Group of men on the plainsThe CU Department of Linguistics has a strong commitment to excellence in teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The Linguistics faculty offers a wide range of research strengths—including syntactic theory, socio-cultural linguistics, computational and psycholinguistics, phonetics/phonology and language documentation—ensuring that students can gain both versatility and expertise in an array of subfields. 

The Department offers the following programs:

There are currently about 160 students taking a Major or Minor in Linguistics, and about 85 students enrolled in the MA and PhD programs. The small scale of the Department’s programs ensures close peer relationships and extensive interaction with faculty members, all of whom actively engage students in their research. A growing number of MA students choose to write an MA thesis under the supervision of a faculty member (currently over half of MA students elect the thesis option). A testament to the quality of teaching and mentorship in the undergraduate major is the fact that a high percentage of Linguistics majors complete the undergraduate Honors thesis.

The educational mission of the Linguistics department, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, is to provide students with insight into the fundamental design features of language—its sound patterns, its word- and sentence formation devices, its semantic structure—and to create awareness of language varieties: the diversity of human languages, the role of language as an index of social identity and the ontogenetic and historical development of language.