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10 Best Schools for Linguistics in the World

Find out how much more you can accomplish by enrolling in one of these best schools for linguistics in the world.

One of the most fascinating subjects one can study while pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree is linguistics (the scientific study of language). Since language affects virtually every element of our lives, linguistics degree programs are by their very nature quite interdisciplinary.

Linguistics is one of the most multifaceted fields of study, thus there are many different concentrations and areas of emphasis you might look into.

However, in order to succeed in the sector, you must choose the cost-effective language programs that provide top-notch training and materials. We have therefore put up a list of the top universities for linguistics in the globe to help you in your search, whether you’re interested in language acquisition, historical linguistics, language documentation, or computational linguistics.

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What is Linguistics?

The scientific study of language is called linguistics. Language in context, language meaning, and language form are all taken into consideration. In the past, linguists have studied human language by observing how sound and meaning interact.

In other terms, linguistics is the study of language, including its structure, acquisition, and application in communication. In addition, linguists frequently have a broad range of interests and language proficiency. Instead of being able to speak and understand numerous languages, linguists have a greater understanding of how language functions. A polyglot is someone who speaks several languages fluently. So why study linguistics if it doesn’t teach you how to speak different languages?

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The History Of Linguistics

The scientific study of language is called linguistics. It entails a study of language structure, meaning, and use in many contexts.

The father of linguistics, Pnini, an Indian scholar, started systematically studying linguistics in the sixth century BCE. The early stages of formal linguistics also began in Ancient Greece. China also developed its own grammatical customs beginning in the fourth century BCE. Hebrew and Arabic language conventions evolved during the Middle Ages, also in a religious setting.

The 18th century saw the beginning of the development of modern linguistics, with work almost solely centered on Indo-European studies and leading to a meticulous and gradual reconstruction of the Proto-Indo-European language.

The structuralist school, which was founded on the works of Edward Sapir and Leonard Bloomfield in the United States and Ferdinand de Saussure in Europe, dominated the first half of the 20th century. Numerous new linguistics disciplines came into existence in the 1960s, including Michael Halliday’s systemic functional linguistics, William Labov’s sociolinguistics, Noam Chomsky’s generative grammar, and contemporary psycholinguistics.

What is the Salary of a linguist?

Some linguists who major in linguistics and go on to get a Ph.D. land jobs in academia where they instruct English, linguistics, or foreign language courses. According to the BLS, English, literature, and linguistics professors get an average salary of $67,980 annually. Professors of foreign languages made, on average, $66,730 annually.

In the United States, linguists are thought to make an average yearly pay of $55,592. Salary expectations are based on 327 salaries given anonymously to Indeed by Linguist workers, users, and managers over the course of the last 36 months. A linguist often works for 1-3 years in one position.

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Career Options: What Can You Do With a Linguistics Degree?

Program management, foreign affairs, consultation, research, technology, teaching, and translation are just a few of the industries where linguists can find work. Both the public and private sectors are hiring individuals with linguistics degrees.


To help them in their study of human cultures, many anthropologists hone their linguistic abilities. Writing and other ancient culture artifacts can be rapidly decoded by anthropologists with linguistics degrees. When analyzing societies, they can also discern the differences between regional dialects.


A linguist may opt to work as a consultant for a number of industries, including government organizations, businesses involved in foreign business, or those with a global marketing presence. Linguists are frequently consulted by technology companies to help improve speech recognition software and user interfaces. On international matters and even to help attorneys communicate with clients more effectively, law companies hire linguistic consultants.


Specialists in linguistics assist medical professionals in their treatment of individuals who have had strokes or display symptoms of communication problems. When their illnesses or injuries prohibit them from communicating coherently, even though the rest of their mental faculties are unaffected, many of these people experience needless suffering. Linguists can decipher distorted language to communicate with patients in these kinds of settings by analyzing the distinctive speech patterns of these patients.

Linguistics Professor

Many linguists still choose to follow the conventional tenure-track path in their academic careers. With the assistance of departmental peers and fresh cohorts of linguistics students, linguists frequently carry on the study and development they began while pursuing their undergraduate or doctoral degrees. Faculty roles tend to grow more slowly than other job prospects for linguists, but experts who stand out by publishing ground-breaking results can spur demand for their work.

best schools for linguistics in the world

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Why Should You Study Linguistics?

Language is a tool for Understanding the world.

Every language expresses a certain conception of the universe and has a particular manner of putting words, phrases, and sentences together to connect ideas. We gain a deeper understanding of our reality as we contrast the words and grammatical structures of various languages. Beyond just understanding the challenges of other languages, this knowledge can be used to improve interpersonal communication, contribute to translation projects, aid in literacy initiatives, and treat speech issues. Additionally, studying and mastering languages benefit from linguistic training.

