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For Prospective Students

Why We're Different

Many of our students are actively engaged in lab research with faculty, and all students do a version of field research in their senior capstone course

W&M Linguistics has multiple active research labs that focus on: sound production and perception, psycholinguistic sentence processing, discourse analysis, first language acquisition, and adult bilingual speech

We are home to the Creek Language Archive

Our Linguistics students explore language as both a faculty of mind and as a social institution. You will learn about how language is structured, including models for representing linguistic knowledge, and how language varies within and between communities. Students may also study how children learn their native language(s), how language is organized in the brain, and how languages change, among other elective topics. Students often double-major in linguistics and related academic fields. Linguistics combines especially well with modern languages, computer science, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy.

Degree Programs
Courses

Students start by taking our introductory course LING 220 Study of Language, along with its corequisite Workshop LING 220W. Our course topics range from phonetics and phonology to first-language acquisition to sociolinguistic field methods. See the Undergraduate Catalog to explore the complete list of Linguistics courses.

Research

Our students often participate in ongoing research in one of the program’s laboratories. There are opportunities to become integrated into faculty research, including experimental studies, data analysis, and fieldwork. You can also develop your own independent research project in conjunction with faculty. We house the journal Language & Communication.

Student Activities

Our students are enthusiastic about their major, participating in the Linguistics Club and hanging out in the Computational & Experimental Linguistics Laboratory (CELL).

Careers

With its attention to analysis and problem-solving, our program develops skills that transfer well to the fields of law, management, and education. Our graduates often continue their studies at the Master's or Ph.D. level in linguistics and in areas such as psychology, anthropology, communication, reading education, computational linguistics, cognitive science, speech therapy, and machine learning. Many teach English abroad before entering other careers. Companies in the technology industry (e.g., Google, Amazon, Microsoft) hire linguists, especially those with computational skills, to develop software and technologies related to human-computer interactions.

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