The Department of Linguistics at Boston University was officially established in 2018. We offer undergraduate major and minor concentrations, as well as joint undergraduate majors with eight other units. At the graduate level, we offer MA and PhD degrees in Linguistics, as well as two graduate certificates in Linguistics, one for graduate students from other programs within BU and one for students of all backgrounds looking to explore our field in greater depth.

We have a world-class faculty, including leading specialists in the areas of phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, computational linguistics, documentation and revitalization of understudied and endangered languages, historical linguistics, language acquisition, sign language linguistics, and sociolinguistics. Our work is characterized by a focus on empirical methods, including fieldwork, experimentation, and computational analysis of linguistic data. We also pride ourselves on strong historical connections with other disciplines and related areas (e.g., psychology, neuroscience, developmental studies, speech and hearing sciences, philosophy, education, computer science, African studies, Romance and Latin American studies), enhanced by the long-running BU Conference on Language Development, and this cross-disciplinarity continues to be a distinguishing characteristic of scholarly activity within our department.

Over the years, our BA, MA, and PhD students have gone on to successful careers in a range of fields, including higher education, industry, medicine, law, government, non-profit work, and entrepreneurship. Many have pursued further study of linguistics at institutions such as Harvard University, New York University, Northwestern University, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Santa Cruz, University of Chicago, and University of Massachusetts at Amherst.