Though people are immersed in language every day, they are often unaware of its great structural complexity and beauty. The Department of Linguistics at the University of Rochester is advancing our understanding of this remarkable human ability on several important fronts.



Our faculty members make significant contributions in syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, language documentation, language modeling/annotation, and neuroscience.

While our programs are founded on theoretical linguistics, we have close interdisciplinary relationships with experimental psycholinguists in brain and cognitive sciences, computational linguists in computer science, as well as with scholars in philosophy and American Sign Language.

Center for Language Sciences

The Center for Language Sciences (CLS), is an interdisciplinary center supporting research and training in natural language. The center encourages collaboration through joint research, shared facilities, coursework, and colloquia by bringing together faculty and students with interests in spoken and signed languages across departments and programs, including:

  • American Sign Language
  • Brain and Cognitive Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Linguistics
  • Music Theory
  • Neuroscience
  • Philosophy

Our faculty have combined expertise in formal, behavioral, computational, and imaging (fMRI, ultrasound) approaches to understanding the structure, processing, production, and acquisition of natural language. 

The center also features events and workshops, access to working papers, formal coursework in contributing departments, shared laboratory and computational facilities, and pre- and post-doctoral support from the University of Rochester.

Colloquia Series

Our internal colloquia series is open to students and provides an opportunity for faculty and invited speakers from other universities to share their research. As a result, students benefit from a dynamic atmosphere of dialogue and collaboration.


Our faculty covers a wide range of subfields in linguistics which allows our students to participate in an exciting range of research projects, starting as undergraduates.

Our department offers a Bachelors of Arts and a minor in linguistics through a multifaceted undergraduate program. Our alumni have gone on to work for the Department of Homeland Security, advertising and marketing firms, big tech, and more.

We also offer a Master of Arts in LinguisticsMaster of Arts in Language Documentation and Description, Master of Science in Computational Linguistics, and an PhD program.