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The major in linguistics at Cleveland State introduces students to the scientific description and analysis of language as a human phenomenon. Linguists are interested in the nature and structure of human language. Through the study and analysis of the diversity of human languages, linguists seek to answer some important questions:

  • What distinguishes human language from other forms of communication?
  • What features are shared by human languages?
  • How are languages related to each other through time and space?
  • How can we learn about human cognition through the study of human language?
Linguistics at Cleveland State draws upon strengths in several disciplines throughout the University, including Anthropology, Communication, Education, English, French, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and Speech and Hearing.


Linguistics is the study of the structure of human language. Students examine the forms and properties of phrases, sentences, sounds, and meanings. The social, cultural, cognitive, and historical facets of human language can also be explored. Students have the opportunity to study aspects of a vast assortment of familiar and unfamiliar languages, both in their own right and in comparison to the structure of English. The Department of Linguistics offers a major and minor in Linguistics, both designed to provide solid training in the core areas of the discipline as well as provide flexibility for individuals who choose to pursue their own specialized interests.

Linguistics is versatile and helps develop skills useful anywhere. Modern work in linguistics has had a profound impact on many fields where language is central: psychology, cognitive science, computer science, philosophy, the study of individual languages, literary theory, and anthropology. Graduates may go on to study linguistics in graduate school, or, because of their training in research, critical thinking, and writing, are also prepared for law school and other professional schools. Additionally, many careers do not require a specific major, but are chosen on the basis of personal interests, skills, preferences, and ambitions. Thus graduates can also pursue careers in business, government, education, and the non-profit sector. Regardless of your career plans, it is important to develop your marketability through internships, responsible work experience, good grades, and participation in campus activities.

Visit CSU's Linguistic Department’s webpage for more information


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Understanding of language and communication Knowledge of phonetics, phonology, grammar and communicative principals
Openness and sensitivity to others Strong presentation and public speaking skills
Advanced critical thinking Problem solving
Analytical ability Strong work ethic
Keen social and political awareness Research
Project management skills Computer skills


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