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Thanks to Purdue’s flexible course of study, Lauren Nikolai was able to indulge her interests by adding minors in Spanish, Russian, Political Science, and Classics that related to her Linguistics major.

Majoring in Linguistics

Students explore concepts of linguistics and language analysis methods to discern the role of language in society. Courses cover analyzing language, the roles of languages in society, word formation, mechanism of speech production, and more. Study includes how language is acquitted, how languages change over time, and how people use language in context. Experiential learning opportunities include study abroad, service learning, and undergraduate research.

Upon completion of the program, Linguistics majors may choose graduate school or employment in an industry which may or may not be related to their interest in linguistics. Student experiences have included:

  • Title 1 ESL Instructional Assistant
  • Literacy Tutor
  • Customer Service Manager
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Graduate or Professional School

Average Starting Salary: $42,041

All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

Students majoring in Linguistics develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:

  • Ability to test and develop scientific hypotheses.
  • Understanding of observed patterns, cognitive processes, and the structure of various aspects of language.
  • Complete fieldwork, collect evidence, and design lab experiments geared towards discovery.
  • Ability to work with a large variety of cultures and languages, both spoken and written.
  • Understanding of clinical lab experiments, search database software, and patterns within language.

Linguistics majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue or to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree. Past graduates have gone on to:


  • Advance Engineering Corporation
  • Dish Network
  • Lafayette School Corporation
  • AmeriCorps
  • Magnolia Health Systems

Graduate School

  • University of Hawaii - Manoa
  • Indiana University
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Purdue University

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