2. Language provides people with more power.

Language shapes who we are because it captures how we interact with one another and how we perceive the world around us. The language we use as children—our mother tongue—is the one that reveals the true nature of our hearts. Because of their cultural heritage or because their primary language is not the language of authority, many minority language populations are excluded.

As a result, thousands of populations speaking minority languages lack access to education in a language they can understand. Simply because they do not speak the language or share the culture of the majority, they are trapped in a cycle of discrimination and poverty.

Best Schools for Linguistics in the World

We’ve put up a list of the top 10 best schools for linguistics in the world, integrating universities from all across the nation.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In the Boston Metropolitan Area, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a prestigious private college. It is a modest university with 4,510 undergraduate students enrolled. Due to MIT’s extremely low acceptance percentage (7%), admissions are extremely difficult. Computer science, mechanical engineering, and mathematics are popular majors. 94% of MIT students graduate, and their starting wage after graduation is $82,200.

best schools for linguistics in the world

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Linguistics and Philosophy is well regarded for its research endeavors. The main emphasis of the department’s linguistics degree program is student research. While graduate students are given precedence, undergraduates can also apply for some research assistantships.

The Language Acquisition Lab on campus conducts a large portion of linguistics research for MIT and collaborates with neighborhood preschools and other similar institutions. The department also funds a wide range of initiatives, such as discussion groups, fieldwork, and colloquium series.

  • 16 points
  • Total cost: $22,212

Stanford University

In the San Francisco Bay Area, in Stanford, California, there is another prestigious private university called Stanford. With 7,064 undergraduate students enrolled, it is a mid-sized university. Given that only roughly 5% of applicants are accepted into Stanford, admissions are extremely tough. Computer science, biology, and engineering are popular majors. Stanford alumni have a starting income of roughly $70,400 and graduate 94% of their students.

Students interested in linguistics can choose from a variety of degree programs offered by Stanford University. The university offers a distinctive dual major in Computer Science and Linguistics in addition to an undergraduate major and minor in linguistics.

Outstandingly driven candidates may also apply to Stanford’s exclusive Coterminal Master’s program, which allows them to simultaneously study a BA and an MA in languages. The university offers a standalone MA program, a doctorate program, a Ph.D. minor, and other graduate programs.

  • 13 points
  • $17,952 in total

Yale University

An exclusive private university called Yale is situated in New Haven, Connecticut. It is a somewhat sized university, with 5,743 undergraduate students enrolled. Given that only roughly 7% of applicants are accepted by Yale, admissions are extremely tough. Economics, political science and government, and history are popular majors. Yale graduates receive an average beginning salary of $56,600 after graduating 97% of their classmates.

Numerous undergraduate and graduate degree programs in linguistics are available at Yale University, with specializations in areas like phonetics, phonology, syntax, historical linguistics, and more. Through paid positions, independent study, and assistantships, undergraduate students seeking a bachelor’s in linguistics frequently work with faculty members on research projects. The university provides financial aid to Ph.D. students for the whole five-year program in addition to providing specialized attention from instructors to ensure proper progress.

  • 13 points
  • $19,317 in total.

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Harvard University

One of the top private colleges in the world, Harvard is situated in the Boston area in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With 7,147 undergraduate students enrolled, it is a medium-sized university. Given that only about 5% of applicants are accepted by Harvard, admissions are extremely tough. Economics, computer science, and history are popular majors. Harvard alumni have a starting salary of roughly $70,300 and graduate 96% of their students.

The Harvard University Department of Linguistics takes pride in its wide range of educational options, intimate size, and unique experiences. Students pursuing linguistics degrees are urged to combine the subject with a related discipline or enroll in the interdisciplinary Mind/Brain/Behavior program, which allows participants to take specialized courses, engage in research, and attend events.

In reality, there are many of chances available outside of particular programs, such as department-sponsored workshops, seminars, and casual conversations between staff and students.

  • 14 points
  • $15,095 in net price

Brown University

The unique private university Brown is situated in Providence, Rhode Island. It is a medium-sized university with roughly 6,666 undergraduate students enrolled. Due to Brown’s extremely low acceptance rate of approximately 8%, admissions are extremely competitive. Computer science, economics, and biology are popular majors. Alumni from Brown graduate 95% of their students, with an average beginning salary of $52,500.

The undergraduate Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences degree program at Brown University has a Linguistics focus and also offers a Ph.D. in Linguistics. These programs emphasize transdisciplinary research in a big way. Students at all academic levels, including graduate and undergraduate ones, are capable of engaging in research. The department’s honors program, which is open to excellent linguistics degree students, supports this independent research. Through seminars and other events the department sponsors, there are also additional prospects for advancement.

