When you pursue a linguistics major, you study the science of language and its social and cultural contexts. Learning the craft of linguistic analysis, you become a better writer and develop an advanced understanding of human thought in expressed action. A linguistics major combines well with majors and minors from a variety of other disciplines and provides an excellent background for careers in teaching language, speech-language pathology, law, data science, technology, and more.

Career Paths

Linguistics majors go on to teach ESL and other languages around the world; join the Peace Corps; become Fulbright scholars, software engineers, advertisers, lawyers, media editors, and writers. Many pursue graduate training in areas such as education, law, information technologies, and media. Recent graduates of our program have attended:

  • Tulane University
  • Ohio State University
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Kansas
  • Concordia Theological Seminary
  • University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • Penn State University
  • University of Glasgow

Featured Courses

Learn about the linguistics of a specific language or language family, particular methods, or topics in linguistics and become familiar with relevant aspects of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and lexicon.
Engage in the analysis of phonetic and phonological data and learn approaches to the description and explanation of sounds and the patterns governing them.
Explore sociolinguistic variation, including both interpersonal (regional and ethnic dialects, gender and class differences, etc.) and intrapersonal (different registers and styles). 
Learn about theories of syntax, examining both universal phenomena and less commonly found syntactic patterns.
Explore theories of semantics and pragmatics with intensive practice in the analysis and description of semantic and pragmatic data; approaches to the description and explanation of meaning at different levels
Investigate topics in psycholinguistics focusing on the contributions of both linguistics and psychology to the study of language behavior.

Research Opportunities

Gain experience conducting research and collaborating on projects with linguistics faculty on topics such as constructed languages, translation, and linguistic criticism. Truman offers various research experiences including TruScholars, a program for summer research that can include stipends.

Student Opportunities

Study abroad in China


Linguistics majors participate in internships all across the country as well as locations abroad such as China, Taiwan, and South Africa.

Professor and students

Literary Journals and Publications

Practice your skills while also sharing your work via Truman’s online literary journal, student-edited campus literary magazine, and student-produced newspaper.

Visiting Scholar

Visiting Scholars

Renowned guest writers and scholars from around the world present a range of seminars, masterclasses, and workshops on the Truman campus.