Excellence in advanced degree training

Our department has developed a vibrant curriculum covering a wide range of areas—including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, political discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, and the subfields of computational linguistics and African linguistics. We offer three master’s degrees, a doctoral program with the option to concentrate in an area of interest, and three Ph.D. minors.

Cross-disciplinary intersections

We run one of the largest Linguistics graduate programs in the country, having trained many prominent linguists, speech scientists, cognitive scientists, computational linguists, and language and area studies experts. Our graduates have very good placement rates. Despite the relatively small size of our core faculty, our program is active and successful because of integration with a much larger number of adjunct faculty and a persistent willingness to integrate curricular offerings from other programs.

The rich tapestry of language and culture programs at Indiana University is one of its hallmark features. The Department of Linguistics, like the parallel departments of Anthropology and Second Language Studies, connects these programs with departments in the sciences, such as Cognitive Science, Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. It also connects with departments oriented toward technological applications: Informatics, Computer Science, and Information and Library Science. Commensurate with this bridging role, several faculty members hold joint appointments.

In addition, we maintain active relationships with numerous adjunct professors in both language and culture programs and in the natural sciences. These adjunct faculty support the training of an unusually large number of graduate students, working from various perspectives in all aspects of language.

We also enthusiastically embrace the requirement of the graduate school that each student pursue a substantive minor outside their major department. We use this cross-disciplinary requirement to train an unusual array of language scholars, and to enable them to carve out new ways of studying the many facets of language.


As part of our graduate program, we offer professionalization workshops every 3-4 weeks. To quickly develop a sense of professional opportunities in our field, incoming students are strongly encouraged to attend. These workshops introduce you to a range of extracurricular topics, including:

  • What it means to be a professional linguist
  • Conferences
  • Publications
  • Grants and funding
  • Job-seeking
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocols

Student spotlight: Patricia McDonough

Documenting the Thangal Language of Northeast India

Patricia's path to Linguistics at IU began at a students’ hostel in southeast India. Eight years, three additional trips to India, and hundreds of pages of data later, she has built ties to the Thangal community in Eastern India.

Read more about Patricia's time in India

A student poses with four faculty members.
The faculty members of the Department of Linguistics at Indiana University Bloomington.
Three students working in a linguistics lab.

Interested in applying to IU's Department of Linguistics?