• Students at St. Olaf Linguistics Symposium.

    Linguistics at Luther

    Students at St. Olaf Linguistics Symposium.


Linguistics is the scientific study of the human capacity for language—a system of communication which, as far as we can tell, is uniquely human.

As such, the study of language sheds particularly interesting light on what it means to be human, and the study of linguistics provides a new perspective from which to understand this uniquely human behavior.

Since language is part of almost every aspect of human activities, linguistic knowledge can be applied to many areas:

  • Learning and teaching (not only of languages)
  • Language in new technologies
  • Communication between different social, ethnic, and cultural groups
  • Advertisement and marketing
  • Translation
  • Philosophy
  • History

Especially students in the following areas should consider courses in linguistics:

  • English
  • Foreign languages
  • Classical languages
  • Anthropology
  • Communication Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Philosophy
  • Women and Gender Studies

Read more information about a minor in linguistics.

Still have more questions? Learn why you should consider the study of linguistics