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Linguistics, Ph.D.

College of Arts and Sciences

Pursue original research as you prepare to teach in linguistics at any level. Work alongside our nationally and internationally recognized faculty to create new knowledge in the field.

The linguistics doctoral program builds on your strong foundation in the field, leading toward valuable skills transferable to many careers. Students enjoy personalized guidance from our experienced faculty and diverse course offerings, as well as opportunities to work on cutting-edge research in linguistics. Graduates have gone on to work in academia, government and the private sector.

Program Highlights

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    Interdisciplinary Studies

    Discover connections between the various subdisciplines of the field plus core areas of phonology and syntax.

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    Supportive Program

    Apply for funding specifically for conference travel and other professional development opportunities.

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    Classroom Experience

    Gain educator skills with opportunities to teach undergraduate special topics courses in your focus area.

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    Networking Events

    Share research with colleagues in language-related disciplines, and help organize the spring research symposium.

What You’ll Study

Receive advanced training in traditional areas of formal linguistics and one of the specialization areas in our program: sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, psycholinguistics and historical linguistics. Our program is truly interdisciplinary with cross-training in methods from many disciplines along with clinical and applied fields. A dissertation is required.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Intercultural Competence

    Developing the skills to communicate effectively and work collaboratively across cultures


    Exchanging information and ideas through speaking, writing or other means of expression

    Data Analysis

    Examining and interpreting information to uncover insights and inform decision making

  • Scientific Writing

    Communicating scientific research and findings in a clear, accurate and compelling manner


    Foster learning by conveying knowledge, skills and concepts to students

    Analytical Reasoning

    Breaking down complex problems or situations to identify patterns, connections and solutions

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Potential Careers

  • Professor
  • Researcher
  • Academic Publisher
  • AI Language Modeler

Workplace Settings

  • Academia
  • Government
  • Private Sector

Language has always fascinated me, and having the chance to study it scientifically while being taught and mentored by experts was a dream come true. I had tremendous support, guidance and mentoring from an interdepartmental mix of faculty drawn across subfields and disciplines.

Paul Reed
Portrait of Paul Reed

Is USC Right For You?

There are many reasons we could be your ideal university. There's the award-winning academics, the globally modeled student life, and abundance of study abroad and experiential learning options. Take a closer look at what USC could mean for you.

Degree content is provided for informational purposes only. The Academic Bulletin is the source of record for all degree information.