Welcome to the Program in Linguistics at Penn State!

The study of language as a structural, cognitive, historical, and cultural phenomenon is a pursuit that cuts across many different academic disciplines. Our program offers majors and minors at the doctoral and undergraduate levels designed for students in any major field.

Student Spotlight

Felicity, class of 2024, is a double major in Linguistics and World Language Education (German option), and a French minor.  They were a research fellow with the PIRE program through the Center for Language Science, and was awarded the French department's Rising Star award.

They say: "I have always had a fascination with learning languages and understanding how language works.  Because language is so deeply embedded in human life, I think it is a constantly rewarding precess to learn how and why it functions.  In the future, I am hoping to teach German and/or English as a second language at the secondary level--ideally abroad!"

What is Linguistics?

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Linguists are not interested in changing language or language use. Nor are they necessarily translators or polyglots (though many linguists do speak multiple languages). Linguists are scientists who seek to understand human language in all its complexity, including structural (grammatical), cultural, and cognitive phenomena.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COMPONENTS OF LINGUISTICS ►

Linguistics is HARD SCIENCE plus SOCIAL SCIENCE plus the HUMANITIES