linguistics in the USA

If you want to learn more about studying a linguistics degree in the USA, arrange a free consultation with SI-USA today.



What career opportunities are available with a linguistics degree?

A linguistics degree opens doors to diverse careers. Graduates can pursue roles in language education, translation, technology, and more. Job titles include language consultant, computational linguist, language analyst, or researcher in academia and industry.

What are the entry requirements for linguistics courses?

Entry requirements for linguistics courses include a relevant bachelor's degree, vital academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and, for international students, proof of English language proficiency (e.g., TOEFL or IELTS scores).

What types of linguistics courses are offered in the USA?

In the USA, linguistics courses span undergraduate and graduate levels. Programs cover theoretical linguistics, computational linguistics, sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, TESOL, and specialised interdisciplinary fields like neurolinguistics or cognitive science with a linguistics focus.

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