Linguistics is the scientific study of language—how it is structured, how it is acquired, how it is used to convey information, and how it changes over time. While many linguists do speak more than one language—or at least know how to approach the study of other languages—linguistics is much more than this. Through courses and a wide variety of research opportunities, our students explore how languages are structured (sentence structure, sound patterns, meaning and more), and how those structures are processed by the human brain. Since language is integral to all societies, linguists are interested in how language affects culture, and how social factors (place of birth, social class, ethnicity, gender, age, etc.) impact language use. We approach language from a global perspective, investigating commonalities and differences across languages in order to increase our understanding of what makes human communication unique.
Degree Types: Bachelor of Arts, Minor

Degree Options

  • Psychology
  • Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Education
  • Foreign Languages

About the Program

You might like this program if…

  • You enjoy studying languages, particularly finding and applying linguistic patterns.
  • You are interested in communication, and learning more about the function of language(s) in society.
  • You like to think about how the human brain functions, and want to know more about language and cognition.
  • You like logic, computer programming, and/or abstract puzzles.


  • Syntax
  • Phonology
  • Language and Cognition
  • Bilingualism
  • Language Change Over Time

Out-of-Classroom Experiences

  • Estée Lauder
  • Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
  • Lehigh County Office of the District Attorney
Students in CAMS/HIST 199 Roman Cities at Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy in June 2022

Post-Graduation Opportunities

  • Graduate school to study anthropology, computer science, engineering, foreign languages, neurology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, or speech and hearing science
Computer Programming, Data Science, Publishing, Translation, Writing

Have questions about this program?

This program is housed in the Linguistics Program
 at Penn State University Park.
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