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Rice University

Houston, Texas is home to the well regarded private university Rice. It is a modest university with 3,916 undergraduate students enrolled. Due to Rice University’s 16% acceptance rate, admissions are selective. Economics, information science, and chemical engineering are popular majors. Alumni from Rice graduate 91% of their students, with a starting salary of $56,600.

A Ph.D. program and a BA in linguistics are both offered by Rice University’s Department of Linguistics. Students in these two programs, offered by one of the greatest schools for linguistics in the world, can tailor their study by selecting from a wide range of specialities or areas of interest, including cognitive science, laboratory phonology, language, culture, and society.

Students can participate in a student group or departmental events outside of the classroom. These occasions include a biannual Symposium on Language and Linguistics and a weekly colloquium series.

  • 12 points
  • Total cost: $20,512

Dartmouth College

The prestigious private university Dartmouth is situated in Hanover, New Hampshire. It is a modest university with 4,360 undergraduate students enrolled. Due of the 10% acceptance rate at Dartmouth, admissions are extremely tough. Economics, political science and government, and computer science are popular majors. Alumni of Dartmouth receive a starting income of $58,900, with 96% of students graduating.

The linguistics degree program at Dartmouth College gives students many exciting opportunities to put their study into practice before they graduate. Students can choose courses that suit their requirements and interests and can combine the linguistics major with any other major.

Through Presidential Scholarships, honors thesis research, and grant-funded research assistantships, students have many possibilities to engage in research. Additionally, students routinely share their research at conferences like the Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting and the Harvard University Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium.

  • 12 points
  • Total cost: $21,277

Cornell University

In Ithaca, New York, there is a renowned private university called Cornell. With 14,898 undergraduate students enrolled, it is a sizable university and one of the top linguistics programs worldwide. Due to the 13% acceptance rate at Cornell, admissions are extremely tough. Biology, computer science, and business are popular majors. Alumni from Cornell graduate 93% of their students and average a starting income of $64,800.

best schools for linguistics in the world

There are numerous excellent resources and exciting chances available to linguistics degree students at Cornell University, a sizable special research university. Despite the size of the university, the linguistics department is modest. This gives them the opportunity to benefit from smaller classes and individualized attention without sacrificing the opportunities offered by a large university.

The Computational Linguistics Lab, the Phonetics Lab, and the Language Documentation Lab are only a few of the linguistics research facilities available in the department. Additionally, it supports student associations, an annual colloquium, and an honors program.

  • 12 points
  • Total cost: $28,537

New York University

A unique private institution called NYU is situated in Manhattan, New York, in the Greater New York City Area. It is a sizable university with a total undergraduate enrollment of roughly 25,347 students. Given that NYU’s acceptance rate is only 28%, admissions are highly competitive. Liberal arts and humanities, business, and economics are popular degrees. A beginning salary of around $48,900 is earned by alumni of NYU, who graduate 84% of their peers.

The majority of the opportunities and resources given to linguistics students at New York University are open to both graduate and undergraduate students. Numerous cutting-edge labs at NYU enable academic and student research in fields like Sociolinguistics, Experimental Phonology, and Morphology.

Students can participate in internships, study abroad programs, and departmental events. Outstanding linguistics majors can also apply to the Honors Program, which provides opportunities for independent research and challenging coursework. It is without a doubt among the greatest universities in the world for linguistics.

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia is home to the unique private university known as Penn. With 10,496 undergraduate students enrolled, it is a rather sizable college. Since only 9% of applicants are accepted at Penn, admissions are extremely competitive. Economics, nursing, and finance are popular majors. Alumni of Penn earn an average starting income of $71,600 and graduate 96% of their students.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Linguistics is the earliest contemporary linguistics department in the country, having been established in 1947 by Zellig Harris. The university provides two minors, a linguistics major, and an accelerated degree program for students that leads to a master’s degree in just four years.

Graduate students interested in the university’s Ph.D. program have the option of concentrating in a variety of fields, including American Sign Language, Computational Linguistics, and Semantics. The Institute for Research in Cognitive Sciences and the Linguistics Data Consortium are both located at UPenn.

  • 11 points
  • Total cost: $22,694

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Linguists Well-paid?

The average salary for a linguist in the United States as of December 16, 2022 is $72,072.

Is a Degree in Linguistics useful?

While linguistics degrees can lead to excellent employment in writing and teaching, the list of possible careers is much wider and more diverse than that. Forensic linguist, speech therapist, and social worker are a few potential professions you might not have considered.

Is there a great Demand for Linguists?

In the fields of IT, mass media, public relations, and advertising, linguists are in high demand right now. A good career in science is possible for linguists as well. They are more likely to put their business acumen to use as desk officers and interpreters for multinational corporations.

Which nation has the most Linguists?

With over 840 different languages spoken there, Papua New Guinea is the most linguistically diverse nation in the entire globe.



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