“Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations.”
—Edward Sapir, linguist and anthropologist
Students and Faculty in the Department of Linguistics engage with language acquisition, use, and change at the intersection of human cognition, culture, and computation. We offer course work and research experiences that combine language with culture and society; action and cognition; and computation and learning.
Why I am a Linguist
“I am a linguist because I am fascinated by the world’s linguistic diversity. Over 7,000 languages! Similarly, I am inspired by the diversity of reasons why students may choose to study linguistics—or any other major. So, I strive to understand what motivates students, and do my best to align with students’ individual interests and goals to make their experience at UO truly meaningful.”
—Gabriela Pérez Báez, associate professor of Linguistics
What you can do with a degree in Linguistics
Linguistics cultivates skills in analytics, data analysis, reasoning and argumentation, and written and oral communication. A degree in linguistics prepares students for professions that value these key intellectual abilities. Those who study linguistics frequently go on to pursue careers in:
- World language teaching
- English language teaching
- Software development and testing
- Speech analysis and synthesis
- Health sciences, e.g., speech-language pathology
- Law and civil service, e.g., State Department
Our Degree Programs
We offer a major or minor in Linguistics that combines coursework in the discipline with language courses from at least two languages other than your first language. We also offer a minor in Interdisciplinary Cognitive Science and provide special emphasis courses for the Data Science major. As an interdisciplinary field, Linguistics combines well with majors or minors from a variety of other disciplines from Romance Languages to Data Science, Psychology to Computer Science, and Sociology to Communication Disorders and Sciences, to name but a few.
Students can also earn a certificate in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) as a starting point for careers in language teaching.
Learn from Experts in the Field
Faculty-led research takes place in far-flung places, in communities and classrooms, or in laboratories. We work on documenting lesser-known languages, the revitalization of minoritized Indigenous languages, on child and adult language acquisition, and on language use and language perceptions. We pride ourselves on getting to know our students in the classroom and through research experience. Overall, the Linguistics faculty enjoy the opportunity to create meaningful connections with their students and value student contributions to research.
Get Real-world Experience
Linguistics students can take part in practical learning through many opportunities:
- Intern at the Center for Applied Language Studies
- Work on language revitalization in indigenous communities
- Teach a second language and earning a certificate or master’s degree in language teaching
- Study Swahili in Tanzania
- Assist faculty in research spanning the globe, from the Amazon to the Serengeti to Papua New Guinea
- Conduct local research in campus language labs
Scholarships and Funding
The Linguistics Department offers funding for student research and conference attendance.
Students in the PhD track will typically be offered graduate employee positions.
Undergraduate students may also find some opportunities for paid research assistantships.
Our Director of Undergraduate Studies provides Linguistics majors and minors with consistent advising to guide you through our degree program.
The Director of Language Teaching Studies provides advising for students pursuing a certificate in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT).
The Linguistics Study Hall provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to interact with and learn from graduate students in Linguistics. Graduate students also provide tutoring support during Study Hall.
Linguistics News and Events
All news »