Info for Prospective Students

Linguistics is the study of human language and as such is relevant to most areas of human endeavor. An understanding of Linguistics helps students better learn the languages they are interested in. Linguistics lies at the heart of many interesting professions such as the law, any social science, any international field and more. Many of our claases are small, so students have the opportunity to engage with our highly committed faculty members.

Advising in our department emphasizes strong ties between advisor and student. All of our advisors are departmental faculty members, which positions them well to mentor students on both academic and career and professionals goals. Advisors help students find internships, field placements, and research opportunities that speak to their interests and help prepare them for graduate school or the job market. 

The Department of Linguistics is a dynamic group of collegial scholars, and as such, students have the chance to interact with faculty members beyond the classroom at events and activities including: 

  • YinzLing Club for language-related movies, discussions and activities
  • The ASL Club
  • The Belly-dancing Club sponsored by our Arabic Certificate Coordinator
  • Han’s “PyLing” Group that is open to GS, UGs, alumni and any other interested parties interested in learning the Python data analysis language
  • Our faculty and graduate students regularly lead Study Abroad trips including to London (studying British Sign Language), Ireland, Greece, Spain, Cuba, Bolivia, Sweden and Tanzania. These trips typically incorporate study of a language as well as cultural immersion. Study abroad programs include opportunities to see places that are relevant to the specific language of study (e.g. in London, ASL students visit the BBC to see how on-screen interpretation of TV programming is created.)

In addition, we offer extensive cultural and language diversity opportunities for students throughout the Dietrich School, such as:

  • The English Language Institute's (ELI)  Speed Friending event that partners native speakers of English with speakers of other languages
  • ELI’s Cross Campus Communication activity in which UGs can meet weekly with 1-2 non-native speakers of English for friendship and English language practice
  • The Less-Commonly-Taught Languages Center's (LCTL) “Mini Language Lessons” event that gives students a small taste of what it is like to learn various languages.
  • LCTL’s “You Say Potato, I say Potato” event that showcased languages (“how do you say ‘potato’ in _____?”) and potato-based foods, and other fun and illuminating cultural/language events like this

After coming into college with absolutely no idea what I wanted to pursue, finding linguistics was like a revelation. The courses, the professors, and the departmental events are all eye-opening and consistently reaffirm why I’m studying linguistics and what I love about it. I even served as a research assistant for Associate Professor Scott Kiesling on a project that analyzes the use of linguistic stance in the written language of the online forums of Reddit. I helped numerically evaluate categories of affect, investment and alignment, and record the data. Essentially, the research investigates the relationship speakers have between themselves and the thing that they are speaking about. Finding what I love and engaging in it every day has been the most rewarding experience I have had at Pitt.

-Kaylen Sanders (A&S '17)


Read the full story featured in the Pitt Pride newsletter »

For more information about our department, or to schedule a visit or tour, please contact the Dietrich School's Manager of Undergraduate Recruitment, Nicole Horvath, at nicolehorvath@pitt.edu.