Linguistics is the study of the world’s languages, their users, and their communities. Just as a biologist studies living things, a linguist studies all the bits and pieces that make up languages—sounds, words, sentences, and meanings—and how people use these pieces to express themselves, from everyday chat to epic poetry.
In the linguistics major, you’ll be introduced to past and current theories of what language is and how it is structured, both in practice and in our minds. You’ll see how differences in language affect how we perceive and treat people. You’ll understand how language changes over time and notice examples of it happening all around you.
By the time you complete the major, you’ll be equipped with an advanced understanding of the world’s languages and the skills for success in the professional and academic world. After graduation, many students go on to work as TESOL professionals, language educators at a variety of levels, researchers, writers, data analysts, forensic linguists, and more. Students also learn skills readily applicable to legal studies, medical studies, social work, speech-language pathology, psychology, international relations, translation, and interpretation (among other areas).
As a student, you can engage in various student societies, research groups, labs, and study abroad programs. These resources and our world-renowned faculty will help you establish your personal and professional trajectory toward success.
How Do I Add the Linguistics Major?
The Linguistics BA is an open-enrollment program, meaning there is no limit on how many students can be in it, and there is no special application process. To add a major in Linguistics, visit the MyMap website and click “Change Major Request” on your Student Summary page.
If you have questions, please contact the Liberal Arts Advisement Center (located in 1041 JFSB) at 801-422-3541 or via Y-Message.
Careers with a Linguistics BA
Many students who earn a degree in linguistics go on to further education, such as graduate school in linguistics, law school, or medical school. This might lead to a career as a researcher/professor, forensic (legal) linguist, educational administrator, librarian, lawyer, etc. A linguistics degree will prepare you for a wide number of jobs in the business sphere, especially those involving cross-cultural communication. Graduates may also work in recording endangered languages, lexicography, translation and interpretation, as a government or military linguist, and more.
If you have questions about the major—whether you’re interested or already enrolled—feel free to schedule an appointment with your faculty advisor. Advisors are assigned based on the first letter of your last name: