Pursuing a linguistics major or minor at Lawrence brings you closer to the most fundamental aspect of the human experience—language. 

Explore the structures of language—sounds, words, and sentences—and how these express and evoke meaning. Examine how people use language, how they learn new languages, and how language relates to culture and identity.

Sela Dombrower stands in a market in Amman, Jordan.

Student Perspective

“When you’re [in Jordan], you’re constantly pushing yourself, constantly extending yourself in new situations, extending yourself to communicate. I learned to trust the progress I had made. … I can communicate using this language more than I thought I could.” 

Sela Dombrower ’24, Student
Boulder, Colorado

Study every aspect of language from how languages work to how people use it.

Pursue a major or minor in linguistics or complete a teaching certification for teaching English as a Second Language.

Learn from faculty across academic disciplines.

View of Athens, Greece with Mount Lycabettus in background

Live linguistic diversity abroad

The world is your classroom with opportunities to study in countries around the world.

Exterior of Warch Campus Center with students sitting at tables

Drink It All In

Gather with your peers and professors for a Linguistics Tea or Ice Cream Social, and join the annual Linguistics Weekend at Björklunden to hear the seniors present their research on topics that could include computational linguistics, applied linguistics, natural language processing, language structure, or language acquisition.

Book written in Chinese and arm resting on book

Language Study

Students who major in linguistics gain language experience by completing the first-year sequence in two languages or pursuing advanced study of a language on campus or in one of Lawrence’s study abroad programs.

The Chandler Senior Experience

Complete your Senior Experience in a senior seminar in which you identify a research question on a topic of interest, critically review relevant literature, engage with linguistic data, and develop a well-conceived research proposal. Then, showcase your work by presenting it to students and faculty in the Linguistics program. If you have a second major, pursue a topic that integrates both fields (e.g., computational linguistics, large language models, artificial intelligence).

Recent Senior Experiences include:

  • Native and non-native perceptions of pre-velar /æ/-raising in Wisconsin English
  • English-Spanish Code-switching in Bilingual Blogs: Patterns among native English speakers living abroad
  • What Did You Call That? An Examination of English Names Transliterated into Chinese
Graduate showing happiness after graduating ceremony in Banta Bowl, June 2021.

Explore Linguistics Outcomes

Linguistics prepares you to better understand human behavior which prepares you to succeed in any field, from business to law to arts or medicine.

Can you picture yourself at Lawrence? Apply for admission.

The best way to find out if Lawrence is the university for you is by visiting.

Your virtual tour starts at the Arch but be sure to check out Briggs Hall, to explore social science learning spaces.