What is Linguistics?

Linguistics is the scientific study of language in all its manifestations. The various subfields of linguistics rely on close connections with other disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, translation, and cognitive science.

Linguists concern themselves with questions such as: How do languages differ? What do they have in common? How and why do languages change? How do children learn language? How does a person's language influence their thinking? How does language reflect society and culture?

A degree in Linguistics can prepare you for careers in

  • Education & Academia: teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in the United States or abroad; teaching a language that you are proficient in; teaching at the university level (with a graduate degree in Linguistics); working for a testing agency (developing and administering standardized exams); developing language-related educational and academic materials (including documenting endangered and under-described languages and creating dictionaries)
  • Translation: translating and interpreting texts/speeches/conversations in a variety of settings (requires proficiency in another language)
  • Speech Pathology: working as a speech pathologist/audiologist (requires additional training; a degree in Linguistics will prepare you for admission into communication sciences and disorders programs)
  • Information Science: working in libraries and archives
  • Industry: working in the publishing industry (writing, editing, publishing); working in advertising/branding; working on speech recognition and speech synthesis (with additional training)
  • Law: working on legal texts and as a court reporter; analyzing linguistic evidence (with training in forensic linguistics); working as a lawyer (requires additional training; a degree in Linguistics can prepare you for admission into law programs)
  • Government & NGOs: working for federal, state and local agencies; working for international organizations and NGOs

A degree in Linguistics can also prepare you for further studies in:

  • theoretical and applied linguistics
  • speech pathology
  • law
  • other graduate programs & certificate programs

For  more information on what you will be able to do with a degree in linguistics and the skills you will develop, please visit the FAU Career Center website.