In contrast to undergraduate studies, where even as a linguistics major the bulk of your coursework will be taken up by distributional requirements, a graduate program in linguistics will allow you to focus not just on linguistics, but on what it is about linguistics that drives you.

  • Determine what kind(s) of linguistics you are most passionate about.   Explore the articles in the Science of Linguistics section of the LSA website. 

Think about what sort of career path you want to take.  Do you want to work in academia?  Industry?  Government?   Will the kind of work you want to do require you to get a Master's Degree, a Ph.D., or both?

Once you have determined the kind(s) of linguistics you are interested in doing, find out who is working in the relevant areas. 

  • Use the LSA's Membership Directory to see who else is interested in the area(s) you are interested in.
    • Review the guidelines for using the Directory. 
    • Click on the link to accss the Directory.
    • Select one or more of the linguistic subfields from the dropdown menu.  If you are interested in a specific language or language family, you can select those, too.  To select multiple subfields, languages, or language families, hold down the CTRL key (PC) or COMMAND key (Mac) while making your selections. 
    • Click the "Search buttonat the bottom of the page. 
    • Scroll down to see your results.  Click on the member's name to view their profile information, including -- if they have supplied it -- their affiliation, research and teaching interests, publications, and CV. 
    • If your search does not return any results, try searching by a single subfield instead of multiple ones, or try searching by subfield only or language only rather than a combination.


Consider applying to a school where people are doing the kind of resesarch that interests you (see previous step). 

  • Review the LSA's Directory of Linguistics Programs and Departmen tsto find out more about studying linguistics at the institution you are considering, including website, contact information and, if the institution has provided it, information about faculty and student demographics and financial aid.  Click here to access the Directory, then search for the institution by name.
    • You can also search the directory according to other criteria, such as highest degree offered and the program specialization(s) offered.  

If you have other constraints, such as wanting to study at an in-state school to obtain lower tuition, you can use the "Institution Name" field to narrow down the search ("California") and then search by subfield(s) or degrees offered.

As with searching the Membership Directory, if your search returns no results, try searching by fewer criteria.